Dolls House

By Mustafa Suleman

The Duke of Edinburg visited the Lebus factory on 10 November 1955, during his tour it was suggested to him that the men in the factory would like to make some modern model furniture for Princess Anne, his Royal Highness agreed; however the young Princess did not have a dolls house.

Sir Herman Lebus secretly commissioned the construction of a dolls house to be designed by architect James Cubitt. The construction was to be led by Edmund Zala with the work carried out by a three man team consisting of Stefan Buzas, Albert Parish and Frank Blunden.

The four men worked in secret all winter and spring to complete the house (which took six months to build) for a presentation at Buckingham Palace that was being organised by Sir Herman.

The two-storey house is approximately 6ft long and 3ft high and has the following features:
Detailed miniature furniture
Electric lighting
Running water
Miniature working radio capable of receiving BBC programmes
Tiny pond and a fountain that works
Two electric cars in the garage
Castors with rubber tires

On 13 July 1956 Sir Herman Lebus and the men who built the house took it to Buckingham Palace to present it to the Princess (who was going to be six years old on 15 August), watched by the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles.

Letter from the Queen

Letter from the Queen

Doll's House

Dolls House

Doll's House

Dolls House

Doll's House

Dolls House

Doll's House

Dolls House

Doll's House

Dolls House

Doll's House

Dolls House

Presentation list

Presentation list

5 thoughts on “Dolls House

  1. Barbara Warren (nee Coveney) says:

    Thank you so much for adding the link to the dolls house. It really made my day seeing the dolls house – and it looked much as I remembered it from all those years ago.

  2. Sheila barrett says:

    My Father Ernie Barrett worked at Lebus as a cabinet maker since he was a young boy, he also worked on the royal dolls house and my Sister was there when they presented it, and instead of putting her name of Valerie in the paper they wrote fanny Barret she was not amused, if anyone remembers the year I would dearly love a copy of that paper as we lost our darling mother Ruby BARRETT not long after that and Ernie had to leave to look after us 7 children, but he always spoke of the times at Lebus, please reply if anyone knew Ernie, thank you

    • Silke Dettmers says:

      Hello Sheila,
      Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham, has the very newspaper article featuring your sister! I saw it only 2 days ago when a group of us (Bow Arts artists) visited their archive. Do contact Bruce Castle, they are very helpful.

  3. Mustafa says:

    I wrote to The Royal collection to find out what happened to the Dolls House. Apparently it’s still part of the Royal Collection somewhere and has a catalogue number of RCIN 94975.

    But they also advised me that Harris Lebus made miniature furniture for Queen Mary’s Dolls House in the early 1920s:
    https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/windsorcastle/what-to-see-and-do/queen-marys-dolls-house

  4. Karin Wester says:

    Hello,

    Do you have more information about the dolls house made for princess Anne in the fifties?
    I write for a Dutch dolls house magazine “Dolls House Nederland” and would like to write about this interesting dolls house and furniture made by your company.

    Best wishes Karin Wester, the Netherlands

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.