Sheri­dan Par­sons, Teas­mades and a doll’s house

Country Life Every Week - - Interiors -

Not long af­ter Sheri­dan Par­sons bought her­self a vin­tage Teas­made ma­chine in 1993, she came across one that she pre­ferred and bought that one, too. Seven­teen years later, she had amassed more than 170. ‘I got so caught up in them that I couldn’t let go,’ she ad­mits. ‘The tea-mak­ing as­pect never in­ter­ested me —it was the de­signs and the sto­ries be­hind the in­ven­tors.’

Now, how­ever, she’s run out of stor­age space in her garage and is sell­ing her col­lec­tion on Ebay—the rarest, a 1932 Ab­solom, is listed for £500. ‘I’ve in­vested in a doll’s house in­stead,’ she re­veals. ‘It’s the per­fect col­lec­tion for me as it’s com­pletely con­tain­able.’

Miss Par­sons bought two houses be­fore set­tling on a 1964 sub­ur­ban villa, which she’s fur­nish­ing with items made by A. E. Twiggs, the joiner and toy manufacturer.

He be­gan mak­ing doll’s houses and minia­ture fur­ni­ture in the 1940s for of­fi­cers at RAF Fighter Com­mand at Bent­ley Pri­ory, Mid­dle­sex, when he was suf­fer­ing from a ner­vous break­down fol­low­ing ser­vice in the Air Raid Pre­cau­tions in Lon­don. Af­ter the war, his wife, Rona, took ex­am­ples of his fur­ni­ture to Har­rods, Sel­f­ridges and John Lewis, all of which agreed to stock it.

Miss Par­sons’s doll’s house is a work in progress, but she’s al­ready tracked down a grand piano, a kitchen set and a rose-pink bath­room suite. ‘It’s mass-pro­duced, but in the way things were in the old days,’ she smiles. ‘And there’s a lim­ited range. Once you’ve bought ev­ery­thing, that’s it.’

Sheri­dan Par­sons has been fur­nish­ing her sub­ur­ban-villa doll’s house with items made by A. E. Twiggs

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