Crowding the Parlour

 
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Photograph
Doll house, photographed for Captain Howard, Montreal, QC, 1873-74
William Notman (1826-1891)
1873-1874, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
17.8 x 12.7 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
I-96789.1
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Miscellaneous (671) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Special toys represent a microcosm of daily life. This doll's house, photographed for Captain Howard around 1873-74, is divided into four main rooms: the kitchen, dining room, parlour and bedroom or play room. The open front has four windows decorated with lace-like curtains, similar to those in the music room seen earlier. There are miniature mirrors on the sideboard and dresser, metal kitchen implements hanging on the wall and centrally suspended lights. Doll's houses give children ideas about how the domestic interior should be arranged and decorated, but are also owned as adult amusements.

References
Edward Gelles, Nursery Furniture (London: Constable, 1982), p. 134.

  • What

    This is a four-room doll's house. The front opens with two doors. The roof has two gables, chimneys, a widow's walk and a flag.

  • Where

    The photograph was taken in a Montreal studio.

  • When

    The photograph was shot in 1873-74, along with another that shows the house with its doors closed.

  • Who

    The house was photographed for Captain Howard of Montreal.