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07.31.12 -- Theriault’s Has Highest Grossing Two-Day Doll Event in Company History

Theriault’s Has Highest Grossing Two-Day Doll Event in Company History
Annapolis, MD -- July 31, 2012 
 
Virtually unprecedented in doll auction history was Theriault’s, the Annapolis, MD based auction house specializing in doll and childhood ephemera, offering two renowned international museums in a back-to-back two-day event in New Orleans on July 22 and 23. The excitement that this produced was evident in that the total tally of the auctions hit $2.5M, making it the largest grossing two-day event in company history. 
 
Not only were the total sales impressive but also a number of individual records were achieved throughout the two-days adding to the excitement and chatter of the thousands of global collectors who either attended onsite in New Orleans or were bidding online or on the phone. Company President Stuart Holbrook commented that; “The items offered from the two museums complemented each other so perfectly that it was a natural fit in presenting them as we did. Further, it generated a huge buzz amongst collectors and provided for a wonderful energy for the entire two-days.” 
 
The two museums offered were the Spielzeugmuseum Prader of Davos, Switzerland and the Dolls and Dreams Museum of Judene Hansen of Palm Beach, FL. Both were privately owned and run by noted collectors who spent decades building legendary and diverse collections. 
 
From the Prader Museum the unique pieces delved into the entire history of dolls. Collectors fought tooth and nail to obtain even just one of the rarities that it held. While collectors will most certainly recount the exceptional prices on such items as a Steiff School Set for $50,000.00 and a rare French Fashion by Clement with trousseau known as “Victoria” for $55,000.00, it was smaller fringe categories that had collectors gasping throughout the first day of sales. Such items as a German toy stove by Bing at $12,000 (pre-sale $1100/1500), and an early French cloth taufling doll with hand-written inscription “Je suis ne le 13 avril 1785” reaching $13,000 (pre-sale $800/1300) were just two of the many pieces that had collectors competing in frenzied bidding. 
 
The Dolls and Dreams Museum focused more on classic bisque dolls of French and German 19th century firms, as well as American dolls from the vintage 1950s era. Surprisingly, for the first-time ever at a Theriault event, an American doll (well, a set that is!) led the pricing battle in the end. A world record price for Madame Alexander was met with wild bidding as a set of six dolls from the coveted and rare series known as the “mystery portrait dolls” reached a top bid of $88,000.00. This price, while for a group, is also a world record for any American item in the doll genre. French dolls also fared well with rare examples in pristine condition having strong appeal to top collectors. A French bebe by Huret fetched $42,000 and a rare brown-complexioned Steiner bebe in its original opera costume topped out at $39,000. As in the Prader Museum event the day before, fringe categories also were hitting record prices including an Italian felt doll “Equestrienne” by Lenci that sold for $27,000 against a presale estimate of $3000/4500. 
 
Both collections were featured in beautifully illustrated hard-bound catalogs that uniquely highlighted the theme and history of the museums. Florence Theriault, founder of the Theriault’s and chief-cataloguer commented that, “auction catalogs are not only a means of marketing but, in-fact, should also be a tribute and documentation of great collections and museums. They stand as the final representation to the vision of each.” 
 
The complete catalogs can be viewed at www.theriaults.com. The Annapolis, MD-based firm, which has specialized solely in antique dolls and childhood ephemera for nearly half a century, conducts their auctions in major cities around the US. The July auctions were conducted in New Orleans. 
 
CAPTIONS
1. Victoria, a French bisque poupee and her trousseau with highlights of the Prader Spielzeugmuseum in Davos, Switzerland, and sold for $55,000 to a California private collector. 
2. Few examples of the school room with pupils, Professor, and original furnishings are known to exist. This rare example from the Prader Museum topped at $50,000. 
3. Breaking a record for a set of American dolls at auction was the six-doll “mystery portrait doll” by Madame Alexander, created in 1951. The dolls re-invigorated the post-World-War II American fashion industry, as well as earning fashion industry awards for the American doll company. The set sold for $88,000 to a private collector.