The traditional dollhouse, similar to what we are familiar with today, had its beginning in Europe in the early 15th century. Many were no more than a shelf in a cupboard, cabinet or closet used to collect miniature items of every day life. Many of these miniature collections were adult orientated and made from precious metals, used to display the effluent's wealth.
By the early 17th century, miniature houses for the wealthy collectors, were being designed and built for the purpose of storing the collections. These became known as Baby Houses, Dutch Baby Houses, Small Houses, Toy Houses and various other names.
History shows the "dollhouse" to be a very popular item of the wealthy of England in the early 18th century. Although, often built to no particular scale, the 1:12 scale became stylish in the early 1700's. This scale of one inch to one foot has become today's most popular scale. The dollhouse was a very important item in Victorian homes. Many of these dollhouses have been preserved in museums and family collections . A new awareness of "dollhouse" collecting became evident in the early 1970's with the manufacturing of many lines of new prefabricated houses, house kits, furniture kits and collector items.