Saturday, February 7, 2015

Nürnberg Century Dockenhaus (1673)

Don't presume that a house in  miniature like this was for kids.  In previous centuries, owning such an item was certainly one way to impress guests with your own life style. They generally were located in the front foyer of a house, and generally included all the latest gadgets one thought a proper home should have.  This permitted guests a peek into a lifestyle they could only guess at.
The oldest doll house in London's Victory & Albert's Museum is the Dockhaus from Nürnberg, opens up to reveal 2 kitchens, the working kitchen and also a formal kitchen, where the china and large pans were stored.   The date of the house appears on the chimney.

There were other more practical purposes to having such an item in one's home.  These miniature houses were also used to teach children the skills they would need to properly run a household.

It's also true that some of these old miniature houses -- along with their amazing contents -- would have cost their owners as much as a full-sized house.

As to the owner of this Dockenhaus, the unicorn on the left side of the door probably meant that the house was owned by a chemist or apothecary.  That was an early form of advertising.  On the right door of the house is a picture of Martin Luther, which was probably quite radical in the very Catholic area of central Bavaria in 1673.

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