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.
Halina Pasierbska has worked for the Victorian and Albert Museum since 1969, spending thirteen years at the National Art Library before in 1982 she transferred to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. There she became involved in the study of developmental toys, in 1988 setting up the Learing Toys Gallery, which she has since revised.