Top 20 Miniature Decorative Arts Design Classics for the Dolls House Part 1

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14 May 2011
imports_HAC_claricecliffchinabya_71451.gif Clarice Cliff China by A Miniature Marvel
To celebrate the decorative arts, we present the first 10 of 20 of the most-wanted miniatures to transform your dolls house. ...
Top 20 Miniature Decorative Arts Design Classics for the Dolls House Part 1 Images

The adventure of furnishing a turn of the 20th century dolls house in decorative style begins here. Around 1880, artists and artisans began the revolt against the mechanisation of the furniture industry and the Arts & Crafts movement was born. Furniture makers favoured a design style which was simple and fit for purpose, but which showed off the skills of the craftsman.

Arts Nouveau moved a step further by 1890 when craftsmen looked to nature for inspiraiton and banished straight lines.

In the 1920's and 1930's Art Deco took over and geometric shapes ruled the roost. In this series we are rifling through the design archives to bring you the best of these designs for the 1/12th scale dolls house.


Bold and bright Art Deco designs epitomised the philosophy of the age, and none more so than Clarice Cliff. These items are available from A Miniature Marvel. Web:


Curving chrome and polished wood combine to form this Art Deco treasure from the American artisan Donald Deskey. The miniature version is made by Kim Selwood, and just like the original designs, these come in table or desk form with drawers. Web:


The fluidity of Art Nouveau found a perfect partner in glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany's famous mosaic lamps. This lamp is available in 1/12th scale from the Dolls House Emporium. Web:


With their verdant patterns and flamboyant patterns, the designs of William Morris are unmistakable. He revolutionised the home interiors at the turn of the 20th century, and you'd expect nothing less from the father of the Arts and Crafts movement. Papers are availble from The Miniature Scene. Web:



In the true spirit of Arts and Crafts furniture, the dressing table was simple and functional, whilst at the same time being an obvious product of a craftsman. This oak version is made in miniature by Dean Designs. Web:


American architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright designed these linear and imposing pieces of furniture. His architect and skyscraper designed furniture encompassed the Arts & Crafts, through Art Nouveau and to the futuristic aspect of the Art Deco period. These chairs are made in Japan and are available in the UK from ELF Miniatures. Web:

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Possibly the most expensive item that the famous Scot Carles Rennie Mackintosh every made, and the most expensive piece of 20th Century furniture sold at auction, but the Art Nouveau style writing cabinet is certainly a gem. Mackintosh's aim was that the open cabinet should resemble a hanging kimono. This delightful miniature piece is available from the Dolls House Emporium.



Thanks to the designers of the period, the big cat was more common place in the Art Deco home than the domestic cat. Panthers stalked the mantel pieces as cast bronze ornaments lurked on table tops, tiger stripes decorated bed linen, and real tiger skins became rugs. This rug is embroidered from a kit by Janet Granger. Web:


Designer Gustav Stickley helped to popularise the Arts & Crafts movement in America. He turned his attention to the middle-class market with his work which he called 'New Furniture' constructed from beautiful native woods. This miniature version is made by Peter Tucker and retains the same honesty and simplicity aspired to by Stickley. Web:



Ordinary 1920's homes tended to be smaller than in previous decades, and furniture designers adapted their pieces accordingly. These typically Art Deco table and 2 tub chairs which fit neatly together to form a sideboard too, are made by Dollhouse Collectables. Web:

The full article was originally published in issue 203 of Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you've enjoyed this feature, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine, or better still, take out a subscription so that you never miss an issue. You can share this article with your friends on Twitter and Facebook by clicking the tabs at the top of the page.

There are several other articles in this series covering design classics from other eras, they are available by clicking the titles of each feature below:

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