Doll's house auctioned for £42,000
A beautiful Victorian doll's house made by a couple for their daughter 160 years ago has sold at auction for £42,410.
Experts predicted that the house, which features traditional furnishings, would fetch between £10,000 and £15,000.
The house was made by a husband and wife known only as Mr and Mrs Newton, of Liverpool, for their daughter Emma, then aged six, in 1850.
Lawyer Mr Newton, an amateur carpenter, designed and crafted most of the furniture and the house itself.
Mrs Newton made the bedclothes and all the furnishing of the miniature property, which are all to scale.
Children have played with the house and its detailed contents for the past 100 years. The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, has owned the house since the early 1970s.
Chorley's auctioneers, near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, sold the items as a single lot through the tender process to prevent the house and contents from being separated.
Speaking after the sale, Simon Chorley, on behalf of the vendor and auctioneers, said he is pleased with the sale.
"We are thrilled with the outcome as the new owner has made provision, through the tender, to prevent the doll's house and original contents from being split up in future years," Mr Chorley said.
The doll's house has an entrance hall with a kitchen and laundry room on the ground floor, complete with tiny crockery and pet dog.
On the first floor, figures can be seen relaxing in two elaborate reception rooms furnished with gold-framed artwork and a miniature chandelier.
Bedrooms on the second floor have matching bedclothes, while two cots have pristine white blankets tucked around them.
The doll house's attic features two extra bedrooms, with canopies over the beds.
A spokeswoman for Chorley's said: "It includes many very rare items such as an intriguing Schoenhut circus, a French papier mache Punch and Judy, rare bisque and other French, German and English dolls, early tin plate toys including a working model of Bleriot's plane with original cardboard propeller and beautiful sets of miniature figures, possibly by Hyde.
The dolls, china, utensils and some elaborate furniture were mass produced in Switzerland and Germany and added to the house during holidays abroad by the Newton family.
It was moved to Askham Richard in Yorkshire when Emma Newton married the Rev Usher Miles and it was played with by their five daughters.
On the death of her husband in 1912, Mrs Miles moved to Cheltenham where the dolls house remained until her death in 1931.
Her second son, Dr William Miles in Bewdley, Worcestershire, then looked after the house until his death in 1953 when it was given to his eldest daughter, Pauline Taylor.
The house was then passed to the present owner.
"Almost all the toy collection is in original condition and was collected to create a toy museum which, unfortunately, never happened but the boxes and boxes of children's playthings, housed by this collector for over half a century, would have been played with by children for the past 100 years," the Chorley's spokeswoman said.