Homes for tiny people
18 beautiful doll's houses
18 beautiful doll's houses
As a child in 1980s Britain, several books and TV shows captured my imagination with their little people and tiny houses. Bagpuss. Tottie - the Story of a Doll’s House. And my very favourite, The Borrowers. Imagine being so small, the whole world being so big. I imagined these people existed, under my floorboards, amongst my toys.
My dolls came alive when I wasn’t looking. By extension, I just love doll’s houses. Being able to see into a whole building is really rather voyeuristic. Like walking down a residential street at dusk, the front rooms brightly lit but the curtains not yet drawn - a brief glimpse into strangers’ lives. But with a doll’s house, you don’t just see it, you get to control it. Every room, every character. And you see everything that goes on - the wealthy lords and ladies up in the drawing room and the lowly cooks and maids below stairs - it’s all a bit Downton Abbey.
And all those tiny pieces of furniture. How do fat-fingered grown-up human beings even make them? Maybe it’s part of the training programme to become a keyhole surgeon? I mean, look at these minute baskets - who can weave that small?
On Europeana, I’ve found some really beautiful and clearly well-loved doll’s houses along with some gorgeous furniture, crockery, dolls and clothes to match. I love the old-fashioned ones the best, like this lovely highchair and what’s billed as ‘the world’s smallest medicine chest’.
I was also quite amused to find some sixties-inspired doll’s house furniture - like a pink toilet (we have one just like it in our real house!), a plastic dining set, and retro white dresser.
Here’s a collection of beautifully crafted doll’s houses that you can find on Europeana. I love these ones because the quality of the photographs is so good - particularly those from Deventer Musea, Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum.
Kleding van popjes uit poppenhuis. Source: Amsterdam Museum, CC BY Poppenhuis met miniatuurzilver. Source: Amsterdam Museum, CC BY Poppenhuis met inventaris. Source: Deventer Musea, CC BY-SA Doll’s house kitchen with 45 miniatures. Source: Rijksmuseum, public domain Mansion Style Doll House : Do-it-yourself Toymaster. Source: Spielzeugmuseum Nürnberg, CC BY-NC-SA Dolls’ House of Petronella Oortman. Source: Rijksmuseum, public domain Twaalf poppenhuiskamers. Source: Deventer Musea, CC BY-SA Poppenhuis van twee kamers. Source: Museum Rotterdam, CC BY Poppenhuis op tafel. Source: Amsterdam Museum, CC BY Poppenhuis met klokgevel. Source: Deventer Musea, CC BY Poppenhuis "Ria". Source: Museum Rotterdam, CC BY Dolls’ house of Petronella Oortman. Source: Rijksmuseum, public domain Poppenkamer. Source: Amsterdam Museum, CC BY Dolls’ house of Petronella Dunois. Source: Rijksmuseum, public domain Poppenhuis met inhoud. Source: Deventer Musea, CC BY-SA Poppenhuis met kruidenierswinkel. Source: Deventer Musea, CC BY-SA Poppenhuis met meubeltjes. Source: Deventer Musea, CC BY-SA Poppenhuis met inhoud. Source: Deventer Musea, CC BY-SA