Visitors both young and young-at-heart to the Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden in Alexandria, Va., have for many years enjoyed the distinctive collection of historic and modern dollhouses on display in the museum’s attic. Now just in time for holiday shopping, this recently deaccessioned dollhouse collection will be sold at auction by The Potomack Company Dec. 11.
Lee-Fendall House Executive Director Tracy Sullivan says the museum has enjoyed displaying the dollhouses for over 30 years. “It is a wonderfully diverse collection of dollhouses. However, the Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden is dedicated to interpreting the historic house as a Lee family home of the 1850-1870 period. So that we may focus on stewarding our core collection, the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to deaccession these dollhouses.”
The collection of 26 dollhouses primarily from the late 19th and 20th centuries includes both electrified houses and earlier vintage models in a wide range of architectural styles. The houses are embellished with miniature furnishings, accessories and dolls. Two unique examples are the 19th century slave shanty complete with African-American figures and an early 20th century Tramp Art model.
Step back in time with your child at the gallery Dec. 5 at 1:30 for a guided tour of the dollhouses from the upcoming auction and enjoy a sweet holiday cookie treat while learning about Sunday toys and seeing an example of a church dollhouse along with the other dollhouses, garden ornaments and whirligigs.
The dollhouses were originally gifted from two different donors to the Lee-Fendall House, and the museum created a display gallery for them in the attic of the historic house even though the rest of the museum was interpreted to an earlier time period.
The dollhouses will be on view at The Potomack Company’s gallery beginning Dec. 4 at 526 North Fayette Street in Old Town Alexandria, Va. For additional information, please call 703-684-4550.
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