Sheffield doll’s house built by World War I soldier is bought by mystery buyer

Hanson's employee Karl Martin with Peace Villa
Hanson's employee Karl Martin with Peace Villa
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A doll’s house built by a soldier during World War One using materials from Zeppelin bomb sites in Sheffield has been sold.

An anonymous buyer has purchased the German doll’s house, called Peace Villa, for £1,000 after it failed to sell at auction.

Hansons Auctioneers were disappointed after the house, built in 1916, failed to attract the reserve price at an auction in Derbyshire last month.

However, a UK buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, has since contacted the auctioneers and offered to pay £1,000 for the house.

A spokesman for Hansons Auctioneers said: “The doll’s house sold to a UK private buyer for £1,000.

“The buyers wants to remain anonymous.

“Often when items don’t sell at action people call and put in their best offers.

“We’re thrilled it has gone to a good home. It’s a wonderful item with lots of history.”

Mystery surrounds the solider who built the house. All that is known about him is that he was lodging with the Smith family in Sheffield in 1916 and stayed with them for a number of years.

The house was built using shards of glass and wood from Zeppelin bomb sites in the Sheffield Park area of the city, some time after the first air raid on September 25, 1916. In that year, German Navy Zeppelins dropped around 20 bombs on the city, killing 28 people and demolishing nine homes and a chapel.

The house was built for the family’s two young daughters, Edith and Florence, who were aged six and eight when the soldier came to stay with them.

It remained in the 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.


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