The World’s Most Expensive Dollhouse Costs a Lot More Than a Real House

Priced at an eye-watering $8.5 million, the Astolat Dollhouse Castle is easily the most expensive dollhouse in the world. The 800 pound, 9 foot tall museum-quality miniature house, with its 29 rooms and a wizard’s tower to boot, was inspired by the fantasy castle ‘Astolat’ that features in Alfred Tennyson’s poem Lady of the Shalott, and built over a period of 13 years, between 1974 and 1987.

Miniature artist Elaine Diehl was primarily in charge of building the Astolat Dollhouse, but she collaborated with many artists all over the world. According to Wikipedia, the “interiors and adjoining areas were each constructed to the highest standards of that time,” while “the exterior took a year to sculpt to the final finish.”


Photo: Astolat Dollhouse Castle/Facebook

The Dollhouse Castle is currently valued at a staggering $8.5 million, with plenty of factors contributing to this price. One of them is the structure itself – it has a copper roof, and its wood walls are finished with papier-mâché and sculpted to a rough faux stone finish. A few of these exterior wall panels have a 3D effect when the viewer looks into the castle. Other walls are removable or can be opened for 360-degree group viewing.


Photo: Astolat Dollhouse Castle/Facebook

Its value is also attributed to the exclusive collection of approximately 30,000 high quality miniatures that come with the house, made from real gold, sterling silver, and other exquisite materials like lapis lazuli. The rooms are tastefully decorated with 10,000 of these pieces at any given time, including miniature furniture like tables, chairs, shelves, and vintage cots, miniature artwork and decor pieces, and lighting, all made by renowned artists from around the world.


Photo: Wikipedia

The castle boasts seven levels filled with stairways, halls, unique parapet floors, framed mirrors, tapestries, gold chandeliers, oil paintings, and fireplaces, all leading up to the top floor housing the wizard’s tower, outfitted with telescopes and zodiacal signs. The furnishings are said to reflect seven different periods and styles, including Oriental, Spanish, Tudor, 18th century English, and Victorian. The basement level houses the Knights of Columbus room, the wine cellar, kitchens, and the armory. The first floor has an entrance foyer, main stairway, and a butler’s closet, while the next level comes with a formal living room, dining room, and a music room with an accompanying audience balcony. The bottles in the castle’s bar all contain real alcohol, while the dining room has a silver flatware set worth $5,000.


Photo: Astolat Dollhouse Castle/Facebook

The fourth level of the castle is perhaps the most interesting, with a fully stocked library of miniature books that can be read under a magnifying glass. The collection includes a tiny bible, considered to be the world’s smallest, and a miniature Torah. The library also features a drop-leaf secretary desk worth $2,500, an ornate fireplace, and a collection of dueling pistols. The fifth level consists of the sleeping quarters, installed with hand-stitched tapestries, plush beddings and miniature inlaid marble bathrooms stocked with real, usable toilet paper.


Photo: Astolat Dollhouse Castle/Facebook

According to museum curator Paula Gilhooley, “Astolat is one of the finest miniature structures in the world exhibiting a rare combination of sculpture, art, engineering and detail that sets it apart from anything in existence to date. It is a massive feat of construction and when you see it, it will leave you absolutely speechless.”


Photo: Wikipedia

The Dollhouse Castle was displayed at Elaine Diehl’s personal museum shop in Arizona until she retired in 1996. It was later shifted to the Tee Ridder division of the Nassau County Museum of Art in New York, and most recently on display at the Shops of Columbus Circle – a shopping mall in Manhattan’s Time-Warner Center – between November 12 and December 8. The proceeds from the exhibition were donated to a range of charities for children.


You’ve obviously got to be rolling in it to be able to afford something this ridiculously exorbitant. Since most of us aren’t that rich, we’ll just have make do with ogling at the pictures instead.

Sources: Astolat Dollhouse CastleThe Independent, Wikipedia