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~