Saturday, 13 October 2012

Saving a ruin

I am now embarking on the story of my modern dollhouse which will take many posts and I suppose provoke many reflections. About two years ago I was doing my usual round of thrift shops on the street where I have my hairdresser. Most times I find something: either a tiny ornament that goes directly into one of my houses or room boxes or something I, with my dollhouse eyeglasses, see can be converted into something else. This time I saw a Very Sad Dollhouse. I saw it was in a terrible shape, but it was potentially magnificent, and I took it home with me. In the shop, I didn't realise that I could take it apart, and you should have seen me carrying this huge thing from the shop to the parking structure. Nobody stared, but nobody offered to help either.

When I came home and looked closer I saw it was in still poorer shape than I had thought.


It had remnants of wallpaper, and it had this hideous 1:1 scale carpet, and somebody had started to paint it here and there and then forgot. Another case for the Royal Society for Preventing Cruelty to Dollhouses. 

I spent hours on internet trying to find out what kind of house it was, how old, where it came from, with no results. I consulted my dollhouse discussion group. It is a very clever dollhouse, double-sided, with removable side walls so it is easy to get at any bit and corner of it. But I could find it anywhere, and on studying it carefully I realised that is had been built by someone. A parent or grandparent who built this wonderful house, who put a lot of love and effort in it, but never had time to finish it. This made me sad. Dozens of sad stories of the unfinihed dollhouse. What happened to the creator? What happened to the child for whom it was built? How many years had it been in somebody's attic before it was given away to charity?

But some sad stories have happy endings, and now the house was in good hands and would get another chance.

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