Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle

There was so much we didn’t get to see, or even see well, at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The last thing we really did take a close look at before we left, though, was Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle.

Colleen Moore was an American actress in both silent pictures, and in the then newly popular sound films. The dollhouse was built by her father in 1928, and has been on display in Chicago since 1949.

Far from being “just a dollhouse,” this creation is a true marvel. There are 11 individual rooms (as well as an unexplained treasure room), and an outdoor garden. The castle contains tapestries with impossibly tiny stitches, vases that are over 500 years old, statues that are over 4,000 years old, the smallest Bible in the world, and fine materials including alabaster, amber, gold, and crystal throughout. There are depictions, as you would expect, from many fairy tales, including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur.

I’m not going to lie…it’s kind of a weird thing. When you consider the value of all of the miniatures and the castle itself, it’s mind-boggling. The original price tag in the 1930s was almost a half a million dollars! But even thought it’s strange, it’s also breathtakingly stunning, and when you consider the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into creating it, the mind boggles further. It’s truly something that shouldn’t be missed!

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