I have received compensation for publishing this post and I think I’m going to start saving all my pennies for my very own, just like these.
Dollhouses come in their various shapes and forms. Some are small, others are exceedingly large and some feature 500-year-old jewels.
That’s right, 500-year-old jewels; though dollhouses of this kind are exceedingly rare, so much so that there is only one of them, you may also be staggered to find that the house in question is worth an approximate $500,000 – making it the world’s most expensive dollhouse.
Built by silent movie star, Colleen Moor, the 9ft house-castle had at one point 700 individuals working on its creation; far more than the average 25 feet houses that we live in today.
Built in 1928 and now owned by the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the fairy tale-esque doll mansion receives roughly 1.5 million visitor’s ever single year, that’s more than some of Britain’s busiest museums including:
- The Imperial War Museum
- The Lowry
- Royal Academy of Arts
- Saatchi Gallery
- Museum of Science and Industry
Fascinatingly, one of the murals on the wall of the house was painted by none other than Walt Disney himself; an impressive addition to anything in existence, never mind a dolls house. With that in mind, some may question the purpose or point to such an extravagant yet beautifully decorated dollhouse.
Thankfully, there is a credible answer!
Between 1935 and 1939 the giant castle-house toured the poverty stricken cities of the United States to raise money for children’s charities that focused on helping families during the great depression. By doing so, the twelve roomed dollhouse managed to raise an impressive $700,000.
Although the construction is 83 years old, this is pale in comparison to some of the components within the castle itself. The quartz and jade featured in the house are from the Chinese royal collection and rank at 500 years old; as are the door vases seen above.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Beth Boston of the Museum of Science and Industry said:
“I wouldn’t like to assign a value to it. And of course to us it’s priceless. It’s an amazing piece of work which we feel privileged to have in our collection.”
Despite any official valuation the house, along with the 2,000 miniatures contained within it, the total estimated evaluation is around $500,000 or £438,000.
But are there any other dollhouses rivalling that of Colleen Moore’s?
Happily there is such a house, one built by British couple, Kevin Mulvany and Susie Rogers, in their very own home in Wiltshire.
As seen below, the 16th century house was recently sold for a five figure sum and contained chandeliers worth £1,000 each, along with a fully working miniature harp, itself worth £2,500.
The house, which took over 10,000 man hours to complete, even had real dust in the corners of rooms, real soot in the fireplace and waxed candles burning in the rooms to make the model smell authentic.
In an age of electronic toys and gifts, it is nice to see that the world of dollhouses certainly isn’t over yet. If you’re looking for a beautifully designed doll house, but don’t have half a million to drop, try finding a brand name doll house online such as one of the excellent range by Le Toy Van available at the WoodenToyShop.co.uk.