Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bijou Dollshouses, Braintree, Essex

This post is coming to you via an unexpected internet hotspot in our cottage in Lavenham, Suffolk :)  More photos from Lavenham in a later post, but I wanted to share with you today's trip to Bijou Dollshouses in Braintree.

This tiny shop is located in a craft centre outside Braintree in Essex.  It is very, very small, but everything in it is really good quality.

Bijou carries a wonderful line of 1:12 Tudor furniture by craftsman Tom Burchmore, and I was coveting a 6.5 inch long table with barley twist legs I had seen on the website, for the William and Mary House.  In the photo above you can see the short one on the bottom level and the really, really long one on the top -- the very kind saleswoman finally found the medium one in one of the gorgeous Tudor dolls houses :)  Hooray!

I wish I had taken more photos of the dollshouse pictured above.  It was absolutely gorgeous -- inspirational, beautifully-made -- and on sale for 1100.00 GBP :)

I adore the way this one has been finished.  It's a very East Anglian construction -- brick with flint infill -- and amazingly the finish is totally done in paint.  It's a bravura piece of trompe l'oeil painting.  I want one of my houses to be finished this way, although I'll probably use actual stones to represent the flint.

And here's what I bought!  Here's the table, with the pewter I picked up -- the large pitcher is by Warwick miniatures, and the two tankards, the flagon and two plates are old stock by St Justin Pewter in Cornwall.  In the second photo you can see a Warwick miniatures tea caddy and a griddle by (I think) The Village Wheelwright.  Really nice pieces.

And here's a nice pair of firedogs.

The last of my purchases today were four kits by McQueenie Miniatures.

These three are for Mum's roombox.  A side chair and a dressing table, that I will use for a desk under the window.  And a lovely bookcase.

I also splurged on an aumbry kit for the Tudor castle. All of  the McQueenie kits are mahogany, so I'll have to finish it in a way that disguises the colour of the wood, but I really, really wanted an aumbry and this kit has all the twiddly gothic cut-outs already done :)

What a lovely day!


  1. Hey Nina, nice to read a new report on your trip!:) You really had a great day! The shop and the minis in it look so nice! You bought another lot of treasures - love the table and the pewter stuff! Have great days in England!

  2. Nina,

    I know where you are! :o) I used to live in both Suffolk and Essex it seems strange to see places where I once lived! lol It looks like you are having a wonderful holiday overhere. Too bad the weather's not so nice now. ;o(

    You bought some wonderful mini's too! WOW! :o))

    I have a number of Warwick Miniatures and I have a few websites that sell their items.
    The Village Wheelwright also as a website if you want it.

    I have made a lot of McQueenie kits and they are great once made up. I find mahogany extremely hard going, it takes forever to rub down (as it's so hard) and it has a tendency to warp. :o(

    Continue to have a great time! :o))
    Michelle xxx

  3. Wonderful stuff, I love those Tudor furnitures, fabulous! And your shopping has been great!

    Have fun :)


  4. Thanks, guys!

    Ewa -- it was a wonderful day!

    Michelle -- It must be a little odd seeing a tourist visit places you know so well :) I've seen the metalwork for sale on various sites, but it was great to be able to touch and see them in person before buying :) Also, there's that instant gratification, isn't there, of just picking something out! Thanks for the tips about the kits :)

    Ira -- I'm really pleased with the things I've bought. Can't wait to get them home and in place!

  5. I love all the beautiful things you bought.

    What a great trip combining family, sight seeing and miniatures!

    I adore both of those wonderful dollhouses. I also wish you had taken lots more picture of both of them.

    Thank you for sharing your trip. I have enjoyed it so much.

    I think the McQueenie kits are great!!! I have bought a few of them. I never mind sanding wood. After metal it's not a big deal. I haven't had them warp on me. I just used tung oil on them and spray varnish. Be sure to burn your rags when you finish if you use tung oil. Never just throw them away. They can ignite in the trash.

  6. Love all the pewter ware ! These will be so useful for me much later on when the other houses are built. I love that in every little places , there's a quaint and charming little dollhouse shop. What a treat! I would spend the whole afternoon there browsing and having tea! :)

  7. I'm glad you are having such a fantastic holiday, you've chosen your stop points well & bought some lovely items :o)
    Ive got a few pieces from Tom Burchmore in my skool of majick, one of my favourite pieces of his is my long dining table, he's a nice guy too if you ever get to meet him at shows.
    My parcel arrived on Saturday :o) thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, your pieces are even nicer than in the photo :o) x

  8. Nina, how wonderful! The table is an absolute beauty, perfect! Even the pewter objects are excellent: the small jar with lid was going to send it to you then I have chosen something else, for luck ... The shop is another heaven on earth, do you? I'm so happy these updates make me dream of places where the doll houses are a reality!

  9. Me alegro que hayas disfrutado de estas vacaciones.
    Has comprado verdaderos tesoros.
    Gracias por compartir tu viaje
    besitos ascension

  10. Oh! I am drooling over the Tudor furniture! I would have curled up and died to see that much in a store! Here in the US, it is a scare as hens teeth! Do you have more pictures of the Tudor dollhouse? I would love to see them!
    Your purchases are wonderful!


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