Astolat Dollhouse Castle: the $8.5 million property with a wizard tower - in pictures
Astolat Dollhouse Castle is described as the most valuable dolls house in the world
A residence in New York with 29 rooms and a wizard’s tower is valued at a staggering $8.5 million. But you can’t live there, even if you have the money – because the property is a dolls house.
Astolat Dollhouse Castle, which is on display at the Shops of Columbus Circle at Time Warner Center in Manhattan for the first time since the 1980s, is described as the most valuable dolls house in the world. It weighs between 815 and 890 pounds and took 13 years to construct.
Its $8.5 million valuation works out at $24,425 or £16,049 a square foot – which makes luxurious apartments in prestigious Mayfair, Marylebone and Soho sound cheap, where the average price per square foot is just £2,189.
Like most Manhattan apartments, the Astolat Dollhouse has seven levels, stairways, hallways, a basement, a wine cellar a kitchen and an armoury. There are formal rooms, a library, a music room, a grand ballroom and a bar (with real tiny bottles of liquor), and that’s before you get to the Wizard’s tower on the top level.
Astolat's inventory of items numbers about 30,000, but less than a third are displayed at any one time within the structure. The rest remains in storage until the owners - who wish to remain anonymous - decide to "redecorate."
These collectors’ items include a silver flatware set, said to be worth $5,000, a drop-leaf secretary bookshelf valued at up to $2,500 or a miniature Hebrew Torah worth up to $2,500 among many others.
Today doll houses at Hamley’s toy store in London can go from £35 for a “Minnie Mouse Polka Dot House” up to £200 for a Disney themed “Princess Ultimate Dream Castle”, according to the store’s online listings.
Miniature artist Elaine Diehl named the dollhouse after the castle in The Lady of Shallot, a 19th-century ballad by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
After the current exhibition ends, the owners hope to tour the dollhouse to other locations to raise money for children’s charities.