Doll’s houses – my way to history of art
Doll’s houses have fascinated me ever since childhood. As a little boy of not even ten, I admired antique doll’s houses at the Museum of Toys at Nuremberg for the first time. From that point on, I was spellbound and they have never ceased to fascinate me. On my 15th birthday my mother gave me my first antique doll’s house furniture: an excellent set of furniture in the Wilhelminian style, made from walnut, opulently carved, with turned legs and polished, the chairs covered by ruby coloured velvet. The beauty and craftsmanship of this furniture (today we collectors know that it was produced by the company Harrass) was of utmost luck to me as a young collector: everything I’ve been buying since had to be of this standard. By way of this, I got to know from the very outset just how beautiful and of what high quality antique doll’s house items could be.
It wasn’t far from miniature furniture to art history. Once at university, I almost immediately specialized on applied arts and finally wrote my Ph.D. Thesis on furniture and furniture forgeries. My pastime and my academic studies complemented each other splendidly: my eye which had been trained for years on surfaces, processing technologies, materials etc. was substantiated and honed by my studies of the development of applied art. The knowledge of styles and the evolution of designs as well as their distinct national characteristics and peculiarities are now my tools which are essential to assess large as well as miniature antiques. Taking into consideration the growing number of forgeries showing up in the field of doll’s houses this knowledge is immensely valuable.