The Dawnay Collection Part II: A Dolls House Made by Eve Dawnay
by Elizabeth Jackson
A natural progression was of course the building of a dolls house. Miss Dawnay left one behind when she died and it is being kept safe in the family. I was very grateful to be allowed to see and photograph it. She again used recycled materials – mainly washing powder boxes - in the construction of the tall four storeyed house. It stands about 4ft tall, has lighting, is very well staffed (7 servants) and crammed with wonderful contents, all made using the same methods as in the room settings.
There is a morning theme to the house. On the top floor is the nursery where the children are being dressed by nurse, while a servant (the cook?) waits on the landing to bring in breakfast.
On the floor below we have the main bedchamber where a lady’s maid is on duty. A bathroom at the rear of the landing seems to have an occupant but it was rather too dark to photograph.
The first floor houses an elegant drawing room where a maid is dusting. An ante room to the right has a nice piano.
Detail of the corner china cabinet
On the ground floor the butler in the kitchen is preparing a breakfast tray while a manservant in the hallway carries coal and a maid dusts the staircase.
Detail of the kitchen dresser
Thanks to Philip Richardson for his help with this article.