The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago recently completed a 9-month conservation of its Fairy Castle, an elaborate dollhouse created by silent film star Colleen Moore and donated to the museum in 1949.
The Fairy Castle was built with a plumbing and electrical system—the bathtubs have real running water, the chandeliers light—and filled with collected and custom made exquisite objects, like tiny gold plates and crystal glasses, miniature needlepoint tapestries, the smallest Bible in the world, actual Ancient Egyptian mini-statues, and a sliver of the true cross, given to Moore’s friend Clare Boothe Luce by the Pope. The castle cost $500,000 to create in 1935, equivalent to over $8 million in today’s dollars.
Above, you can watch a time-lapse video of the castle being put back together by the conservation team. It shows the objects being placed back into the rooms in accordance with the original intention: to give the impression “that a fairy had been there but left just moments ago.”
For more about Moore’s Fairy Castle, visit The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.