At Buttercup Miniatures we specialise in 1:12th (one-inch) scale and 1:24th (half-inch) scale – knitting & crochet patterns, yarn, needles, hooks, kits & accessories from Tudor times to the present day. As such we do not supply ‘toys’ for doll’s houses, but scale miniatures of true to life items. It is for this reason you will not find for example a Georgian crochet bowler hat on our store!
Dolls representing a figure of a human go back thousands of years. Egypt has archaeological evidence of wooden ‘paddle dolls’ dating to 2000BC and dolls with moveable joints to 200BC. As play things, early Greek articulated clay dolls appeared around 100AD. Roman clay, wood or ivory dolls were often found in children’s graves, though it could be equally as a treasured plaything or to ward off evil on their passage after death. Dolls in many cultures were also used in rituals, some believing they possessed magical properties.
As time progressed dolls became more elaborate for the rich, whilst at the same time being available to the less well off. Mid 16th century German painted peg dolls were carved in the shape of a clothes peg with articulated shoulders, wrists, hips and knees. Around the same time richer German’s could afford wax dolls to dress in fine clothes.
Mass production came along in the 19th century with the industrial revolution, which opened up new methods of manufacture. Heads were manufactured in porcelain or Papier-mâché. Material development continued at the start of the 20th century with Bakelite invented in 1907. Further man-made materials appeared well into the 20th century that allowed more and more lifelike dolls to be produced.