by Beatrice Dassonville
Let me introduce myself: My name is Beatrice, I’m French, 53 years old and I’m collecting dolls houses.
I was a little girl in the 60’s, and I particularly appreciate dolls houses from the “after war” period , until the 70’s. My first dolls house was a Carolines home, from Barton, and since I have started my collection, I prefer the English dolls houses, because of their style.
I would like to present you one of my recent restorations: la maison d’Audrey.
First of all, I must explain to you, that I always give my houses the name of their precedent owner, when I know it. Last year, on a flea market, I saw a very old dolls house, I found it lovely and bought it to restore it. The woman, who sold it, was English and her name was Audrey. That’s all that I knew when I came back home with my dolls house. I suppose this house is English, because of the style, it was probably home made, and I would say it was made in the 60’s.
When I restore a house, I remove all the papers which can’t be saved, and I try to reproduce the same papers, when it’s possible. I take a picture of a part which is nice, and create the same paper from this little part and print it with my printer. I have been able to keep the roof paper, and to reproduce the outside wall papers. Inside of this house, the papers were too old, I’ve created new ones, as well as new floors, here you can see the living room with it’s new wall paper and wooden ground.
When my house is ready, the most interesting part happens next, I can buy and present the furniture. An empty house would be sad, the best part of my job is to find furniture of the same period (after war) . I buy my furniture mostly on eBay. I first buy things because I find them lovely. Then I have friends who help me to determine the pieces of furniture I’ve found. I have recently bought a little booklet, which is very helpful (written by Marion Osborne). I also find lots of information and examples on a website KTMiniatures, and I don’t hesitate to write to other collectors, to ask them for help. It’s really interesting to learn about the history of toys. The English makers I often buy the furniture are Barton, Dol Toi, Tri ang. I have one or two Twiggs pieces, like this grand father clock in the living room.
The last thing I introduce in my houses, but may be my preferred one, are the figures. In « la maison d’Audrey » I’ve chosen an old couple, Audrey and Charles, because there were only four rooms in this house, and not enough place for a whole family. You can see them here in their kitchen, as the Sunday lunch has finished. If you want to discover more pictures of this house, and of the other ones I have , I invite you to visit my website, where they are all presented. The text is in French, but there are many picture, you can click on, to see them larger.
La maison d’Audrey is there: http://b.dassonville.free.fr/lamaisondaudrey/index.html