A very unusual picture of two European children and their wonderful stable dollhouse!
It’s fairly common to find old photos of children with their toys but this is one of the very few I’ve ever seen that shows a toy dollhouse alongside its young owners. I’m fascinated by the dollhouse stable’s many details – the cart, two horses, chickens, and window flower boxes… The little boy in the photo must have delighted in this set!
Many historians trace the history of dollhouses back to ancient Egypt. Intricate miniature models of buildings, furniture, humans figures, and animals were placed inside the tombs of the kings for religious purposes.
In the 16th-century, Baby Houses, were used to show elaborate, idealized room interiors. These houses consisted of a view of a single room in a cabinet display box. Baby Houses weren’t playthings for children though; they were eye-candy for wealthy Renaissance-era adults.
Dollhouses as children’s toys didn’t become commonplace until the Industrial Revolution. German firms such as Christian Hacker, Moritz Gottschalk, Elastolin, and Moritz Reichel, mass-produced them to sell to various markets.
Although the stable in the picture isn’t a dollhouse in a traditional sense, it falls into the same overall toy category. A couple years ago, I sold a similar stable that appears to be from the same maker. Does anyone know who produced these wonderful stables?
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