It would take an extremely spoiled brat to demand a dollhouse like this. At a 8.5 million$ price tag, the Astolat Dollhouse is easily the most expensive miniature playhouse ever built. Having a museum-level build, the unique piece was created over a period of 13 years between 1974 and 1987.
Huge, isn’t it? Complete with a wizard’s tower, the dollhouse weighs over 800 pounds and is 9 feet tall overall with 29 rooms. If it were real life-sized, it would have been taller than many of the medieval castles. Elaine Diehl, the famed miniature artist of that time was the main man in charge of the construction of this masterpiece did not overlook any detail or level of sophistication available at that time. The interior and the exterior have been constructed to the highest standards of that time, and the exterior itself took a year to come to the final shape.
There are plenty of factors that contribute to the astronomical price of the house. It has a pure copper roof; Its wooden walls have been finished with papier-mâché and afterward sculpted to a rough faux stone finish that reminisces of the stone castles of the old. A few walls have a 3D effect for the viewers and others are removable or can easily be opened for a 360-degree viewing.
The dollhouse also comes with almost 30,000 miniature items that are part of the whole package. They are intricately made from real gold, silver and even the elusive material named lapis lazuli. Even this huge giant of a castle can only hold 10,000 of these miniature objects at a time, so I guess who buys this thing also needs a closet three time bigger than itself to store its spare toys!
It has seven levels with stairways, halls, mirrors, tapestries, oil paintings and even fireplaces that eventually lead up to the top floor of the castle. The seven different sets of furniture are designed to reflect seven different eras that could have lived in the castle including Oriental, Spanish, Tudor, 18th century English, and Victorian. There is also an insane basement level that has Columbus room along with a wine cellar, kitchens, and the armory. The bottles in the cellar all contain real alcohol. In words of the great thinker Chandler Bing, “Could it BE anymore insane?” Dolls must get really high down there! The dining rooms have silverware costing about 5,000 $.
The fourth level is the most interesting with a complete collection of miniature books in a library that can actually be read under a magnifying glass. It also has a deaf-leaf secretary desk worth 2,500$, an ornate fireplace and some hand-stitched tapestries. The bathroom has a marble-lined floor with real toilet paper. I am not sure the lords and ladies of that era were accustomed to this dry habit of toilet papers, though.
Overall, I think the maker gets some credit here as it is not just a dollhouse where Rothschilds children can play snob games. It is actually one of the best miniature structures in the world. It is a massive feat of construction and art to make it so much beautiful and carefully designed. Although it looks comical, it will leave you absolutely speechless. It is an architectural marvel to say the least. It is currently on display at Columbus Circle that is a shopping mall in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center. It will soon be shifted back to Tee Ridder division of the Nassau County Museum of Art in New York where it is originally based. Something this ridiculously exorbitant and apparently useless takes flak from people, but it is such a beautiful castle that that many people remain in awe of it.
I guess Mark Zuckerberg could buy it for his daughter Maxima in a flash.