Dubbed “The World’s Most Valuable Dollhouse,” and certainly the city’s most expensive piece of “real estate” at the moment, The Astolat Dollhouse Castle is appraised at $8.5 million dollars and for almost a month, it will be on view inside The Shops at Columbus Circle. The privately owned dollhouse is being shown to the public on a world tour to fundraise (via donation at the display) to children’s charities.
Built by miniaturist Elaine Diehl, the dollhouse took 13 years to make and was completed in the 1980s, using handcraft techniques to make each of the 10,000 miniatures inside the 29 rooms of the castle. Goldsmiths, glass blowers, silversmiths, carpenters and more were commissioned to make the pieces, which include a miniature harpsichord, chandeliers, oil paintings by renown artists, fireplaces (with faux flames), vintage automobiles, and readable books. There’s even miniature rolls of toilet paper, the “smallest antique Bible in the world,” and an antique Torah. In fact, there are over 30,000 pieces available to decorate the dollhouse but only about one third are on display at a time. The castle is 9 feet tall, has seven levels (including hidden passageways), and weights over 800 pounds. This video takes you inside:
Taking its cue from the castles of the nobility and Gilded Age mansions, the Astolat Dollhouse Castle includes a grand staircase, a formal sitting room, dining room, two-story library music room, a Roman bath, ballroom, kitchen, butler pantry, trophy room, armory, and 5 bedrooms. According to the description handed out at the opening, the decoration in the dollhouse represent “seven period and styles including Spanish, Oriental, Tudor, 18th-century English, and Victorian).
Setting up the Astolat Dollhouse Castle takes two days and 8 people, dismantling takes 12. See it for yourself at Columbus Circle (behind glass however) until December 8th.