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8.5 million dollar dollhouse on display in NYC?

Wm. R. Robertson

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Wm. R. Robertson

I am sure by now you have all seen this, a dollhouse/castle is on display in NYC that the owner claims has an appraised value of 8.5 million dollars.


I am shocked at CBS for reporting this, 8.5 million dollars is a lot of money and would buy some of the best miniatures on the planet. This is clearly filled with pieces that are not in that category. I have heard from an advanced collector who was standing in front of it yesterday that it is basicly a piece of junk. That the only good piece is the Cliff Feltrop suit of armorur. From the video it appears much of the furniture is commercially made, even the John Hodgson pieces are his cast and painted pieces. They also claim the collector has over 30,000 pieces, this may be true but I would like to see it. The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures has 21,000 pieces and this is by far one the finest collections in the world.

I think it is bad for the whole industry when the news media fixates on a big price tag as the news story. People look at that and think that is what this is all about and the true value. I wonder just who appraised this and what do they really know. I can not think of any way one could come up with such a number. And just so you know, I have read the appraisals for some of the largest and best collections in the USA.

What do you all think of this?

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I saw it on Facebook yesterday and didn't think it was nearly worth that kind of money.

The media is weird in any case, I have seen articles on the work of people like the Mulvaney's where you get the feeling that they are amazed that high quality miniatures can be that valuable and kind of questioning it.

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1) This could be someone's Grandmother's dollhouse...


2)  Valuations of collections are two fold in my opinion - a) valuation can be based upon meticulous bookkeeping and insurance costs of replacement - the higher the valuation; the greater cost of insuring the item; higher valuation means higher premium for the insurer.   As the structure is reported on the web that it was at the Tee Ridder Museum, they probably needed to do a valuation for insurance purposes before loaning it to the museum and B) the cold hard truth to a seller of a collection, is that an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  If I were the owner of the collection, I would not be shipping my silver tea set off without a lot of thought about the risks of losing it.  I suggest that you are seeing 1/3 of the collection and the rare, expensive stuff is not traveling.



3)  There are many items in the collection that are worth some serious cash according to the website.  Google search, Astolat Dollhouse Castle.  You can also find a little info at Wikipedia's site too.


4)  And please remember that this structure was made between 1974 and 1987.  This is  range of 41 to- 28 years ago from 2015, so we need to review the piece in the context of the time of its creation, in addition to the ability to replace items.   Miniatures have come a long, long way in 41 years!


5)  I do agree that focusing on the valuation is unfortunate, but I think it is really, really cool to have a dollhouse in the media, and fundraising for children's charities...


I suggest that someone with lots of knowledge and history should contact CBS and be the expert on call for their miniature stories.  


I ask, if we can pull off a dream exhibition what would you send?


I need to get to KC, MO to visit the Toy & Miniatures Museum... are there 21,000 items on display?  WOWSERs I'm thinking sensory overload... perhaps I will need 2 days..



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The first time a friend showed me this house i said "Now what you and i are thinking is give us 8.5 million and we'll show what could be done with it!"

I really don't think there is anything special at all in this house, most of it looks like it was mass produced in the far east. I'm by no means criticizing the owners for their choices, i think everyone enjoys miniatures in their own way, but i do feel that the value is completely unrealistic and totally exaggerated. The Adel Venus collection, one of the most beautiful and important collections, went under the hammer a few years ago and the whole collection raised under 750,000 dollars, I certainly know i'd pick Adel's collection over this one any day..

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