Old doll's houses


More showpiece than toy
The history of doll’s houses extends back to the 16th century: Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria ordered a miniature copy of his royal residence. This sumptuous and unique piece was a miniature work of art and not intended to be used for play, but to demonstrate the owner’s prestige. Rich patrician families adopted the idea in the 17th and 18th centuries and had copies made of their houses.

Serial production of doll’s houses began in the second half of the 19th century. Wealthy families now began to instrumentalise doll’s houses to prepare their children for their later role in society.

The Basel collection includes exhibits from the period between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exquisite and fascinating rarities from Germany, France, the USA and Japan delight through their originality, beauty and authenticity of detail.

Selected Old doll's houses