In the not too distant past, an exquisite mansion went on the market. This distinguished custom built home featuring a classical European architectural design was complete with the finest hand-turned woods, antique ivory, marble, sterling silver and silk tapestries. As an added bonus, each room came fully furnished with custom furniture created by internationally-renowned designers in an array of period styles. A home whose decadent and ostentatious design would surely make a member of the royal family drool, retailed for a bargain price of one million dollars. Not a bad deal in today’s real estate market. The catch? Its occupants must adhere to a mandatory height requirement of 7 inches or less.
The home I describe is actually a dollhouse. Perhaps, the world’s most expensive dollhouse and it was for sale on eBay for a mere starting bid of 6 figures. Barbara Crews wrote an article on About.com describing this abode and its astonishing million dollar price tag. The 1:12 scale dollhouse (1 inch = 1 foot) was designed and built by a collector of miniatures, who reportedly collected dollhouse miniatures for over 40+ years. This miniature home actually houses a vast collection of miniature pieces that took this collector 42 years to accrue.
The dollhouse which took over 3-1/2 years to build featured replicas of works of art popular during the 17th century through the Art Deco period (modern period). Crews tells us that, “approximately 40% of the items contained within the dollhouse are antique miniatures, several of which are centuries old.” The thousands of miniatures contained within come from all parts of the world including Istanbul, Paris and Madrid as well as many other countries.
Featuring hand-turned walnut columns and ornate decorations in the Italian Baroque design, this impressive dollhouse exhibit measures 8-1/2 feet long and 50 inches wide and rests on a solid wood oak base built in one piece. The dollhouse was designed so it can be viewed from each side and each room contains its own miniature lighting system.
Some of the extraordinary details contained within the house are mind-boggling. Over 56 styles of miniature chairs, a miniature table with over 1,000 pieces of inlaid wood, a collection of tiny guns, knives, swords and medieval weaponry made by jewelry makers who are also miniaturists, and a complete boxed manicure tool set with parts that actually move. The tiniest set of china known in the world today is displayed on a table measuring 1-1/4” long. The house contains many more miniature items made of hand blown glass, antique ivory, silver and other precious materials. The spectacular miniature furniture and accessories contained within this masterpiece are too numerous to list here, but were crafted by the finest miniature artisans known to our time. You can read the specifics about this remarkable antique dollhouse collection here.
So, what was the ultimate result of this auction listing on eBay? With a starting price of $400,000, this auction reportedly closed with no takers. Rumor has it the seller has taken the home off the market as they contemplate a short sale.