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The earliest known dollhouse dates back to 1557. Called the Munich Baby House, the dollhouse was made for
Albert V, the Duke of Bavaria. These early dollhouses were not made as children's toys, but instead considered
works of art constructed for the pleasure of wealthy adults. Many dollhouses are exact miniature replicas of the
wealthy person's own home.
Antique dollhouses are very detailed and accurate. They reflect the lifestyle and interests of the person for
whom the house was made. Valuable materials were used in construction including ivory, porcelain, and silver.
Details are exact, including replicas of the books in a person's library and the dishes in the cabinets. Some
dollhouses even have tiny bottles of real wine in the wine cellar.
Prior to World War I, most dollhouses were made in Germany. After the war, the TynieToy company of
Providence, Rhode Island made dollhouses modeled after American houses. After World War II, toy dollhouses
were mass produced using cheap materials, making them more affordable. Today, dollhouses are sold readymade,
as build-it-yourself kits, or as custom dollhouses. Some people build their own dollhouses from scratch using their
own designs and materials.
The first dollhouses were called baby houses. These dollhouses have the appearance of a decorative
wooden cabinet on the outside, but they open up to reveal a tiny replica of the owner's home
Nuremburg was the center of dollhouse production prior to World War I. Paris, England, and the Netherlands
were also known for their dollhouses
The most famous dollhouse is Queen Mary's dollhouse, made for the English Queen Mary as a birthday present.
The dollhouse was constructed between 1921 and 1924 and is a 1:12 scale replica of an aristocratic home. The
dollhouse is the largest in the world and includes electricity, hot and cold running water, flushing toilets, and