Take a look at this 29-room castle in all its papier-mâché turreted glory. Would you have guessed it's a) a dollhouse? And b) worth $8.5milllion? True story.
Related story: Next gen mega yachts: is this the world's most OTT design?
Built in the '80s, this work of art is the Astolat castle, a miniature build made by Elaine Diehl based on the fortress that features in Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Lady of the Shallot". Appraised at a crazy $8.5million, it is the most expensive dollhouse in the world, and boy does it put the Barbie Malibu beach house to shame. The structure contains a chapel, observatory, wine cellar, weaponry room, ballroom and a birdhouse. But that's not all, there's many an opulent, intricate detail, such as doll-sized diamond and pearl jewellery on display, agate coasters, bear skin rugs, lace doilies, hand-carved wooden furniture, and many more mind-blowing teeny tiny curiosities.
According to a curator, who spoke to the Times when it was exhibited at the Tee Ridder Miniatures Museum in New York, the reason behind the mega appraise comes down to the "the structure itself." - that would be a crazy-feat of papier-mâché and copper roof engineering. It allegedly took 13 years and 6,000 hours to build before Diehl even began to decorate the interior.
The Astolat castle will be hitting the road on a charity tour, to raise money for Autism Speaks, but Londoners can catch it at the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood where it is on display until September 16.
Related story: Le Louvre taps the mini-me market