ANAPOLIS, Md – “I held history in my hands,” was the way California doll collector Geri Baker described her feelings whenever she had acquired a cherished antique doll.
On Jan. 5, Baker passed her extensive collection into the hands of other collectors in a history-making doll auction that drew hundreds of collectors from around the world.
Important among these dolls was Blondinette, a 17-inch French poupee by Adelaide Huret, which had come directly from her original chateau in Rouen, France, where she had been stored for nearly a century and a half. The doll and many pieces of her extensive trousseau were won by Baker in its original 1994 Theriault’s auction.
Doll researchers believe that only 100 models of the exquisitely sculpted young girl by French artist Albert Marque were ever made. The doll sold for $175,000 at Theriault’s January auction despite a line flaw on her throat.
A Chicago collector won the doll and most of the important attendant pieces. Blondinette sold for $31,000 nearly doubling her 1994 selling price, and one gown, preserved in its original couturier box, soared to $19,500, 20 times its pre-sale estimate, setting a world auction record for a doll costume. Prices for the entire Blondinette collection totaled more than $70,000, with buyer’s premium.
Other French dolls from the Baker collection also came in with very solid prices. The first lot of the day, an 11-inch premiere bebe by Jumeau in original couturier costume sold for $13,500, while #6 in the auction, a 13-inch blue-eyed beauty by Thuillier, soared to $100,000, tripling its presale estimate.
This doll is 13 inches of beauty, from her artistically sculpted bisque hands to spectacular blue eyes that matched the ice blue silk of her costume. Made by French doll maker Thuillier about 1884, the doll soared to $100,000.
The top price of the day was achieved by a very rare doll by Albert Marque that sold for $175,000, while a splendid 24-inch bebe by French doll maker Halopeau, gracing the catalog cover, went for $125,000 (presale $40,000/50,000).
For more information about other upcoming doll auctions, call 800-638-0422, or go online to www.theriaults.com.