About this objectThis dollhouse was given by Blanche Gorrie (nee Buckland) to her granddaughter, Lesley Buckland Gorrie, as a birthday present. This large wooden dollhouse and most of its furniture were made by returned servicemen who had served in the First World War. The dollhouse has a steeped roof and two chimneys and consists of four rooms – two upstairs and two downstairs.
For centuries, dollhouses have been a popular children’s toy. Young girls were encouraged to play with dollhouses as they were thought to be efficient learning aids in teaching them how to run a household. (1) Before the wide availability of mass produced children’s toys in the mid-twentieth century, dollhouses and furniture accessories were mostly handmade and some showed immense craftsmanship and skill. (2)
A vast variety of miniature furniture and accessories accompanied this dollhouse. Quaint items such as a tiny hot water bottle, a banjo, picture frames, clocks, chairs, tables, beds and a thermos flask provide authentic detail to this dollhouse. This children’s toy would have provided Blanche Gorrie’s grandchildren with innumerable hours of fun and enjoyment.
(1) Museum of Childhood, ‘Dolls’ houses and miniatures,’ URL: http://www.museumofchildhood.org.uk/collections/dolls-houses-and-miniatures
(2) Peter Clayworth, ‘Children’s play – Toys – from homemade to mass market,’ Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, URL: www.teara.govt.nz/en/childrens-play/page-6
For more information about the Buckland family and Highwic, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.
Place MadeAuckland, New Zealand
Medium and MaterialsWood and glass
Measurements148 x 127 x 4cm
Subject and Association KeywordsGirlhood
Credit LineCollection of Highwic, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga