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04.09.14 -- Theriault’s Auction Sets Record Prices at Historic Naples, Florida Event

Theriault’s Auction Sets Record Prices at Historic Naples, Florida Event
Annapolis, MD -- April 9, 2014 
 
Nearly fifteen years ago the small Swiss village of Stein am Rhein saw the lights dim on the notable Puppenmuseum Stein am Rhein, a landmark museum for doll lovers around the world. It wasn’t until early 2014 that the renowned and widely discussed collection resurfaced as Theriault’s announced its Marquis auction to be held March 29th and 30th in Naples, Florida. Stuart Holbrook, President of Theriault’s, upon first seeing the collection remarked, “Though I had heard whispers over the years of the fabulous dolls that Frau Steiner had collected, the reality was even better…The museum stood as a time capsule of perfection, one of the best I had ever seen in Europe.” Collectors from around the world emphatically verified this statement and the auction set record prices throughout the course of the weekend. 
 
Most notable was an Albert Marque doll, #27 of only 100 models known to have been made, which sold for just over $300,000 breaking the world record for a doll sold at auction. The highly anticipated French art character doll from sculptor Albert Marque was presented in its original signed costume and drew both phone and onsite bids. Ultimately the doll was sold over the phone to a private collector.
 
Many other French dolls within the collection received special note and interest from collectors throughout the weekend, repeatedly exceeding presale estimates. A pair of French bisque character dolls by sculptor and illustrator Francisque Poulbot which just celebrated their 100th birthday sold for $40,000 nearly doubling the high end of their presale estimate ($16,000/$23,000) while an outstanding bebe “H” by Halopeau circa 1880, wearing a superb antique costume, realized $40,000 as well. Lots #28 and #68 featured two stunning bebes by Thullier in lovely antique costumes with gorgeous eyes and endearing shy expressions, selling for $37,500 and $34,000 respectively.
 
Some of the most impressive lots realized were the musical automata of Roullet et Decamps. “The Clown with Fan and Ball,” circa 1900 by the French maker sold for $42,500 far exceeding its presale estimate ($25,000/$35,000), and the delightful “The Elephant Rides” by Decamps sold for $32,000, more than tripling the high end of its presale estimate ($5,000/$9,000). Other automaton makers also caught the eye of collectors: the French bisque automaton “Spanish Lady with Guitar” by Leopold Lambert brought $12,000, and a French paper mache musical automaton “The Fortune Teller,” by an unknown maker, realized $13,500, highlighting the second day of the auction. 
 
Many other antique items brought soaring prices as well including a 19th century child’s stove that sold for $8,000, a rare model of a Langedoc steam coach realized $10,000, as did a 19th century mantel clock with accessories, commissioned for the luxury goods store J.E. Caldwell. 
 
By the conclusion of the auction, Theriaults had achieved sales at just over $2,000,000.00. Realized prices from the Stein am Rhein Museum Collection auction as well as other Theriault’s auctions can be seen by visiting 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. For more information visit www.theriaults.com, email info@theriaults.com or call 800-638-0422.