A Collection Of Miniature Treasures Made By Bertha (Penrose) & Ralph Wright
It was the hand-painted dolls house furniture which had initially caught my eye on the online auction advert, in particular a sofa and armchair. It was difficult to assess the quality of them from simply the advert photos and I was rather sceptical with regards to the seller’s claim to the provenance. So, I was not overly excited whilst waiting for the furniture to appear in the post! But on their arrival, as soon as I began to unpack the very large parcel, it was unexpectedly obvious that the contents were rather special!
As well as design, intriguingly a lot of the items appeared quite unique in construction too. For instance, every single drawer had each been carved out of a single piece of wood. Usually the drawers of dolls house furniture are constructed from separate components. The sofa and armchair that had initially grabbed my attention in the advert photos, most certainly didn’t disappoint! I have never seen anything quite like them before in all my many years in the business! They too have each been carved out of a single block of wood; their framework is wonderfully shaped and detailed. Furthermore, they have tiny hand-painted identical flowers set out in staggered rows over a white painted background…simply stunning.
Ralph Wright and Bertha Wright made this dolls house furniture for Bertha’s two young daughters from her first marriage to Alexander Penrose. Later in her first marriage she had a well-documented affair with Bloomsbury author Clive Bell who was married to the famous Bloomsbury painter Vanessa Bell (sister to author Virginia Woolf). I understand that Bertha divorced Alexander in the late 1920s and then married Ralph.
For more details and further photographs, click on the following link and see my full article of Bertha and Ralph in the March to June 2016 issue of the website – Dolls Houses Past & Present website.