|'Hove Villa' - 1909 Lines Bros. Ltd. dolls' house|
Call us, if you must, Peter Pan. Or, simply, if you wish, Kiddies at heart. Or, believe us to have been deprived as children. But, whatever, neither of us, and not out of lack of want, ever owned a dolls' house. That is, until now.
Purchased privately, and delivered to the door, the latest addition to our Brighton 'rooms' is a 1909 Lines Bros. dolls' house complete with window glass, period fireplaces and original 'brick' paper. Hove Villa, as we have named it [Kemp Town, where we are, not having quite the same ring] is of very good provenance.
|the interior of 'Hove Villa'|
G. and J. Lines Ltd. began the manufacture of children's toys in or around 1876. By the end of the Great War in 1918 the second generation of three brothers, then named Lines Bros. Ltd., developed the brand 'Triang', the success of which resulted in their becoming in the 1930s the largest producers of children's toys in the world. Deemed neither a protected nor an essential industry during the 1939 - 1945 War, when the factory concentrated on the making of machine guns, production declined in the years thereafter and by 1971 'Triang' had finally closed its doors, calling in the Official Receiver.
|interior view of the kitchen at 'Hove Villa'|
And that could well be the end of the story. But not quite for our friend, Jeremy, now over 80 years is, intriguingly, the surviving grandson of one of the original company founders. Following a working life of designing yachts for the boat builders, Camper Nicholson, grown up toys here, he is nowadays most often to be found aboard his own boat sailing the Solent.
|a Lines Bros. Ltd advertisement of 1923|
Meanwhile, on shore in the Never Never Land, the hunt for furniture is on!