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The Doll’s House

The scale of this 23-room house at the National Museum of American History is one inch to one foot, accommodating the miniatures that Faith Bradford (1880–1970) played with as a girl and collected as an adult.

Bradfort imagined the dwelling as the turn-of-the century household of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Doll, their ten children, two visiting grandparents, five servants and twenty pets. Bradford’s fascination with miniature furnishings began at age 7 when she inherited her older sister’s collection and four-room dollhouse. When the dollhouse fell apart from wear and tear, her mother had shelves built into Faith’s bedroom clothes closet.

The new dwelling with plenty of play space and “imagination for walls.” In 1932, Bradford created a shelf-like model to display her “house” at a charity toy fair in Alexandria, Virginia. The same figures, fixtures and furnishings inhabit the model that Bradford created and presented as a gift to the US National Museum in 1951. americanhistory.si.edu.

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