Inspired by Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, Colorado miniaturist Elaine Diehl spent 13 years and 6,000 hours creating Astolat Castle, a 9-foot dollhouse weighing 600 pounds. The weathered copper roof covers 29 rooms and 10 adjoining areas, staircases, and hallways outfitted with parquet floors, framed mirrors, tapestries, gold chandeliers, oil paintings, and fireplaces. The seven levels range from a wine cellar and an armory in the basement to a “wizard’s tower” outfitted with telescopes and zodiacal signs. The 1″ scale furnishings include seven periods and styles, including Spanish, Oriental, Tudor, 18th-century English, and Victorian.
“It’s been a wonderful hobby,” she told the Prescott, Ariz., Courier in 1990. “I used to not be able to wait to get home from work so I could play. The hours slipped by so easily, I would look at my watch and it would be three in the morning. … With this hobby, you can be in control of your own little world. In real life, you don’t have all those choices available to you.”