It is the ultimate enchanted castle: lush gardens and sumptuous rooms, decorated with precious furniture and priceless art. There are glowing chandeliers and elegant bathrooms. Not bad, for a doll house!
Between 1928 and 1935, Hollywood star Colleen Moore spent a reported half-million dollars on her Fairy Castle, employing some 100 Hollywood designers and craftsmen to build it, and then sent the doll house on tour to raise money for children's charities.
Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry - home to the Fairy Castle since it was donated in 1949 - has recently renovated it, as one does with a house that is getting on in years.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
Colleen Moore (1899-1988) was one of Hollywood's most successful silent film stars, appearing in more than 60 films between 1916 and 1934. Her last appearance was as Hester Prynne in "The Scarlet Letter."
Colleen Moore with her Fairy Castle, which is nine feet square, and weighs approximately one ton.
At the height of Colleen Moore's fame, she undertook creation of the Fairy Castle, hiring Hollywood artists to build it. It toured the U.S., raising a half-million dollars for charities.
The Magic Garden at the front of the Fairy Castle features a weeping willow and a stairway inspired by the Spanish Steps of Rome. There is also a solid-gold cornerstone laid by Sara Delano Roosevelt (the mother of FDR).
The rear of Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle.
The Great Hall - the largest room in the doll house - has an etched ivory floor, and a ceiling painted with figures from the classic Brothers Grimm tales.
The Chapel of Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle, with stained glass windows of Bible stories, a gold altar, and a Russian icon created with diamonds and emeralds (the jewels were taken from a brooch Moore donated).
Detail from the Chapel.
Music pours forth from the pipe organ.
The Dining Room evokes the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
A tapestry hangs in the Dining Room.
The chairs measure about three inches tall.
Detail from the Drawing Room.
Detail from the Drawing Room.
The piano measures 6 1/4 inches long, 2 3/4 inches wide and 3 inches tall (when closed).
The Kitchen features murals of nursery rhymes, a copper stove, and a dinner service that is a replica of one made for Queen Mary's doll house at Windsor Castle.
Detail from the Kitchen.
The library includes 65 tiny tomes by such famous writers as F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, and "Tarzan" author Edgar Rice Burroughs, who contributed "Tarzan Jr." Also included is allegedly the smallest Bible in the world.
The walls of the Library were painted to resemble the ocean, with sculptures evoking pirates, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver, Captain Kidd and other adventurers.
The Princess' Bath.
Chandeliers help illuminate the Princess' Bedroom, with light bulbs the size of grains of wheat.
Detail from the Princess' Bedroom.
Colleen Moore with her Fairy Castle.
For more info:
ColleenMoore's Fairy Castle, at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
"Withinthe Fairy Castle"by Terry Ann R. Neff (Museum of Science and Industry)