‘The Gilded Age’ on HBO Presents a Dollhouse by NB’s Flip This Dollhouse

NEW BEDFORD – A New Bedford dollhouse will be transported at the end of the 19th century for the next HBO series “The Golden Age”.

“It was exciting,” said Nathaniel Ellis, 37, owner of Flip that dollhouse located on the second floor of Kilburn Mill.

In March 2021, Ellis said he received a phone call from assistant decorator Amanda Finnegan, who was looking for a large Victorian-style dollhouse to use for a production shoot in Newport. on the golden age.

Ellis said he put the pieces together. “I was panicking, but I tried to play it cool,” he said.

The series, created by Julian Fellowes of “Downton Abbey” was one of Ellis’ favorite TV shows. “I was looking at him and dressing dolls,” he said.

“I would take a porcelain doll, the size of a dollhouse, and watch the show, see a dress, then try to recreate it in miniature with similar fabrics, trims and lace. “

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A version of this dollhouse will be featured in the upcoming HBO series, "Golden age."

According to IMDb.com, “The Gilded Age” tells the story of a wide-eyed young descendant of a conservative family who sets out on a mission to infiltrate the wealthy neighboring clan dominated by the ruthless railroad magnate George Russell, his son. cheeky, Larry, and his ambitious wife, Bertha.

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The series stars Cynthia Nixon, Taissa Farmiga, Christine Baranski, Morgan Spector and Bill Irwin.

Ellis said Finnegan visited his 5,000 square foot shop and purchased a Second Empire Victorian mansion from his museum for $ 2,500.

“There is electricity and there are real paintings in every room, paintings like copies of Renoir and Monet,” he said.

Inside one of Flip this Dollhouse's dollhouses in New Bedford.

Due to an agreement with the production team, Ellis cannot share photos of the purchased dollhouse ahead of the series premiere on January 24. However, he currently has a similarly styled home in his shop to tease on social media.

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Ellis added that he had heard that the show was filmed in the Chateau-sur-Mer in Newport which has a look similar to the dollhouse. However, the set will appear in bedroom scenes filmed indoors. The Elm Manor.

In addition, Finnegan purchased furniture from New Bedford Antiques at The Creek.

Ellis says he’s happy to be a part of “The Gilded Age” as he hopes it will remind people to support small businesses as well.

“It’s always something that I think people don’t think about enough,” he added.

Flip this Dollhouse owner Nathaniel Ellis poses with some of his homes.

Dollhouses featured in other productions

Ellis says that since opening his business 11 years ago, he has occasionally rented dollhouses at a few different productions in the past.

There was a music video shot in Boston that was renting a few houses.

Two years ago there was a staging at Formerly Stoneham Theater In Boston about the famous sex therapist Dr Ruth, titled “Becoming Dr Ruth”.

Inside Flip this dollhouse located on the second floor of Kilburn Mill in New Bedford.

“Dollhouses bring so much joy to people,” Ellis said. “It’s about handmade wooden crafts. It’s nostalgia. It’s its architecture, its interior decoration.”

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Ellis said he had been in love with dollhouses for 20 years. “I just started collecting dollhouses, repairing and returning them … then decorating them, setting them up perfectly.”

Ellis, who is an interior designer, said it is one of the very few dollhouse stores in the country. “There were a lot of others. But what happened was it was a pretty big hobby in the ’70s and’ 80s. And then in the ’90s electronics took over. relay.”

Increased interest in dollhouses during the pandemic

However, during the pandemic, Ellis noticed increased interest in his shop. He thinks it’s because people walked into hobby at home during quarantine.

“I’ve noticed these kinds of spikes and drops and spikes in COVID… my sales too. “

Inside Flip this dollhouse located on the second floor of Kilburn Mill in New Bedford.

Last month, Ellis got a call from a production company that produces reality shows for cable and broadcast platforms such as Netflix.

He says they’re interested in doing a show on his store.

“It’s nothing official yet, we’re just talking, but it could be life changing,” he said.

Standard-Times writer Seth Chitwood can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.

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