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Amy Mile’s Dollhouse

One of the best things about antique dollhouses is that they allow us to see what real houses looked like during the time period of a dollhouse. There are many instances when regular items have not survived and the only way we know about them is to see them in miniature in a historical dollhouse.

This dollhouse was built in 1890 for Amy Miles, a little girl from a local wealthy family. Her dollhouse features miniature furniture and items of the same time period of the house. In the dollhouse, there is a nursery, a schoolroom, one bedroom, a bathroom and a billiards room complete with a pool table, horse prints, and miniature versions of the both of the London newspapers of the time including the Illustrated London News, and the Graphic.
In the very feminine nursery there is ruffled crib, a tiny shadow box complete with teeny tiny furniture, a doll in a walker and another in an intricate highchair. The master bedroom walls are lined in pale pink silk, and the room is inhabited by very elegant and well dressed women. The Amy Miles Dollhouse was provided to the Victoria and Albert Museum for an exhibition in 1915. In 1921, the dollhouse was given to the museum for its permanent collection.
During World War II, the bombing of London damaged the dollhouse and destroyed the artist’s studio which was located next to the bathroom on the right hand side of the house. This dollhouse depicts what life would have been like for a wealthy family living in London during the late 1800’s. The house displays all of the kinds of items that a well to do family of the time would have possessed, including telephones, a carpet sweeper, a knife cleaner, bicycles, and a geyser for heating up the bath water. Amy’s Dollhouse can be seen at the Victoria &Albert Museum of Childhood, in London, England.

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