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Life’s little pleasures: a mini history of the doll’s house

Europe Renaissance

What of the origins of doll’s houses? Where does the interest come from – for our children to love to play with them, for so many adults to love to collect exquisite miniatures like this?

Dutch cabinet dollhouse of Petronella de la Court, Amsterdam 1670-1690

Well, it seems to have begun as far back as the mid sixteenth century when Albert V, Duke of Bavaria, commissioned a copy of his own home to be craftedandthen displayed as a show of his wealth and eminence.In later centuries more and more scaled down copies of real homes were exhibited as display cases to be filled with objects of aspiration, with many of the finest examples costing as much to create as a full-sized residence.

A 17th centuryNuremberg, Germanydollhouse

Only in the Victorian era were the houses used as playthings – albeit being limited to those children whose families were rich…

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