Category Archives: Dutch

Posted on 23 February, 2017


Gerard Klein Hofmeijer at work

Gerard Klein Hofmeijer, Artisan

Gerard Klein Hofmeijer, a native of Utrecht, The Netherlands, is a classically trained scientist who has admired, loved and constructed miniatures since childhood. Klein Hofmeijer works in a variety of scales between 1:50 and 1:100 to replicate historic buildings, houses, garden vignettes and 3D facades. His work offers a glimpse into the classic Dutch architectural style of the past and Dutch influence on contemporary design.


Posted by Patrick Owens

Categories: artisans, Dutch

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Posted on 25 February, 2016

Petronella Oortman's Dolls House

Petronella Oortman’s Dolls House

Petronella Oortman’s Dolls House

In the 17th century, dolls houses were not toys. They were very expensive hobbies. Petronella Oortman’s Dolls House is the most famous of the three dolls houses at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This particular dolls house provides a detailed view of how affluent houses were once furnished.

What makes Petronella Oortman’s dolls house so unusual is that all the pieces were made in the same way, and using the same materials as their regular counterparts, built precisely to scale. It is decorated with original, miniature paintings and murals commissioned from successful Dutch artists. It features handcrafted wicker and upholstered furniture, sculpted ceiling reliefs and marble flooring.

Petronella ordered her miniature porcelain from China and commissioned cabinetmakers, glassblowers, silversmiths, basket-weavers and artists to furnish her dolls house. Her dolls house cost as much as an actual canal house in Amsterdam. She was so proud of her house, that she had it portrayed in a painting.

When the dolls house was first displayed, the front door opened to a full garden complete with a working fountain. The copper pump in the cook room was functional. Unfortunately, these items and the garden have been lost.
You might also be interested in this article on the Sara Rothe cabinet dolls houses.

You might also be interested in this article on the Sara Rothe cabinet dolls houses. And here’s an interesting Wikipedia article on Petronella Oortman’s Dolls House.


Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens


I invite you to visit my Etsy Shop where I offer many accessories and pieces of furniture in 1:12 scale. Subscribers to this blog receive a discount on all Featured Products. Click here for details.

Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: cabinet, Dutch, Great Dollhouses

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Posted on 21 January, 2016


Frans Bosdyk and the Dollhouse, on exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney

The Bosdyk Dollhouse

It took 15,000 hours and many thousands of dollars for materials spent on the work. Frans Bosdyk made most of the furniture, which he researched in ‘Antique Furniture in Australia’ by Anthony Hill, and developed special lathes to turn the tiny wooden parts. He also fashioned his own tiny hand tools from 75-100mm concrete nails to make it easier for him to handle the small pieces. He used silky oak,


Posted by Susan Downing

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Posted on 30 December, 2015


Petronella Dunois dollshouse in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dolls’ House of Petronella Dunois, ca. 1676

The Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam has an extraordinary dolls house collection. Various objects in the dolls’ house pictured above are marked with the year 1676, which was probably when it was largely completed. It was made for Petronella Dunois (1650–1695), a wealthy orphan who (more…)

Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: dollhouses, Dutch, room boxes

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