From time to time International Freight Solutions receive some interesting enquiries. One such request was to have a very old dolls house shipped door-to-door from Doncaster, South Yorkshire to Illinois, USA.

Our customer, Ann, was not sure if it would be cost effective or even viable to send such a delicate item around the world. After researching her options via Google Ann came across IFS and decided to use our services to handle the shipment.

The journey of the dolls house began as we arrived at Ann’s house to temporarily wrap up the fragile item and transport it to our packing department.

The next step was to build a bespoke Wooden Case complete with soft internal packing materials. From here the package was loaded and sealed before the shipment continued its journey by road and air freight over the Atlantic.

On arriving in the USA all paperwork was approved and customs clearances were successful, enabling the shipment to complete its journey to Ann’s cousin Alison in Northfield, Illinois.

The Origins of the Dolls House

The dolls house was made for Ann Elizabeth daughter of Harry and Audrey Woodruff, sister to Brenda Harrington, mother of Alison Matthews.

The first photo of the dolls’ house is dated 1964 on Anns’ third birthday. The house was made by Anns’ godfather Harry Kinnear.

The house was supplied in kit form and made by a British company Triang. It is likely to have been made from Birch plywood. The electric lighting was part of the kit and runs using a transformer.

Ann was always told to play with it carefully. Some furniture came with the house and Ann received more as gifts. All the furniture was manufactured in Great Britain though it would not pass the required standards for toys today.

Ann retained ownership and when she married it went with her. It was stored in the loft for several years and due to changes in temperature the condition deteriorated. Ann located a specialist restorer in the early 2000’s. The buckled windows were fixed and painted, carpet put down in the bedrooms and the corroded electric cable replaced.

Alison remembered the dolls’ house from her childhood visit to Ann and her parents. When Alison visited Ann in October 2021 they agreed that Alison would take ownership of the dolls’ house for her family. The challenge was how to get it to Alison due to its age, history, size and weight. It needed to be a door to door service.

Ann located a firm based in Sheffield, International Freight Solutions Ltd. Due to the bespoke nature; “the company went ‘the extra mile’ to ensure that it was well looked after during its journey to its new home.”


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