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Miniature Dollhouse Furniture
Dollhouse furniture was first produced for the first dollhouses that were first made in the 16th century.
Furniture for these houses was ornate and idealized to fit the dreams of the individuals who owned the houses,
usually wealthy women. Furniture for these houses was made in many different scales and was not
Beginning in the 1800s, toy manufacturers began to make dollhouses for children rather than as displays for
adults. The furnishings for toy dollhouses were modeled after common items found in real houses, but were still
ornate in comparison. Many furnishings for 19th-century dollhouses were made of cast iron, as it was durable and
easy to mold. The J.E. Stevens Company of Connecticut manufactured cast-iron dollhouse furniture from 1867 to
1891. Other dollhouse pieces were made of wood, paper, and fabric.
Standard scales were introduced to dollhouses beginning in the 20th century. Toy dollhouses and furnishings for
children were usually manufactured in 1:18 scale, while collectors' dollhouses for adults were produced in 1:12
scale. Some smaller scales were used, such as the 1:24 scale used in the Marx metal dollhouses of the '50s. Modern
Barbie dollhouses are produced in 1:6 scale.
Two ornate styles of dollhouse furniture from the 1800s include the Biedermeier style from Germany,
produced beginning in the 1840s, and the Boulle style, names after French cabinet maker A.C. Boulle
American-made dollhouses and furnishings from the World War I era represented the bungalow style homes
that were mass produced and very popular during the same era
Plastic became the material of choice for dollhouse furniture during the '50s, as it could be molded in many
different styles and colors and used to mass produce pieces economically