Sheffield doll’s house built by World War I soldier up for auction

Hansons' employee Karl Martin with Peace Villa

Hansons' employee Karl Martin with Peace Villa

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A doll’s house built during World War One by a soldier using materials from Zeppelin bomb sites n Sheffield is set to fetch £1,500 at auction.

The German doll’s house, called Peace Villa, will be auctioned in Derbyshire almost 100 years after it was constructed in 1916.

Peace Villa

Peace Villa

Mystery surrounds the soldier who built the house – which is expected to fetch between £1,000 and £1,500.

All that is known about him is that was lodging with the Smith family in Sheffield in 1916 and stayed with them for a number of years.

The house was built using materials from Zeppelin bomb sites in the Sheffield Park area of the city, sometime after the first air raid on September 25, 1916.

A spokesman for Hansons Auctioneers, who is selling the hose, said: “It is simply constructed out of wood, metal and glass.

Peace Villa

Peace Villa

“The three-storey house, with bay window and garden, comes complete with furniture and old photographs hanging on the walls.

“It is a typical late Victorian mid-terrace or suburban villa house – similar to the house lived in by the Smiths.”

The Smith family was made up of parents Thomas and Mary Jane and their two young daughters, Edith and Florence, who were aged six and eight when the soldier came to stay with them.

It is thought the anonymous soldier made the house for the youngsters to play with and to give them comfort and distraction from life in Sheffield during the war.

Smith family photos

Smith family photos

The doll’s house has remained in the Smith family since then and when Edith and Florence died within three days of each other in 1998, it was passed to another member of the family.

The house will be auctioned in the militaria auction on Monday, August 24, in Etwall, Derbyshire.

n For more information on the auction, contact the saleroom on 01283 733988 or email militaria@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk

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