This miniature mansion dollhouse was made by Karl Pohlmann. Karl, a native of Germany who lived in New Jersey most of his life, was a retired painting contractor in San Bernardino, California before moving to Escondido in 1978 after his wife’s passing. According to Karl, the project was a labor of love.

Started in 1982, the miniature house and virtually everything in it was scratch built by Karl in 1983. It was modeled after a spacious 25-room mansion where Karl worked in the mid-1930s. Without plans, his masterpiece was built entirely from his vivid recollection of the estate with its tall columns, porch swing, and manicured grounds. Karl worked on his project six hours a day, seven days a week for 18 months, and upon completion was appraised at a value of $12,000 in 1983. 

The roof is covered in 1,800 individually hand-crafted shingles. Most of the rugs were individually woven by hand. The delicately hand carved, stained, and lacquered hardwood furniture is upholstered with fine fabrics. Hand sewn curtains hang on brass curtain rods and the windows, which actually open and close, are filled with real glass. 

Exhibit added: August 31, 2017 - Last modified: May 23, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship