Trousseaux steal the show at Theriault’s “As in a Looking Glass” Auction Event in San Antonio

Trousseaux steal the show at Theriault’s “As in a Looking Glass” Auction Event
Annapolis, MD July 21, 2014 
Theriault’s July 15th auction event, “As in a Looking Glass,” drew collectors from around the globe to San Antonio last week for a stunning presentation of rare and highly sought after dolls, automata, and accessories. Many beautiful and highly desirable dolls were presented from five major collections, and among them, it was the impressive dolls with sumptuous trousseaux that captivated the audience and brought some of the highest bids in the auction. 
It isn’t very difficult to see why the trousseaux were so desirable, a brief survey of the stunning and intricate costumes and accessories was nearly enough to leave one satiated, particularly when they were as lavish and extensive as the trunk and trousseau featured alongside the French bisque wooden bodied poupee in lot #56. The doll, circa 1867, was presented from an original chateau estate in La Bourboule in the Auvergne region of central France. Her extensive original couturier trousseau included fourteen extraordinary gowns, ten bonnets, various blouses and jackets, coat, extensive undergarments, long train petticoats, small accessories, and her original trunk which bears the shipping label from to Nantes La Bourboule on its side. Of special note was the "Album de la Poupee" with 12 early sepia miniature tipped-in photographs of poupees in fashionable costumes (the earliest known commercial photographs of dolls) that was included in the trousseau. Selling for $36,000, the doll and trousseau exceeded its presale estimate and left a lasting impression on collectors fortunate enough to see the beautiful dolls and costumes in person. 
Later on in the auction arrived an exceptional porcelain lady, circa 1850, who was accompanied by an elaborate trunk and trousseau containing original hand-stitched couturiere costumes, bonnets, and accessories all in superb condition. The doll may be considered a precursor to the classic French bisque poupee, and with the original trunk boasting its original paper label fetched an impressive $16,500. Additionally, not to be overlooked was a German paper mache doll, circa 1860, named “Hattie” that had been owned by the young Harriet Simonds of Franklinville, New York, who died in 1863 at the age of sixteen. To pass the time during her invalid years, she sewed for her doll, creating an extensive wardrobe of costumes and accessories. The doll was sold from the collection of Jean Strong along with provenance documents for $8,750, more than five times the high end of its presale estimate of $1,100/ $1,500.
Other dolls with trousseaux featured in the auction included an exceptionally beautiful French bisque bebe by Schmitt et Fils, circa 1882, selling onsite for $11,000, and a petite French bisque block-letter bebe by Gaultier, circa 1884, which sold for $6,500 far exceeding its presale estimate. In all, the auction was an exciting and fruitful mid-week event to remember, providing collectors the opportunity to see outstanding trousseaux, rare and wonderfully delightful automata, and a wide assortment of accessories and miniatures. 
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.