A dolls' house provides a surprisingly accurate glimpse into the world in which it was created. It can reflect many aspects of the way that people lived at the time, from furniture and decorative styles through to gradual changes in class structure. Consequently they remain prized by educationalists, psychologists, designers, collectors and children today.
The earliest known dolls' house was made in Bavaria in the mid-sixteenth century. Like most of those built in the following 250 years, it was designed not to be played with, but to be a perfect representation in miniature of a princely house, and to reflect the wealth of the owner. Although children began to play with dolls' houses during the eighteenth century, they remained primarily made for adults. It was only in the nineteenth century that they finally also became children's toys. This book outlines the history of these intriguing little buildings, with illustrations of some of the finest examples ever created.