What Scale is My Dollhouse?
I often get questions from folks asking me about the scale of their dollhouse. Patricia recently asked: "I would like to know what scale my doll house is that has 14" measurement from floor to ceiling. It is an early 20th C. Victorian house." My reply: I would categorize your dollhouse as 1" (1:12) scale. I'm assuming that measurement is the first floor (floor to ceiling) only. While it might sound high for a one-inch scale, many homes of affluent people in warmer climates (think plantation homes in the south and east) had ceiling heights that were even taller. From what I understand that was to help cool their homes (heat rises) and control smoke (from cook stoves and fireplaces) which also rises. Less affluent folks couldn't afford the luxury and their homes typically had lower ceilings (sometimes closer to 6 feet). But if your dollhouse has a more majestic feel, I'd say its owner was affluent.
A dollhouse ceiling at 14" would barely accommodate a 1:6 scale (Barbie or playscale) as those dolls are around 12" tall if I recall. So I wouldn't classify it as such.
While I typically rely on ceiling height as the determining factor for scale, you might also take a look at your door height. If it was built to scale, the door should be at least 6" to 7" high for a 1" scale dollhouse. Keep in mind many dollhouses built before 1950 were handcrafted and not necessarily built to scale and you might have a 5" door.
I once worked on a dollhouse (homemade) that had 10" to 12" ceilings but some of the rooms were barely 5" square and the front door was about 5" high. A very confused dollhouse indeed!