Inside the Collection

The Bosdyk Dolls House- part one

Bosdyk Dollhouse showing miniature rooms and figures within
Photography by Sotha Bourn © Powerhouse Museum, all rights reserved.

Fallen in love with this dolls house yet? Just wait, you will!

Let me introduce you to one of the latest objects to join the Powerhouse Museum collection, the Bosdyk Dolls House, a unique example of the art of the miniature.

The house was built and decorated by Frans and Christina Bosdyk over a period from 1997 to 2006. They estimated that they spent 15,000 hours and many thousands of dollars of materials on the work. Frans is a skilled electrical instrument maker who can turn his hand to any material with great precision, in fact he made most of the furniture inside the dolls house. Christina was closely involved with all construction decisions, sourced miniature items, decided where everything went and chose interior decor, wallpaper and dolls.

The Bosdyk dolls house competes with the very best in the tradition of Dutch dolls’ houses, renowned in the seventeenth century for their style and extraordinary attention to detail. That this should have been made in Australia is unusual and the Bosdyk’s eight years’ dedication to the project is an extraordinary achievement. The story is one of Dutch migrants bringing the very best of their traditional culture and skills to Australia.

This most rare acquisition is an important affirmation of the wonderful skills and contributions made by migrants to Australia. It will undoubtedly bring joy and wonder to countless visitors to the Museum when it goes on display.

This post is the first in a series that will take readers on a journey into the house, to see some of its hidden treasures and perfect details. Stay tuned, in the mean time here are some teasers:

“The kitchen”

‘Grandma invites a friend for tea”

Lindie Ward
Curator of decorative arts

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