The first episode of the new season of Antiques Roadshow last Sunday featured an item which has been described as being “of national importance”.
The episode of the popular BBC TV show was filmed in Gloucestershire, at Tewkesbury Abbey, where the antique dolls’ house was discovered. Fergus Gambon, the son of actor Sir Michael Gambon, realised that the item was special as he recognised the dolls from photos he had seen in a 1950s book. The expert went on to describe the dolls’ house as being “unique” and “one of the most important baby houses in existence”.
The house was made in 1705 for a Miss E Westbrook, and has been passed down through generations of the family. However, the dolls’ house was so fragile that it was not possible to take it to the antiques event, so the TV producers decided to go to the owners home and film it there, which is the first time they have done so. The dolls’ house was made on the Isle of Dogs, and is in good condition, according to Gambon, with the dolls still wearing their original clothing.
“The extraordinary thing about the Westbrook is the fact that its remained in the family since it was made, and it is essentially a little time capsule.”
The dolls’ house has been valued at over £150,000, and would no doubt complement any room that contained antique bedroom furniture, particularly from the pre-Victorian era.
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