Miniatures and doll houses have been around for centuries. They have been adult status symbols, learning tools for the daughters of the family to learn household skills, collectors’ items, artistic endeavors, historical legacies of how people lived through history and they have been toys that children love to play with. Why do miniatures remain consistently popular with both adults and children?
There remains a universal appeal for all things small. Almost every town anywhere in the world has a group of miniaturists that meet to create miniatures, decorate dollhouses and exchange ideas. There are museums with miniatures and exhibitions of miniatures and shows where people flock to purchase the latest in miniatures and dollhouses, all over the world. The National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts lists more than 12,000 regular members, to say nothing of the thousands people who come to the organization’s dollhouse shows.
Children routinely list dollhouses and miniature items on their birthday and holiday gift list. Toy makers come out with new versions of dollhouses and play houses all the time and now they are creating gender neutral versions of dollhouses. Child experts tout dollhouses, miniatures and play houses as some of the best toys for children in terms of cooperative play and for learning a variety of skills and for using their imagination and creativity.
The reasons for this love of all things small are as diverse as the people and children who love them. Adult collectors will mention that daily cares melt away as they spend time with the world of the miniature. Adult miniature enthusiasts also talk about how creating a miniature house or shadow box allows them to have the room or the house they always wanted but could not afford to have in reality. Artisans know that creating a miniature item takes the highest of artistic skill and creativity, and all over the world they rise to the challenge creating masterpieces in miniature scale.
The style of miniatures enjoyed around the world differs from individual to individual. There are organizations of miniature enthusiasts who collect nothing but classic modern and contemporary dollhouses and furniture. There are the traditionalists that find the historical Victorian home or the Colonial home to be their miniature style of choice. With young girls it’s all about dollhouses where they can use their fashion dolls and some children love the mystical world of fairies and magical castles. No matter the scale of the miniature or the dollhouse, or the style, the interest in miniatures and in dollhouses is here to stay.