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Dollhouses

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.


Quick Facts

  • 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 working elevators

Recommended Items at Auction

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Vintage Schoenhut dollhouse
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Vintage Schoenhut dollhouse
by Millea Bros. Ltd.
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Greenleaf Unbuilt Harrison Dollhouse Kit
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Greenleaf Unbuilt Harrison Dollhouse Kit
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The Hall Family Pine Paint Decorated Dollhouse, Circa 1860
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The Hall Family Pine Paint Decorated Dollhouse, Circa 1860
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Puppenstube, 1. H. 20. Jh.
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Puppenstube, 1. H. 20. Jh.
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Kleine, limitierte Puppenstube "ADELE'S PUPPENHAUS" mit integrierter Spieluhr und Zubehör,
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Kleine, limitierte Puppenstube "ADELE'S PUPPENHAUS" mit integrierter Spieluhr und Zubehör,
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Village Houses
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Village Houses
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vintage South American diorama in box
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vintage South American diorama in box
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Playmobil Victorian Mansion Dollhouse
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Large vintage handmade cabin farm dollhouse
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Large vintage handmade cabin farm dollhouse
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Sellers Who Sell Dollhouses


Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

Millea Bros. Ltd.

Millea Bros. Ltd.

Auktionshaus Eppli

Auktionshaus Eppli

Sotheby's

Sotheby's