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Photos Patrick Müller/Collection Poupée Tendresse

An exhibit on the fascinating world of contemporary doll houses

With this new exhibit, the Musée de la Poupée-Paris presents the fabulous collection of contemporary doll houses belonging to Madame Ingeborg Riesser.

A true pioneer in this collecting field in France, this great collector has gathered an impressive array of miniatures coming from all over the world, related to decorative arts as well as applied arts. Founder of the Club de la Miniature Française in 1986, she also edited Le Magazine de la Maison de Poupée et de la Poupée d’Artiste from 1987 to 2009. Finally, she has been selling, since 1985, doll houses, miniatures and artist dolls in her Parisian shop « Poupée Tendresse ».

Many pieces of furniture of every style and period are presented with silver plates, bronzes, ceramics, fabrics, basketworks, brassware etc to recreate real miniature interiors, inhabited by appropriately scaled dolls or imaginary characters.

One can dream of being turned into Thumb Tom, walking through all these houses like in a dream come true. Let’s pretend to sit at the country kitchen table, to watch the fire in the fireplace of the Victorian living room, to rest in the grand house bedroom, to sit comfortably in the leather sofa of a contemporary house…

Or let’s go shopping and drool at the sight of cream cakes in the bakery, admire baskets in the wicker basket shop, choose baby wear in the clothes shop, watch the colorful customers at the local café.

The exhibit, like a stroll in a miniature town, will lead the visitor through a hundred of incredibly realistic houses and shops scaled 1/12. Thousands of miniatures will be presented in this exceptional exhibit, fascinating for both adults and children.

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Miniatures scale 1/12e, pieces of art and collection

Since the last World War, antique toys, dolls and doll houses have become highly sought after collectibles.
Concurrently with the development of the antiques market, many occidental craftsmen and artists have begun to make new art miniatures in order to reproduce antique styled items as well as contemporary pieces. These objects are no longer being created for children to play with but for an adults’ audience.

The first adult collectors of contemporary miniatures started their hobby in the USA nearly fifty years ago. Since then, a specialized art craft movement developed in Great Britain, France, Netherlands and Germany, the homeland of doll houses, where the interest for doll houses and miniatures was always very strong.

This passion for miniatures leads to various kinds of collections. Most of the miniature lovers develop an interior decorator’s sensibility. Their game consists in choosing the elements that, brought all together, recreate specific microcosms.Others will find in the miniature world a way to express their handcraft skills by making the objects themselves. Among them, some have turned to be real professional artists, like those who created the majority of miniatures presented in this exhibit.

The 1/12 doll house’s scale dominated since the late 19th century. It is also called a foot/a thumb scale (the thumb is 2,5cm long and is a 1/12 of a foot, that is 30 cm long). So a real object 30 cm long corresponds to a 2,5 cm long miniature into a 1/12 doll house.

Miniature sceneries are reproductions of antique houses where objects of various periods are presented together. Just like in our own houses, the interiors are filled with new objects and old ones inherited from the past generations. The rule in this collecting field stipulates that when a doll is shown into a house, the objects surrounding her must not be from a later period than her costume. In the contemporary creations, imagination sometimes goes beyond reality when dolls, for instance, are replaced by anthropomorphic animals.

Finally, furniture and accessories are reproductions of real 1/12 scaled objects where everything functions: doors, boxes’ tops, mechanical toys and even the keys in the locks! Nothing is a fake. Most of the time, the miniaturists tend to use authentic materials. Pieces of furniture are made of wood, accessories are made of porcelain, copper, blown glass. Dolls, animals and food are usually made of resin or porcelain, paintings are oil painted on canvas, and carpets are hand embroidered with various techniques.

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Around the exhibit...

"Making of miniature food and objects " : workshop for children

Workshops for making fake miniature food are given for children from 6 to 12 years old. Children will discover how to create miniatures with colored paste and by recycling every day material.

With reservation 01 42 72 73 11

"Histories from Lilliput's country" : story telling sessions

A story telling session with several stories for children from 3 years old will lead you in the fabulous world of Lilliput
. You will imagine you are a giant like Gulliver or a Alice in Wonderland or a Lilliputian like Tom Thumb...

With reservation 01 42 72 73 11

Educational tours of the museum for children and families

Educational tours are given for children at least 5 years old and their parents
. These tours begin by handling dolls' parts from various periods and end with the visit of the permanent rooms of the museum.

With reservation 01 42 72 73 11

"Have your birthday party in a doll house" : birthday parties in the museum

Lets celebrate your birthday in an unforgettable way, inviting your friends with the miniature dolls !

And you will also get a birthday present ! : the museum will offer a present to any child having his birthday at the museum.

unguided tour with an educational questionnaire or educational tour + cake (not provided) + story time or workshop
Adjustable package, on Wednesday and Saturday
with reservation 01 42 72 73 11.

"Introduction to doll collecting" - NEW

"Yes, you can touch !" Samy Odin, director of the museum, will give doll discovery sessions consisting in handling various dolls from diferent periods and countries and made of diferent material. Then, participants will visit the museum on their own, testing their newly acquired knowledge.

With reservation 01 42 72 73 11

"Seminars on French doll makers from the 20th century" - NEW

Samy odin, director of the museum and doll expert will give a first series of seminars on French doll makers from 1899 to 1939. These 2 hours sessions will enable you to study dolls, from head to toes, and to understand their importance in each doll maker's history.

With reservation 01 42 72 73 11

How much is my doll worth ? Doll appraisals

How much is my doll worth ? When was it been made ? When? By whom ?... M. Odin, director of the museum and specialist in dolls will appraise your dolls after your visit of the museum.

A Saturday per month, with reservation 01 42 72 73 11

A specialized shop – bookstore

The Museum’s shop is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and is also available on this website.

Play dolls and collectible dolls, clothes and accessories, miniatures as well as a wide range of books and products are for sale.

A doll hospital and appraisals

The Museum’s doll hospital repairs antique dolls, baby dolls, plush animals... and makes appraisals.
Veronique Derez, our doll doctor, is usually there 2 Thursdays/month from 1 pm to 4 pm but you can come from Tuesday to Saturday for a free estimate of the repairs on presentation of the sick dolls or plush animal.

For appraisals and doll identity card, with charge, an appointment is required on presentation of the object.

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Poupée Tendresse shop, 9 rue Poussin, 75116 Paris
Tel : 0142885043 (open on Tuesday and Friday afternoons)

Following exhibit

Temporary exhibits exhibited elsewhere

"Plush balls" exhibit from September 10 to 27, 2009 in Billy Berclau's Cultural Center (62138)

"Toys and 5 senses" exhibit from December 1 to 29, 2009
in Charlotte Delbo Library, 75002 Paris

"Toys and 5 senses" exhibit from November 6 to December 31, 2009
in André Malraux Library, 75006 Paris

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