It is with great sadness I found out the news that Kristin Baybars died in November last year. Anyone who has been involved in dolls houses & miniatures over the last 40 years will be aware of Kristin & her magical shop in North London. Kristin was one of the forerunners in the new wave of dolls house collecting in the 1970’s-80’s, opening her traditional toy shop that specialised in hand made miniatures.
She was a great supporter of all the incredible craftsmen, whose work we still admire today. She bought the 1st dolls houses made by Mulvany & Rogers for example & would buy work from Stokesay Ware & Country Treasures when they were first starting out. All the money she made in her shop went straight back into buying new incredible things for her Aladin’s Cave. She would encourage new makers (like David Ward) by buying their work & championing them.
Her shop, located in Gospel Oak, North London, looked like a traditional toy shop when you enter in through the portal, but if you were lucky enough to be invited through to the back of the shop by Kristin (only true miniatures lovers were allowed!) you discovered an incredible tiny world of beautiful dolls houses, & scenes by some of the best makers around.
Kristin never missed out shows until recently when her health prevented her from attending. She would arrive first thing in the morning & be there all day chatting with our exhibitors and buying their work for the shop. She always had a sparkle in her eyes as she looked around at the stands & wandered around the show.
I was lucky enough to spend time with Kristin about 5 years ago when I made a documentary about her life & work with my friend Fred Burns. We learnt all about her incredible life & spent time with her in the shop & her home. It is an intriguing look into her world & shows how much she loved her collection & her shop. You can now watch the full version of this film below.
The future of her shop is uncertain at the moment (it is currently closed) but we will keep you updated with any news in the future.