Sheridan Parsons, Teasmades and a doll’s house
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