There’s an organization in England called The National Trust which owns lots of houses…lots of land…lots and lots of stuff! They own more stuff than any one person could see in a lifetime without one’s eyes drying up, falling out and ending in one of their collections of stuff. Sensing their hoard might be missing a trick (ie missing opportunities to make money) they’ve put online a collection of photographs of some their stuff (and offer the option to purchase large detailed photos for personal perusal). If, like me, you enjoy trawling through endless photos of antiques (because you never know what might inspire a romance novel or end up on the must have wish list) this website is for you! Some of the souls choosing items to be photographed for the collection appear to be either blind or mad (is there anyone out there in the known universe who lives to trawl through numerous photos of pewter dishes that all look alike?), but that’s part of the charm. Typing “pewter” into the search box (you have to click on the search button – pushing the enter key does nothing) on the second page I discovered a pewter bedpan from 1820…
Not exactly romantic Regency, but still Regency. Type “doll” into the search box and you’ll find near the bottom of the page two scary looking 18th century dolls still wearing their original dresses, their large glass black eyes staring back at you through the screen.
You think the first ‘wooden doll’ is scary…then you click on the second one!
You know she turned her first young owner into a toad that hopped into the family’s carriage and was squashed by the footman. The second little girl was turned into a wooden spoon and thrown out the window at a beggar and the third…well the third little girl was so plump and lovely the doll ate her!
I wouldn’t call myself a doll collector, but if I see a small doll in need of rescue I’ll buy their freedom and take them home. Louis et Francoise (a married couple I rescued from a charity shop together) are my favorites… They’ve been known to join me on adventures…
If I’m ever so lucky to own a scary 18th century doll, she will be locked in a glass cabinet…double-tripple locked! Not to keep people out. To keep the doll in!
If you have a few minutes have a look at The National Trusts’s online curiosity cabinet. I highly recommend the last photo under “doll” which is a dollhouse from 1730-1740 (they have larger photos of all the rooms).
Isn’t it lovely? I want to live in there. I love the yellow-bed chamber and the adjoining sitting room.This would have been made as a toy for grownups! So it should…
Sadly, the only creatures allowed to play in the parlour or sleep on the bed is the odd spider. Lucky little creepies!
I learn so much on your blog! Thank you for the information you share with us. It is great to read for enjoyment, but also for education of our minds. Regency time period of history has always drawn me to read. But the collections of the past help me understand the lifestyles of the people and their day to day life. I may not see England any other way or experience the history other than the websites and books. But I am thankful for the modern day communition of computers and persons like you who share!!! Thank You.
I love sharing information! This sometimes gets me in trouble…as when I’m visiting some museum or historical sight and I assume my companion/s are dying to know all the seemingly pointless (though not to me) trivia I can remember on the subject at hand. I’m a curious wench…everything is interesting…so there’s no telling what will come out of the recesses of my mind. If there’s site you think I’d find interesting feel free to share a link in a comment. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how much I think I know about anything. There’s endless things I can’t begin to imagine! I love that!