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Antique Doll Houses

Updated on January 10, 2015
Peep into a delightful Antique Doll House
Peep into a delightful Antique Doll House

Marvelous Miniatures

I've always had a place for dollhouses in my heart but how I would love to have just one poppenhuis from 18th century Amsterdam!

At that time wealthy ladies in Holland, England and Germany.displayed beautifully-crafted miniature houses filled with diminutive furniture down to rich carpet, lush wallpaper and light fittings.

Not just delicately carved chairs and couches but lilliputian cabinets stacked with china dinner settings.

Graceful, grand and gorgeous.

Sara Ploos van Amstel's Poppenhuis

Sara Ploos van Amstel's 17th century DollHouse
Sara Ploos van Amstel's 17th century DollHouse

Sara Ploos van Amstel of Amsterdam was one of the wealthy ladies who commissioned lovely poppenhuizen. This one is dated 1743.

Petronella Oortman's Dollhouse

Petronella Oortman's 17th century DollHouse
Petronella Oortman's 17th century DollHouse

18th century Doll's House

Eighteenth-century dollhouses weren't toys for children. This one certainly wasn't!

The photo above shows one of three dollhouses commissioned by Petronella Oortman, a wealthy lady of Amsterdam.

Petronella ordered miniature porcelain objects from China and commissioned furniture makers and artists to decorate the interior. It was incredibly expensive to create a model house of such magnificence and this one would have cost about thirty thousand guilders. Petronella would have been able to buy a real house along one of the canals for that price.

A Closer Look at the Doll Furniture

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Antique Baby Houses

In the 1600s, middle class women displayed "baby houses" to their guests These weren't small scale houses, but cabinet display cases made up of rooms.built with precise detail and filled with miniature household items. They were worth the price of a full size house, and most usually owned by wealthy women living in Holland, England and Germany.

It was not the small scale house that was preferred, it was the perfect little furniture, the fittings and porcelain that really took the limelight.

Wonderfully Crafted Interiors

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Dolls Houses at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Amy Miles' House - 1890Killer Cabinet House 1835-1838Three Devonshire Villas - 1900Tate Baby House About 1760Mrs Hibberd's dolls' house, about 1800
Amy Miles' House - 1890
Amy Miles' House - 1890
Killer Cabinet House 1835-1838
Killer Cabinet House 1835-1838
Three Devonshire Villas - 1900
Three Devonshire Villas - 1900
Tate Baby House About 1760
Tate Baby House About 1760
Mrs Hibberd's dolls' house, about 1800
Mrs Hibberd's dolls' house, about 1800

American Dollhouse Museum

American Dollhouse Museum
American Dollhouse Museum

The Great American Dollhouse Museum

Unlike the traditional museum of cases with displays, The Great American Dollhouse Museums' village unfurls its neighborhoods, streets, rural lands and forests in a vast, continuous landscape.

Representing an American yesteryear of about 1900, the hundreds of antique and artisan-sculpted, historically-dressed citizens interact with family, friends and business associates as would any townspeople.

From the Shaker Settlement to the formal gardens of the Grand Hotel, The Great American Dollhouse Museum has as wide a range of neighborhoods as America itself.

Every dollhouse is open in back so you can see all the furnishings, people, pets, and décor.

The Great American Dollhouse Museum

© 2007 Susanna Duffy

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 months ago from Central Florida

      I'd love to see these in real life. Years ago, I collected some miniature furniture but never did get a dollhouse to display it in. The pieces are packed away on a top shelf in my closet. Maybe it's time to liberate them.

    • mrsclaus411 profile image


      5 years ago

      I love them. They're so adorable.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I soooo badly want some of these for my home made "dutch cabinet' style dolls house - so beautiful!

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent lens ! I remember having had a doll house, made by my grandfather, it had everything in it but I never knew what the house became nor where it went: trash for sure.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I always wanted a dollhouse and I finally got one for Christmas. Unfortunately, the Santa that visited our house didn't have much money, so I got a little three room one story metal house. I played with a lot though. The doll house museum looks fantastic. Maybe I'll get too see it some day.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      8 years ago from Concord VA

      I loved my dollhouse when I was a child, and spent many hours playing with it. Wish I still had it. It's so amazing how anyone can make the small furniture. Love you lens!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Those dollhouses are beautiful. I remember having a pretty big one when I was a child, and I was much more interested in decorating than I was in the dolls. Hmm, I wonder what ever happened to that. I think I returned from summer camp once and it was gone. :( I think I'll ask my mom about it. Her short-term memory isn't so great anymore, but long-term is still well intact, so I'll be she'll remember that doll house.


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