Rijksmuseum 17th Century Dollhouses~

In the 17th century, women in Holland created and displayed miniature dollhouses, in much the same way that men of their era, collected and displayed curiosity cabinets. (You can click the images to enlarge them)
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has three of these dollhouses, two are pictured here, one from 1676 and another from 1686.

These dollhouses were not meant for children and could cost as much as an actual canal house at the time.
One dollhouse creator Petronella Oortman, commissioned artists of her day to create a perfectly to scale house with marble floors, sculpted ceilings, hand painted wall frescoes, and doors that opened on a garden with a working fountain. She commissioned miniature porcelain from China.

There is something about these miniature worlds that fascinate us to this day, whether it be scale model trains and towns, or intricate dollhouses.

Many humans like to be creators and masters of their own perfect little worlds, absent the stress and strife of real life. They are miniature dream worlds where everything is beautiful and peaceful.

These old dollhouses are time capsules, that allow us to travel back in time and imagine what life was like in 1686 living in Holland, on the canals, in this house.

Creating a house like this must be like Zen meditation, the creator lost in the bliss of their own imagination.
I would love to make one, but can well imagine the mounting costs, and how much I might get into it.
But it is free to look at these amazing houses, that others have built before us, and it sends our imaginations soaring across time, back to them.
Cheers to you and may your New Year be happy and peaceful~

314 thoughts on “Rijksmuseum 17th Century Dollhouses~

  1. Pingback: Rijksmuseum 17th Century Dollhouses~ | penpowersong

  2. They are so cute. πŸ™‚ I would have wanted one when I was little. I hope you’ve had a beautiful start of the year, Cindy, and I wish you an entire beautiful 2016! ❀


    • That struck me too. In Oortman’s house, in the photos, they look like a real home. This is because she was meticulous about making everything to perfect scale. It is quite impressive~


  3. Wow! I mean, WOW! So beautiful, intricate and detailed. I’ve got so much catching up to do. We got moved to north Georgia but we’ve still got a lot of boxes to get through yet. It’s so cold here; I keep wondering if I’ll get used to it. Not easy going from 85 to 35. It was 19 this morning when I got up. Anyway, I wanted to say hi and I’ll be back soon hopefully! I hope you and yours had a fabulous Christmas and New Year celebration! Hugs! πŸ˜€ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t wait to see your beautiful new home! I can well imagine the transition to colder temps is quite an adjustment. 19 is downright nippy! But you new place is so gorgeous, I am super excited for you and look forward to your photos. We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year thank you and hope you did too. All the best to you Linda and great to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe such beauty exists in a ‘doll’ house! Therefore, I plan to live there! So much detail, quality, and mesmerizing-ness— I must have it!!!! Just kidding, but wow, those pictures blow me away-

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember some time ago and the Mexican (?) dollhouses you photographed, and you confessed how much you like the mini houses. This is a spectacular version, and very interesting, of the mini dollhouses. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy New Year, I love my dolls house, it was a flat pack that was built and painted and wallpapered it took years to do and the best bit was going to the market and fairs to buy the tiny furniture bit by bit. It’s a great hobby and you can do it a little at a time by getting the basement, then next birthday the first floor shops.
    Great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds wonderful and so engrossing. I can tell you were raised in a very art and music focused family which I noted with your brother and your Christmas wands. Seems delightfully idyllic~


  7. sono stata anche io in Olanda da poco, anche se conoscevo giΓ  Amsterdam ed il mio itinerario Γ¨ stato diverso.Ho apprezzato molto questo tuo reportage per la giusta espressione dello spirito olandese espresso con le immagini, colgo l’occasione per augurarti un felice 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. wow, those little houses or curiosities were freaking awesome! the detail and the time and patience it must have taken to make them is unreal, and the they have survived for so long. thank you for bringing them to us. xx Paris

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Blogbummel Januar 2016 – 1. Teil |

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