Friday, February 28, 2014

Amazing 17th Century Doll Houses at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The last time I have visited the Rijksmuseum was in 2001. That is a long time ago. I barely remembered what I saw except for the masterpiece of Rembrandt, the Night Watch painting and the huge 17th century doll houses.

So when I recently paid a visit to the newly renovated Rijksmuseum, I cannot wait to see the doll houses again.


A doll house in Amsterdam, circa 1676. Oak cabinet, veneered with walnut, cedar and ebony.

17th Century Doll Houses | Poppenhuizen
Rijksmuseum website: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The doll houses were were made for by Petronnella Dunois (1650-1695), a wealthy orphan who lived with her sister in Amsterdam.

During the late 17th century and early 18th, spectacular doll houses were created in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam. These were not children's toys, but display pieces, furnished for and by wealthy ladies who lavished enormous amounts of time, money and attention on them.

These houses present a picture of a well-ordered and prosperous Dutch household. The focus lies on the world of women and directs attention to life behind the scenes, in attics, cellars and kitchen. A regular feature is a lying-in chamber, complete with mother and newborn baby.

All the dolls and objects in these doll houses are made to scale and highly detailed. As a result, they provide a wealth of information about the furnishing and use of Dutch houses that has long since vanished from our own.

[text from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam]


A game or tea room.


The foyer and the peat room.


The nursery room.


Could be the reception room.


The kitchen. The details are amazing.


A lying-in chamber.


The linen room.


The dining room.

This is Petronella Dunois, the owner of the doll houses:


Portrait of Petronella Dunois by Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693), oil on canvas, circa 1680.

In 1677 Petronella Dunois married Pieter Groenendijck. The young woman brought some extremely valuable goods into her marriage - stocks and bonds, of course, as well as stacks of napkins, tablecloths and bed linen. Also included were the doll houses and contents displayed here. This had been fitted and furnished in Amsterdam the previous year.

[Text from the Rijksmuseum]

Here is another of her doll house with dolls in it:


If I was a kid, I would love to have a doll house like this. 


Looks like a lying-in chamber.


The kitchen with the cook.


Could be the dining room?


Reception room, and just look at the fashion =)


The linen room.


A lying-in chamber.

If you visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, do not miss this!

Visit Period: February 2014
Destination: The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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