BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
'Time warp' toys found in attic
Dolls' house
The furnished dolls' house room was found in boxes in the attic
When the new owners of an Abergavenny home bought the house with contents included, they were amazed to discover a treasure trove of toys in the attic.

There were boxes of toys stored in the roof space just as they had been left 50 years ago by their owner.

They included tiny pieces of furniture to kit out a complete dolls' house, along with the dolls.

They went under the hammer at a Leominster auction house on Wednesday, and had attracted worldwide interest.

Andrew Edwards from Brightwells auction house in Herefordshire explained.

"The owners of the house, who don't want to be identified, came across the things in the attic.

"They had bought the house along with its contents and discovered it all."

He said that in the 1920s, a German family moved to Detroit in America where mother and daughter Virginia Hyman spent time visiting antiques and toy shops.

They concentrated on buying the furnishing of a large dolls house that was later featured in an American magazine.

A furnished dolls' house room was found
We have never seen anything like this before - this is one of the time warp things you don't expect to find
Andrew Edwards, Brightwells

The house was complete, from a parlour maid to a children's party on the top floor.

When the family left America to live in the house in Abergavenny, the large house was left behind but the furnishings were brought and some fitted into a model room that retains the authentic atmosphere of the period, complete with radiogram.

"There was also a vast amount of miniatures they collected and stored," said Mr Edwards.

Among the things found were photographs of the young Virginia and later as an adult. Some of her jewellery and hats she wore will be among the lots on sale.

Mr Edwards said her mother had been a collector of scent bottles and miniature vases.

'Practically salivating'

"She had done an index card with everything she had," said Mr Edwards.

When the new owners of the house realised what they had stumbled across, they contacted the auction house.

"They got in touch with us and asked us if there was anything interesting and we were practically salivating," laughed Mr Edwards.

"There is a vast amount of interest in the collection already and we've had lots of emails and telephone calls.

"We have never seen anything like this before - this is one of the time warp things you don't expect to find.

"These finds are so rare. Everything was carefully packed, including the dolls of Virginia's childhood, so the colour and condition is 'as new', with two dolls still tied in their boxes," he added.

The miniature furniture, dolls, costume jewellery and scent bottles were offered for sale in two parts at Wednesday's auction.

Factory's 900 teddies auctioned
06 Oct 05 |  South East Wales

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific