Dolls Continue Strong at Theriault’s October Catalog Auction
Annapolis, MD -- October 11, 2008
Dolls definitely made the life of Madalaine Selfridge happy for more than half a century. It was her collection that was being sold and collectors who had dreamed for decades about the dolls, photographed in her landmark books of the 1960s, Wendy and Friends, Dimples and Sawdust, and Dolls, Images of Love, were all too ready to capture that happiness – along with a doll or two.
Madalaine Selfridge, whose collection was being sold, attended the auction, and was generous in speaking with collectors and relating stories about her dolls, most which had been attained by her nearly a half-century before. One doll, a wistful-faced bisque doll by Bruno Schmidt, graced the cover of all three books authored by Selfridge, and had also been featured on the cover of the Theriault auction catalog. Collectors universally refer to this model, marked 2033, as “Wendy”, but few realized that the name had been given to the model by Selfridge forty years previously when she penned her book. “I just always thought it was the manufacturer’s name for the doll”, avowed more than one collector. The 16” doll sold for $16,000, nearly tripling its pre-sale estimate, and a smaller 13” model went for $9500.
Little dolls brought big prices at Theriault’s auction. Examples of all-bisque characters and mignonettes included a 6” French barefoot girl at $1900, 7” Asian girl with upturned toe slippers at $1100, 8” SH 886 with brown ankle boots at $2200, 8” Kestner known as “French Wrestler” at $2200, 10” barefoot girl at $4000, 9” Kestner with Bru-look-alike expression (with restored throat) at $5750, and a tiny 5” Baby Bo-kaye at $1800.
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.