It is believed that dollhouses were first used in Germany during the 17th century. Back then, only children who lived in families with money had them since they were mostly made and sold to privileged families. Those dollhouses were true crafts of art and very detailed right down to the painting of light fixtures on the inside of the walls. Early dollhouses are extremely valuable and for the most part they don’t go up for sale very often. If however, you are ever able to find one at an estate sale, then don’t hesitate and snap it up since you will probably get a great deal on it.
During the 19th century, the dollhouse evolved into actually being a toy that children played with instead of something that was admired and rarely touched as were the earlier dollhouse made for privileged families. It was during this time that now not just the rich and affluent could afford a dollhouse, they were much more affordable and accessible so many children who lived in the middle class started getting them for presents at Christmas and Birthdays. While cheaper, the dollhouses were still hand crafted out of wood and still very much collectible items for today.
The 20th century brought a huge change to the way dollhouses were made with the introduction of plastic and assembly line manufacturing. Now, dollhouses could be produced in mass quantities which drove the price down so now just about anybody could afford a great looking dollhouse. This led to the handcrafted dollhouses being a rarity and now when they are handcrafted, it usually by someone who is commissioned to do so or a hobbyist that is doing it themselves.
Antique dollhouse collecting can be a fun and exciting hobby because not only do you have the dollhouse, but you can collect all the furniture and items that go inside the dollhouse. Those old time hand crafted items are really a work of art and will make any antique dollhouse much more collectible and valuable if it is fully furnished with antique furnishings.
There are numerous places to look for antique dollhouses. Estate sales can offer some great finds if you’re willing to scan the paper and look for those and then go to them. Another great place to find them is in an online auction. You have such a large selection to choose from along with the furniture so you never ever have to leave you house to get them.
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