Dolls from the 19th and early 20th centuries were built to last for a girl's entire childhood, but their hard, painted faces, usually made of wood, poured wax or composition (glue mixed with sawdust or wood pulp) make them unlikely to rival an American Girl doll for a modern kid's affections. But put a dollhouse from the same era in a room full of children, and we're guessing it would still captivate boys and girls alike.
There's something about seeing household furniture in miniature that makes even everyday items seem special. A handmade antique dollhouse may have been built as a model of the family's own home, down to the toys, fabrics and furnishings in every room. Some of the most elaborate dollhouses from the Victorian era included kitchens with entire sets of miniature china dishes patterned after the home's full-sized pieces and tiny "food" items carefully crafted in the same delicate scale [source: Victoriana Magazine]. The Queen Mary's Dolls' House, built for Queen Mary in 1924, even had electricity and running water and a stocked wine cellar! It's on display at Windsor Castle in England.