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Holiday Dollhouse Memories

The Holiday season brings out the joys of childhood in all of us. There is something magical about a dollhouse, especially one that is festively decorated. That was no doubt part of what inspired Captain Bob Tuma to build this finely detailed 3-story house in 1/12th scale (1 inch equals 12 inches). Another inspiration was the ability to display the collection of hand-crafted furniture and furnishings collected by his wife, Sibyl.

Captain Bob found time from piloting his charter fishing boat to build the colonial revival style house (with 16 rooms, including 5 bedrooms and a children's playroom) over a two-year period, working in the basement workshop of his Montauk home. Each room features an elaborate assortment of furniture, china, kitchen items and toys collected by Sibyl.

An artist, designer and, later, an antiques dealer, Sibyl created a collection of miniature paintings, books and hand-sewn clothes and rugs for the house. She also reproduced vintage wallpaper to decorate the walls.

The miniature world was also a joy for the Tuma’s two daughters, Debbie and Wendy. As a Holiday tradition, the daughters would add to their mother's growing collection.

Every home needs a family, so the Roberts family (a collection of 1/12th scale dolls named after Captain Bob) moved in. The Roberts lived in the house until it was donated to the Southampton Museum by Debbie and Wendy. It is a reminder of the joy of the Holiday season and the pleasure of family traditions.



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