Sisters’ long-held private collections serve as centerpiece of Morphy’s Oct. 10-11 Fine Doll Auction

Morphy Doll Auctions has prepared a diverse selection of dolls, dollhouses, miniatures and teddy bears as the foundation of its Fall Fine Doll event. The 950-lot auction will take place Oct. 10-11, and features dolls of excellent pedigree from select private collections, including those of noted sister collectors Eleanor Lakin and Patricia Lemkuhl.

Friday’s session includes a treasure trove of 18th, 19th and 20th century dolls of all types, including German and French bisque dolls; exceptional Lenci dolls, German character dolls including a Kammer & Reinhardt model 112X, more than 50 coveted porcelain half dolls, mignonettes, French fashion dolls, and an impressive grouping of antique French automata.

Doll department co-director Andy Ourant remarked on the variety available in the opening session: “It’s the kind of sale we like to have.  We have very early dolls all the way through to nice Shirley Temples and Dewees Cochran dolls. The collection of half dolls – or pincushion dolls – is exceptional. It includes a 7-inch glazed-porcelain half doll of ‘La Belle Chocolatiere,’ the lady in the Baker’s Chocolate ads. It was made in Germany around 1900, and will be accompanied by an assortment of early Baker’s ephemera. It’s expected to bring $2,000 to $3,000.”

Within the automata section, a circa 1875 Vichy (French) Waltzing Couple in stylish attire moves forward and spins to a musical accompaniment when activated. The 13-inch-tall duo is estimated at $8,000-$10,000.

Leading the French bébés is a sought-after circa 1880 Thullier A.T. doll. Standing 18 inches tall and dressed in an antique pink wood dress, the rare doll is estimated at $45,000-$55,000. Rounding out the session are folk art cloth dolls, doll accessories and Steiff teddy bears. “It’s a full, all-encompassing lineup that collectors are going to love,” Ourant said.

On Saturday, Oct. 11, the star attraction will be the incredible collections of sisters Eleanor Lakin and Patricia Lemkuhl, of Boonsboro, Md. “The sisters’ collections are grounded in fine, early dolls and lots of original clothing,” said Ourant. “Both ladies have a very finely developed eye for aesthetics – Eleanor Lakin is an architect, and Patricia Lemkuhl is an art teacher. They learned a great deal about dolls from their late mother, and back in the 1960s and ’70s, the sisters attended auctions and bought from some of the really early collections, like those of Margaret Woodbury Strong, Gladys Hilsdorf and Estelle Winthrop. In this auction, you’ll see the treasures that have been in the sisters’ collections for many decades – two Queen Anne dolls, papier-mâchés, china dolls, bisque and bisque fashion dolls, American dolls and so much more.”

Also included in the Lakin and Lemkuhl collections are dollhouses and miniatures. A key lot is the mid-19th-century Wharton Mansion dollhouse, so named because it descended through the distinguished Wharton family of Philadelphia, for whom the University of Pennsylvania’s business school was named. It carries a $25,000-$30,000 estimate. Another noteworthy entry is the furnished dollhouse replica of the Stauffer Mansion on Lititz Pike in Lancaster, Pa. “The dollhouse was purchased at the famous Stauffer estate sale of the 1970s,” said Ourant.

The session also includes a TynieToy dollhouse, “mystery” house, and many European room boxes. Immediately following the dollhouses, Morphy’s will auction approximately 150 lots of antique, vintage and contemporary artisan miniatures. “There are some Waltershausen and ormolu miniatures, as well as examples by famous artists including Nora Olson and Eric Pierson,” said Ourant.

For more information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail

Morphy Auctions is a subsidiary of Geppi’s Entertainment Auctions & Publications.