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Dolls Shine at Theriault's 5-Auction Weekend in Newport Beach
Auctions bring $1.8 million and Show Continued Strength of Antique and Vintage Doll Markets
 More of this Feature
 Hertwig Archives Auction
Barbie A-Go-Go: Vintage Barbie Auction
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"Theriault's Website: What Do You Think?"
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 Theriaults Auction Weekend 2000
• Tips For Attending A Doll Auction

Click on any picture on this page to open a larger and better quality image of these beautiful dolls

Theriault's 2001 auction weekend held in Newport Beach, California January 5-7 was attended by hundreds of avid collectors of vintage and antique dolls.  Over 1,000 dolls and doll-related items were sold in five auctions--an auction showcasing antique automata dolls, an auction featuring antique and vintage dolls, a vintage Barbie auction, an uncatalogued "Discovery Day" auction, and a special auction of items from the archives of the Hertwig doll factory.  The auctions were a huge success, and  they showcased the continued strength of the antique and vintage dolls markets in the face of the slowing economy in the United States.

French automaton, "Bebe Nid." by Leopold Lambert 

"Dolls In Motion" Antique Automata Auction

The "Dolls In Motion" auction kicked off the weekend on Friday night.  It was an extraordinary treat for collectors to see over 100, rare moving dolls all at one time--most of the dolls were rare automatas, but dolls with other types of movement mechanisms were featured as well.  All of the dolls were from the 1850-1915 time period, and all were in working condition.  The dolls did everything you could imagine--they smoked, blew bubbles, danced, played guitar, saluted, fed cats, poured tea, threw kisses, played with puppets, walked, waltzed, pushed baby carriages, rode horses, and walked the high wire!  When each doll was brought up for auction, their motion was shown to the audience.  For those who could not be at the auction, Theriaults is planning to release a video which will show many of these dolls in action, as well as provide documentary information.  The video is expected to be released at the end of this month and will be priced at approximately $29.99.

Prices were strong.  One especially rare automaton, "Bebe Piano" plays four songs on a "piano."  The doll, which was made by Leopold Lambert using a Jumeau head in 1886, sold for $31,000 against an estimate of $13,000-$16,000.  The automaton showed to the left, above, "Bebe Nid," sold for $4,750 against an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.  This doll was made circa 1890, throws kisses and lifts the egg top to reveal a small, automated bird.  There were dolls at all price ranges at this auction-- A very old, pull-along mechanical wax baby in basket sold for $850, and a French mechanical pull-toy 'girl feeding chicks" sold for $850 against an estimate of $800-$1,100.

May I Have The Pleasure Of This Dance" Auction

Beautiful, large Jumeau wood-bodied poupee. 

Saturday was reserved for the Theriault's "Marquis" auction, featuring  antique and vintage dolls. There were 242 dolls and doll-related items sold at this auction,  including old French and German antiques, old Lenci cloth dolls, and even some mid-20th century dolls such as Terri Lee and dolls by Madame Alexander and Ideal.

Again, most dolls sold at or above estimate.  There was an exceptional array of French Bebes, French Fashion Dolls, German Child, Baby and Character dolls, many rare Lencis, and lovely antique doll related items as well.

Some highlights of the auction include a Bebe Bru Jne, 15", that sold for $18,500 against an estimate of $11,000/$14,000, and an exceptionally large wood-bodied poupee by Jumeau (shown to the right) that sold for $33,000, well above the estimate of $16,000 to $21, 000.  An adorable Jubilee Googly with a rare, chubby toddler body type sold for $12,750, again well over the $6,500 to $8,500 estimate.

After the auction, Theriaults held their annual Cheval D'or Banquet, where various gifts were presented to "The Little Prince" as part of his Grand Tour.  For more information about the Little Prince Tour, visit www.theriaults.com.

Additional Prices Realized

Sonneberg Bisque Closed-Mouth Child, 252 by Bahr and Proschild $3,500/3,500 $3,800
Rare Italian Cloth Portrait of Valentino as "The Sheik" by Lenci $3,000/3,500 $8,500
Large, All-Original French Bebe Jumeau (Tete) in Original Box $7,500/9,500 $10,000
German Bisque "Tynie" Baby by Horsman $500/700 $575
Pair, Terri and Jerri Lee  $400/$600 $950
German Cloth Character Boy by Kathe Kruse $1,200/$1,800 $1,700
Composition Scarlett O'Hara by Alexander $800/$1,100 $1,000
German Bisque Character "Marie," by Kammer and Reinhardt (17") $3,000/$3,500 $3,800
All-Original French Bisque Portrait Poupee by Jumeau, 22" $5,000/$6,500 $6,800


French fashion doll marked "Depose J," circa 1860. 


Part II: Hertwig & Company Archives Auction:  1890-1937

Part III: "Barbie-A-Go-Go" Auction






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Denise Van Patten, © 2001.  All rights reserved.

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