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Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 16:03 UK
The Queen's Dolls' House is explored by Lucinda Lambton
by Emma Midgley
BBC Berkshire Reporter

The King's Bedroom in the Dolls' House in Windsor Castel
The Queen's Dolls' House is filled with the works of 1920s craftsmen

It was designed by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and features a flushing toilet, hot and cold running water, wine cellar and working lifts.

Perfect in every detail, the Queen's Dolls' House at Windsor Castle is one of the largest in the world.

Now architectural historian Lucinda Lambton has published a book which gives the reader a tour of this miniature aristocratic home.

The house was a gift to Queen Mary in thanks for her presence in World War I.

Lucinda said: "The Queen's Dolls' House, which now belongs to Queen Mary's granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II, is a creation unlike any other.

"It is an exquisite little building filled to its royal rafters with the work, in miniature, of the finest artists and artisans, craftsmen and manufacturers of early 20th-century Britain."

Royal residence

Built for the Queen by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1921 and 1924, the dollhouse includes contributions from over 1,500 artists, craftsmen and manufacturers .

Windsor Castle Doll House

Lutyens' vision was to capture life in a royal residence in all its detail.

The library includes original works by the top literary names of the day, after 200 authors, including Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy and A.A. Milne, produced original hand-written works for the library.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a Sherlock Holmes story, How Watson Learned the Trick, especially for the Dolls' House.

The house also includes a fully stocked wine cellar filled with 1,200 thimblefuls of Champagnes, wines, spirits and beers from Berry Bros of St James's, London.

Royal gun makers James Purdey & Sons donated working replicas of King George V's guns, complete with leather case and a magazine of 100 tiny cartridges.

Dispatch boxes

The house includes a five bay garage which contains a Daimler and a 1923 Silver Ghost limousine.

There are also many Royal remainders dotted through the house.

Dolls' House Facts
The house has been built to the Imperial scale of one inch to one foot
It is 1.52 metres high,2.59 metres wide, 1.49 metres deep, and weighs 4.5 tonnes
The Dolls' House features a wine cellar with real wine, real books, a flushing toilet and hot and cold running water

In the saloon two tiny thrones sit side-by-side; and there are a collection of red and green leather dispatch boxes, each embossed in gold with the royal cipher.

There is even a fully operational strong room to hold the Crown Jewels - weighing 1.5 lbs, rather than 1.5 tons.

Royal portraits include a copy of Winterhalter's 1846 painting of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children, and contemporary portraits of the young Prince of Wales, King George V and Queen Mary.

The domestic quarters and the rooms below stairs were given as much attention as the grand rooms above.

Below stairs

In the kitchen, 2,500 tiny sections of oak recreate a wood-block floor.

A copper kettle made out of a King George V penny is on the stove and three ivory mice in a humane mouse trap are forever under the gaze of a ceramic cat.

Every detail of domestic life is included, from lavatory paper, Lux flakes and Sunlight Soap, to a tin of Coleman's mustard and a bottle of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce.

The Queen's Dollhouse is packed up in 1923
Queen Mary's doll house was created by Sir Edwin Lutyens

In the living quarters, chamber pots can be seen under every bed, trouser presses await use in the men's bedrooms, and reading material is on hand for the servants.

In a letter of thanks to all those involved, Queen Mary described the Dolls' House as "the most perfect present that anyone could receive".

In 1924 the Dolls' House went on display at Wembley Park as part of the British Empire Exhibition of Arts and Manufacturing, where it was viewed by 1.6m people.

The following year the Dolls' House was put on permanent display at Windsor Castle, in a room specially designed by Lutyens, where it remains to this day.

You can hear Lucinda Lambton on BBC Radio Berkshire on Anne Diamond's show on Wednesday 20 October, 2010.




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