Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Every furnishing was reproduced by Britain’s finest craftsmen to a 12th of its actual size, including this A.B.C travel guide, pictured right.

In a letter from St James’s Palace, publishers Hutton and Hutton were informed that a miniature version of their standardised railway timetable would be needed for the library.

“We have already been promised various miniature copies of annual magazines and papers. Since no library is complete without an ‘A.B.C’ we were wondering if you would be so kind as to present to the Doll’s House an A.B.C for 1923.”

There was no payment for the work, naturally, but the book was duly published with two back-up copies, which later found their way to the vendor, Richard Kemsley, whose godmother was the granddaughter of the publisher, John Twigg.

“The little book is a masterpiece considering the technology that was around in the 1920s. It is a very accurate copy and it is perfectly readable if you have a very large magnifying glass,” said Mr Kemsley.

How anyone had managed to squeeze all the train times across the UK network onto pages measuring only a few millimetres was anyone’s guess. But Vectis auctioneer David Nathan supposed that the information could have been engraved with a very fine needle.

Offered for sale in Buckingham on March 14, this copy sold to an English collector at £750 (plus 15 per cent buyer’s premium).