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CDHM The Miniature Way - History of Miniatures



History of dollhouses, Part III

History of dollhouses, Part III

In 1670, Petronella de la Court commissioned an eleven-room cabinet house which took twenty years to build. In 1686, while the first Petronella was probably still picking out wallpaper, Petronella Oortman started her four-year cabinet house project. Both of these houses were elaborate and detailed, and carefully scaled. There was not, however, a standardized scale followed by the cabinet house designers of the day, and the furnishings often included a combination of scales. Even today, scales vary with countries and types of miniatures.

One of the first houses not to be built as a cabinet is the Nuremberg House, dated 1673 and now on display at the Museum of Childhood in the United Kingdom. It consisted of only four rooms - two kitchens and two bedrooms - with a working front bell.

History of dollhouses, Part III   History of dollhouses, Part III

Upon closer inspection there are a few clues that give a picture of the family who originally owned the house. A unicorn (with a broken horn), signified the owner was an apothecary or chemist, and the picture of Martin Luther on the right hand door indicates their religious leanings.

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