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Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle
In the late 1920s silent screen actress Colleen Moore had an idea. She wanted to create a magnificent fantasy castle in miniature that would tour the United States to raise money for children’s charities.
Seven years and $500,000 later, Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle was complete.
She enlisted the help of hundreds of talented artisans to craft each delicate miniature. She also collected miniature treasures from around the world, including statues that are more than 2000 years old.
The miniature books are all real, including the world’s smallest Bible which was made in the 1840s. The Castle is adorned with tapestries with stitches so tiny, they are the smallest ever created. They are barely visible to the naked eye, even with a magnifying glass!
Chandeliers and furniture are encrusted with real diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones. Walt Disney himself even painted some of the artwork in the Castle. Many of the crystal pieces in the dining room are over a century old.
The "treasures of Fairyland" are displayed in The Great Hall, behind tiny red velvet ropes. Visitors will see Cinderella's glass slippers, tiny chairs for The Three Bears, and the golden eggs Jack stole from the Giant
After its completion the Castle went on a whirlwind tour, with stops across the United States. Many prominent department stores hosted the Castle, but it also appeared in churches, museums, civic centers and even an automobile dealership!
For ease of transport, the entire Castle breaks down into smaller sections that can be packed up and reassembled at the next venue.
A small admission charge for each guest helped Colleen Moore raise over $600,000 for children’s charities throughout the 1930s and 1940s, when they most desperately needed the funds.
In 1949 the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago approached Colleen Moore about giving the Castle a permanent home. She jumped at the chance, and her Fairy Castle has been on display there ever since.
It is kept in its own sealed chamber with temperature and humidity controls to help preserve it for future generations to enjoy!
Content copyright © 2014 by Kim Kenney. All rights reserved.
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