The Queen, the Duke and His Master's Voice... of my favourite cities in the world. I was able to go there last week and spend several days enjoying art and miniatures. It was wonderful.

After a post by Linda (Une Petite Folie)a few weeks ago, I was reminded to go and visit Windsor Castle and see Queen Mary's Dolls' House.
The Dolls'House is huge but beautifully made. I love the fact that so many companies and artists contributed pieces to fill the house. It is a shame that it is difficult to see all the detail as you - understandably- can't get very close to the rooms. However, the two books about the dolls' house (on sale in their bookshop and on Amazon) and the website about The Queen's Dolls' House are very good and have detailed photos.

Unfortunately it is not allowed to take photos of the dolls house, so instead, here are two photos I took at Windsor Castle.

We spent two full days at the fabulous Victoria & Albert Museum, looking at some of their jaw-dropping collection. In their silver section I was able to name and date several full sized silver pieces, not because I am an expert on silver, but because I own some of them in miniature, made by Jens Torp. I thought that was so funny, collecting miniatures can be very educational!

Here is a rare photo of me, reflected in a late 17th century toilet service mirror.

During the weekend I spent a fabulous two days at the Kensington Dolls House Festival. I planned to take lots of photos (I even bought a handy little camera so I didn't have to carry my bulky and heavy DSLR camera with me), but I forgot all about it! I promise to take some pictures of my purchases soon though, and give you a little show report that way.

On the last day of our trip we went to Chiswick Auctions. When we arrived we saw a notice on the door that filming was in progress for the ITV show Dickinson's Real Deal. We don't get ITV in Holland, so I don't know this particular antiques show, but I do remember David 'The Duke' Dickinson from when he presented BBC's Bargain Hunt.

When the auction started they were still filming, so even though I won't be able to see it myself, all of you ITV viewers out there may be able to catch a glimpse of me in one of these 'Real Deal' shows! (If only I had known they'd be filming me, I would have put on a nice frock and some make-up, haha!)

During the viewing at the auction house I spotted a lot of around 20 glass topped boxes from the 1920's, some of which contained miniatures. The estimate was within my budget, so I decided to bid for it. When my lot came up, the bidding was fast and over before I knew it, but I got the lot! It was very exciting.

These are a few of the miniature items which were in the lot:

These two boxes are my favourites. Although the items in the second box look a bit tatty, it is not as bad as it looks. The two items on the outside are actually jars of marmalade and strawberry jam, the same ones can be found in Queen Mary's Dolls' House! The paper tops have started to disintegrate, but the rest is in reasonable condition.

And lastly: a real record from 'His Master's Voice' in miniature, with a recording of 'God Save The King'. A copy of this record can also be found in The Queen's Doll's House.
Isn't that just the most perfect souvenir from a miniature filled week's visit to London? I absolutely love it.


  1. Josje, please forgive me but now I'm green with envy !!
    Yours must have been the most wonderful holiday! and you bought the most wonderful minis. I'm eager to see what you bought at the fair.
    Last but not least you went in Chiswick... it was the borough where I used to live when I stayed in London...nice, nice memories ( big sigh) No auctions at the time but, may be, I'd have not cared for them, I was too young ;o)
    Have a nice evening, Rosanna

  2. I see you have had a fantastic time in London! Love the things you got at the auction, real treasures, that`s so nice! I went to London for 3 days, 2 of them I spent at KDF! First time for me there.

  3. it sounds like it was a wonderful week! I love the antique miniatures you bought at auction. You're right... They are the perfect souvenir!!!

    I also cannot wait to see what you bought at KDHF. Please don't make us wait too long. ;-)

  4. The auction finds are just wonderful. What a well organised trip you had. It sounds as if you fitted everything in perfectly.
    I love KDF too and had a super time looking at all the marvellous minis.

  5. I am sorry Rosanna, I hope the green colour doesn't stay on you too long;) We did have a wonderful, wonderful holiday. The last day in Chiswick we took the bus to the auction rooms, so we got a good impression of what the area is like. The bus stopped about every 200 meters (I'm not kidding!). Maybe if you go back one day you can visit the auction rooms there. They have an auction every week! I was just lucky to find a miniatures lot last week.

  6. Gefeliciteerd Josje met je geweldige aankopen op de veiling. Prachtige stukken zijn het.

    groet Heleni

  7. Mona, I should have said something on my blog before I left. I'm sure I could have met many bloggers in person at the KDF! Oh well, mabe we'll meet another time.

  8. Catherine, I'll do my best ;)

  9. Janice, the most perfect timing was that my husband had a seminar to go to (in London) during the weekend of the KDF.
    I agree with you, just looking at all the beautiful miniatures is a pleasure.

  10. Enseñanos pronto tus compras, estoy de acuerdo con Rosa, estamos verdes de envidia,pero al enseñarnos las fotos es un poco como estar alli, nos transportamos un poco,no???, un besito.

  11. Perfect souvenirs! Wow! Thank you for telling us about your lovely trip. I can't wait to see photos of your other finds. What a thrill!

  12. Wauw wat een leuke dingen heb je gekocht op de veiling! Lijkt me extra leuk dat je dezelfde dingen net in het poppenhuis van the queen hebt gezien.
    groetjes Aurora

  13. My heart is beating a thousand, as every time someone makes a dream that is also mine ...
    I do not know how to express the emotions that your post has given me: I love everything that has a past, and if the past is tangible, then for me becomes an even greater value, so I can imagine how much emotion you have tried to win the entire lot of miniatures ...
    For inquiries concerning dollhouse of Queen Mary, in recent days - by coincidence - I got the volume purchased on Amazon and I'm right in the mood ...
    I'll tell you that the fact of knowing that in the closets and behind closed doors are kept miniatures that you can not see, send me a kind of electric shock, I itchy hands! I've never really seen the house in question, but perhaps just as well: maybe risk arrest by the security service, for attempting to open any door...
    Mini lovely hugs,

  14. Wat een prachtige aanwinsten! Dat zijn weer echte pronkstukjes met een mooi verhaal erachter. Het moet vast een heel speciaal gevoel zijn dat je een paar items hebt die ook in queen mary's dollhouse staan!?
    Bedankt voor de mooie foto's en het leuke nieuwsgierige reisverhaal, ik ben ook heel benieuwd naar je aankopen van kensington festival!

  15. Wow, I am worldless with this 'His Masters Voice' in miniature... Love it! SUPER!

  16. Hoi Josje,

    Gelukkig dit keer wel een werkende camera! En super wat je in het veilingshuis gevonden en gewonnen hebt! Ook de toiletspiegel is prachtig....en het klopt wat je zegt....door de miniaturen leer je ook heel veel stijlperiodes herkennen. Ik kijk uit naar je verslagje van de beurs. Aankomend weekend ga ikzelf naar Rheda(Duitsland).

  17. This is miniature collecting on a whole new scale :-D

    What a great lot to find ánd obtain at auction. Now that is a real souvenir as it will always remember you of this trip. So applicable with Windsor Castle and the Royals.

  18. What wonderful and unique pieces! Imagine having pieces that match those in Queen Mary's dollshouse.

  19. Jammer dat er geen foto is dat je een vreugdedansje maakt bij het verkrijgen van deze prachtige miniaturen. Werkelijk schitterend!!

    Groetjes, Roelie

  20. hoi Josje,
    de doosjes met glazen dekseltjes zijn al mooi! errugg leuk om deze prachtige schatten in het echt te hebben gezien!

  21. Hi Josje, wat een prachtige schatten heb je kunnen kopen op de veiling! Zo te zien heb je een paar fantastische dagen achter de rug. Omdat ik niet veel blog de laatste maanden, heb ik je mooie vloertje foto met het vloertje in de kamer is zo realistisch! Ondanks dat ik weetdat het 1:12 is, kan ik het bijna niet geloven!


  22. Thank you all for your comments!

    Flora, you always have such a beautiful way of describing your thoughts and feelings!

    Roelie, ik deed heel cool toen ik het winnende bod had. Alsof ik zoiets dagelijks doe, haha! Mijn hart sloeg echter wel een paar keer extra kan ik je zeggen. ;)

    Margot, ik moest gisteren zo om mezelf lachen...ik heb pas nog op je weblog zitten neuzen, maar had me zaterdag totaal niet gerealiseerd dat jij dat was!! Zo suf! Popje heeft inmiddels een plekje gevonden, binnenkort foto's daarvan hier te zien!

  23. oh! what a great opportunity to see the Queen's dollhouse!
    and what a nice holiday! but the thing that fascinates me most is to attend a house auction! who knows what a thrill ...
    I'm happy to buy from, the disc seems a rarity because it is engraved a hymn to the king, before then to Elizabeth II.
    I see the tracks on it, I guess you can also listen to it ...
    you've also purchased a gramophone? :))

  24. You've taken my breath away!! How is it possible to be so lucky as to go into an auction rooms and just by LUCK find they have some miniatures for sale AND you were the winning bidder AND the boxes contained these unbelieveable TREASURES!! Is there no end to your lucky streak Josje??!!

  25. cockerina, yes a fantastic find! According to the book about the Queen's doll's house, the record can be played...I'm afraid I did not get a little gramophone with it ;) But who knows what the future brings!

  26. Norma, I think I was having my lucky week of the year. Someone said I should have bought a lottery ticket lol! At the auction house I was very busy near their front desk, and very difficult to get a good look at the things in their glass cabinets. I just happened to spot the boxes on a lower shelf when someone moved away. Yes, lucky, lucky, lucky! I'm sure the rest of the year will be a lot more quiet :)

  27. Ha sido un relato estupendo, me ha encantado tu blog, la miniaturas que adquiriste en la subasta son una verdadera joya.
    Un saludo


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