Cotillion, The Antique Doll Collection of Susan Whittaker of Beverly Hills
Saturday and Sunday, January 10–11, 2015
Newport Beach, California at The Fairmont Hotel
Preview 9 AM. Auction begins at 11 AM each day.
To the celebrity friends that filled her sweeping Beverly Hills home she was gorgeous, glamorous and elegant. To her family, she was loving and generous and funny, endowed with a “perfectly wicked sense of humor”, says her nephew. And in the doll world she was known for choosing the best and the beautiful and, sometimes, the most whimsical of dolls. Which is why her collection ranged from the extraordinary beauty of five (yes, five) splendid early period A.T. bébés by Thuillier to the fanciful wittiness of the three (yes, three) sought-after Oscar Hitt googly dolls, and is highlighted by a very fine Albert Marque doll, described by her son as “the one that was most near and dear to her heart, a Valentine’s gift from my father in 1977”.
That was Susan Whittaker whose estate collection is being presented at auction by at Theriault’s on January 10 and 11 in Newport Beach, California, at the Fairmont Hotel. The legendary collection was begun in the early 1970s and includes more than 400 fine antique dolls including an extraordinary array of the rarest of French bébés (H, AT, Bru, Jumeau, Schmitt and a fabulous Marque) and more than 200 exceptional early mignonettes, delightfully counterpointed by more than 50 googlies in the rarest models and sizes known to exist. Despite her enthusiastic attention to “anything doll”, Susan was, in the choice of her own dolls, very focused and fastidious. “She had an eye”, said one collector friend, “something you can’t define, but somehow she just always spotted the best of the best in a roomful of dolls, and that would be the one she chose”.
Says Stuart Holbrook, President of Theriault’s, “When first viewing the collection, I thought there were many duplicates, especially of googly dolls. And then I realized, oh not so, because I could see the method to her collecting. Sizes! She would try to find a particular model in every size, and what a fabulous “family” that made.”
Costumes, too, were a primary focus for Susan Whittaker. That her dolls should be presented in the finest antique garb, couturier for the French bébés and whimsical for the characters, had been, simply, an absolute requisite, and collectors will be in awe of the presentation of each and every doll.
While the collection focuses on the French, the mignonettes, and the googlies, collectors of other dolls should not feel neglected. The “Cotillion” auction includes wonderful rarities in other genres ranging from a wonderful early wooden doll to a superb fully furnished dollhouse of the 1880s, from original French doll costume ensembles to an amazing array of French doll furnishings and accessories, from Maerklin carriages to a collection of Chloe Preston figures, and on and on.
Each wonderful object is photographed and fully described in the 220 page hardbound 10” x 10” book. All of the objects will be on display on Friday evening and Saturday morning at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach. The catalog “Cotillion” can be viewed by visiting www.theriaults.com and click on Issuu. The individual lots can be viewed by visitingtheriaults.com and click Bid Online.
Best yet - order the catalog so you can sit quietly, browse, dream, and choose your favorites. Call 800-638-0422 or visit www.theriaults.com to order.
Schedule of Events
Friday evening, January 9
7 PM - 8 PM. Meet and greet old friends at a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception and take a sneak peek at the weekend’s offerings.
Saturday, January 10
The Outstanding Antique Doll Collection of Susan Whittaker of Beverly Hills 8:30 AM. Early Preview and walk-through tour with Florence Theriault.
9 AM - 11 AM. Preview of the collection.
11 AM. Session I of the Susan Whittaker Collection begins.
Sunday, January 11
9 AM - 11 AM. Preview of the day’s auction.
11 AM. Session II of the Susan Whittaker Collection begins.
2 PM. Discovery Day of 200 additional dolls.
A gorgeous 204-page hardbound catalog of the Whittaker Collection, with special features not available to online viewers, is available for $75 including after-auction prices realized and priority postage. Call 800-638-0422 or order here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-638-0422.