Theriault’s January 2010 Premiere Doll Auctions Achieve Record Prices
Annapolis, MD -- January 9, 2010
Annapolis, MD -- January 9, 2010
When Stuart Holbrook, President of Theriault’s, the doll auction firm, first visited the home of Vera Bryant to view her doll collection he reported “The dolls are extraordinary!” but even more “They are a splendid blend, a perfect harmony”. And so the auction catalog that featured the Vera Bryant Collection was named, “In a Perfect Harmony”. The auction was conducted on January 9, 2010 in Newport Beach, California, and collectors surely agreed with Holbrook’s assessment, because beginning with lot #1, a 12” size 1 Bebe Bru Jne in entirely original taufling presentation that sold for $28,000, doubling its high pre-sale estimate of $10,000/14,000, record prices continued throughout the ensuing 360 lots of dolls, automata, and doll furniture, accessories and costumes.
Featured on the cover of the catalog was a pair of bisque dolls by Emile Jumeau, likely presented by that famous French dollmaker at the 1899 Universal Exposition in Paris. One of the dolls featured the very rare laughing character face, model 203, from the firm’s art character series, and the pair wore their matching perfectly-preserved lady and gentlemen silk carnival costumes created in the Jumeau ateliers. Notably, the dolls had been featured on the February 1964 cover of Doll News, at that time in the possession of the noted California collector, Mrs. Gordon Bennett, from which they passed along to Vera Bryant. The pair sold for $72,500 (pre-sale estimate $40,000/$60,000).
Other works by Jumeau were notable at the auction, too. A 26” first-period Bebe Jumeau with splendid eyes known by collectors as “wrap-around eyes”, and having superb pale bisque rocketed to $53,000 (pre-sale $20,000/$30,000), a size 12 E.J. bebe in original couturier costume went to $18,000 (pre-sale $9500/$13,500), an early 14” portrait-like model with wooden articulated body reached $16,500 (presale ($7500/$9500), and a size 11 “Paris Bebe” with very expressive features fetched $13,000 (pre-sale $6000/$8000).
French dolls by other makers were center-stage, too, particularly those of Leon Casimir Bru, Jules Steiner and Andre Thuillier. Vera Bryant had sought rare models by those makers, and collectors responded to this rarity with electric bidding that topped pre-sale estimates over and over again. Dolls by Bru included $33,000 for a classic size 2 bebe, $30,000 for a mulatto-complexioned “circle-dot” model, $39,000 for wooden-bodied Bebe Modele, $52,500 for an Asian model bebe, $34,000 for a classic size 11 bebe, and $27,000 for Bebe Gourmand, among others. Jules Steiner’s bebe ranged from the very rare 24” series E bebe that reached $31,000, to a 19” Series G with original costume that topped at $19,500, an exceptionally-sized 37” Series C that reached $18,000, and an all original bebe with fabulous silk costume, Figure C, that topped at $10,500. Bebes by Andre Thuillier were highly desirable: a 19” kid-bodied model went to $46,000 and a 15” kid-bodied bebe and 16” and 22”” composition-bodied bebes each reached $42,000, all exceeding their pre-sale estimates. Other French bebes included a an early model by Adelaide Huret with painted eyes and wooden body that reached $33,000, a glass-eyed Huret bebe with gutta percha body selling at $19,000, a stunning 33” Bebe Mothereau that topped at $20,000, and a classic Bebe Schmitt realizing $15,000.
French bebes harmonized perfectly with rare German bisque characters that also realized very strong prices including Simon and Halbig’s 153 model known as “The Little Duke” that sold for $22,000, Heubach Koppelsdorf’s 319 googly that soared to $24,000 (more than tripling its high pre-sale estimate), Franz Schmidt’s 17” 1263 painted eye solemn-faced girl that went to $18,500, Kammer and Reinhardt’s 21” 107 model known as “Karl” that nearly tripled its high pre-sale estimate at $46,000, Simon and Halbig’s 22” 1305 “Witch” model at $14,000, and a 21” bisque girl known as “A.T. Kestner” at $7250.
The doll auction was part of a three-day auction weekend that also featured a world-class auction of antique doll houses and miniatures whose prices also reached records. That auction was featured in a two volume catalog titled “Echoes of Remembered Rooms” and included houses, rooms, furnitures, accessories and miniature dolls. Realized prices from all auctions can be seen by visiting www.theriaults.com and clicking on the button for Proxibid. To receive brochures list for upcoming auctions call 800-638-0422 or to receive emails for upcoming auction register online at www.theriaults.com.
Founded in 1970, Theriault's is the largest auction house in the world dealing exclusively in antique dolls, toys, and teddy bears. Conducting over 30 live auctions annually in 20 U.S. cities they cater to an international clientele of collectors for what is considered to be one of the top 5 most popular collectibles categories.