Announcing "Vintage Barbie" The Thomas Romanotto Collection - March 12-13, 2022

March 12-13, 2022 —

Marquis Antique Doll Auction.

With a fascination of fashion and an eye for evolving hair fashions (he, himself, after all, owned a prestigious hair salon near Sacramento, California), Tom Romanotto began his quest for the rare and unusual Barbie in her early days.

His collection, beginning with the 1959 #1 Barbie sweeps through the next decade with a grand flourish which makes dramatically clear the social and fashion changes that took place in a mere ten years. The sweet soda-shop ponytail Barbie of the late 50s became, seemingly overnight, the mini-skirted, cropped shaggy hair teen of the 60s. The elegant ladies-do-lunch dolls of the beginning years, in a mere snap or two of the finger, evolved into flamboyantly dressed and tressed Mod dolls of the 60s. Each era of doll reflected its time. Dolls are historical evidence, indeed.

The shockingly real-life rapid social and fashion changes that took place during this decade are evident in the remarkable Romanotto Collection of Vintage Barbies. Hundreds of amazing dolls parade onto the runway, each impeccably garbed in complete ensembles, with all accessories in place. Virtually every model is included in the collection, which also abounds in Exclusive Gift Sets for Sears and J.C. Penney, exclusive fashions for the Japanese and European markets, and costumes in rare documented variations of fabric or trim. Every member of Barbie’s family is included, and, oh the accessories and ephemera, including a wonderful collection of Irwin “Planes, Boats and Automobiles” which Tom Romanotto wrote about in an article for Barbie Bazaar.

The collector generously shared his collection with others, writing many other articles for Barbie Bazaar, such as those which featured “Julia”, “Twiggy”, and “Pop Art Fashion”. And in 1998 he produced “The Fabulous Vintage Fashion Show” with “over 60 minutes of music, action and narration…featuring over 200 vintage Barbie doll fashions from 1959 through 1972” from his own collection.

The Romanotto Collection of Vintage Barbie will be presented in a two day auction, on Saturday and Sunday, March and 12 and 13 in a virtual live video/audio auction to which all are invited. Internet bidding (both pre-bidding and live) is available throughout the auction, as well as traditional absentee bids and live telephone bidding.


A gorgeous 250 page full color catalog of the collection written by Florence Theriault, in consultation with Bradley Justice Yarbrough, internationally known Barbie expert, is available for $59 including priority shipping and after-auction prices. Shipping is free, and the books are sent priority mail. And after the auction you will receive prices realized to keep with the book forever. To order click here, email info@theriaults.com, or call 410-224-3655.

The auction begins at 11AM Eastern each day. We welcome absentee bidding, live telephone bidding, and live bidding on the internet. Too, you can “tune-in” to the online auction and watch and listen to the entire event. Questions? Give us a call and we’ll help you choose the bidding option that is best for you.

Auction Information
The auction will take place at the Theriault's Studio in Annapolis, Maryland. For auction information call Theriault’s at 410-224-3655 M-F 9AM-5PM EST or go online to theriaults.com.

Our New Service
Face2Live is Theriault’s new service that allows you to schedule an appointment to view on live video feed close-ups of a few dolls you are most interested in. Simply click the handy button on the side of the bottom left of the page. From there you will be connected to one of our staff on video chat (you do not have to be on video yourself) who can either get the doll you are interested in right then or schedule an appointment with you later. A great way to get a close up look of features and face in a live private video session. M-F 9AM-4PM.

How To Bid. Choose the dolls that "speak" to you, and have the fun! You can bid absentee, bid live on the telephone, or bid live on the internet. For more information, please contact us at 410-224-3655 or email us at info@theriaults.com.