Dolls Houses Past and Present was set up in 2009 by Wendy Gater, a Vintage Dolls House and miniature collector.
Wendy is passionate about her hobby and knew that others were also. She found it frustrating not to be able to share her hobby with others, as she found there were only a few dolls house networks available. She also thought it would be nice for new vintage collectors to have somewhere to visit for information and to be able to have their questions answered.
After waiting and hoping for some time that a magazine would evolve to fill the empty void which she felt was very apparent she decided to launch this website and magazine, which she created for all collectors, from all walks of life, and for different collections and aspects of the hobby to be featured.
At the beginning of 2010 Wendy realised her personal circumstances were such that she could no longer afford the time and energy to run the site and passed the mantle to Anna-Maria Sviatko.
Anna-Maria became interested in dolls houses as a child, particularly representations of modern homes. She was mainly a creator working in 1/12th scale for many years until a fatefull day in March 2003, when she bought a 1975/ 78 Lundby house at a dolls shouse show and fulfilled one of her childhood dreams.
Since then Anna-Maria's collection of dolls houses has grown to include 16 houses from 1957 to 2007, mainly in 3/4" scale. In 2008/ 2009 her houses were exhibited at Canberra Museum and Gallery as part of their Cabinets of Curiosities exhibition prgramme and in April 2010 her collection featured on ABC TV's programme The Collectors.
Further information on Anna-Maria's collection can be found on her blog.
Anna-Maria is the creator and administrator of the FLICKR Modern Miniatures Group and has recently curated an exhibition called Call of the Small at Craft ACT: a 1/12th scale craft gallery containing miniature works from ten artisans, most of which have never worked in miniature before. This exhibition opened on August 12 2010.
In late 2010, Rebecca Green began assisting Anna-Maria with the DHPP magazine and in late 2011 took over ownership of the site.
Rebecca also lives in Australia, but 3000 km away; she and Anna-Maria first met in person at a dolls house fair in May 2012. Living in a remote city with no other dolls house collectors she knows of, Rebecca highly values the contact DHPP provides.
Rebecca's dolls house collection started in her childhood, over 40 years ago. Her Scottish grandmother, Jean Palmer, was a member of the Doll Club of Great Britain, and collected dolls houses, antique dolls and international dolls in the 1960s and 70s. Rebecca is even mentioned in an article by Nancy Bettesworth in the Winter 1973 issue of International Dolls House News as "the granddaughter in Australia who would inherit the house" which Nancy had just sold to Jean Palmer.
The 3 dolls houses intended for Rebecca and her sister were valued by Kay Desmonde for customs purposes, before making their way to Australia in about 1990, with their furnishings and inhabitants. In the late 90s, Rebecca started cleaning and trying to identify the houses and furnishings. The Cupboard House came with full provenance obtained by Nancy Bettesworth (and a write-up in Jean Latham's Dolls Houses - a Personal Choice when it was owned by Molly Fox). Rebecca discovered through C. E. King's A Collector's History of Dolls' Houses and correspondence with Marion Osborne, that the other two were early Lines houses. Cleaning and identifying led to buying more furnishings for those dolls houses, which in turn led to buying a vintage dolls house found locally, and then others from other parts of Australia and overseas. She now has 40+ dolls houses, dating from the mid 1800s to 2005, with a collection policy largely based on falling in love with a house, although Australian-made houses and those of architectural interest figure highly.
Rebecca has also researched her family history for over 30 years, and the first issue of the Dolls Houses Past and Present magazine inspired her to use her research skills and sources to discover more about makers of dolls houses and furnishings.
We're always looking for articles, features and photographs for the magazine. This is an opportunity for you to share information and photos of your dolls' houses and/or items from your collection. Your knowledge could inspire new Collectors to the hobby!
Also, if you encounter any dead links or typos we'd love to know.