VIRTUALLY UNPRECEDENTED in doll auction history was Theriault’s, the Annapolis, MD based auction house specializing in doll and childhood ephemera, offering two renowned international museums in a back-to-back two-day event in New Orleans on July 22 and 23. The excitement that this produced was evident in that the total tally of the auctions hit $2.5M, making it the largest grossing two-day event in company history.
Not only were the total sales impressive but also a number of individual records were achieved throughout the two-days adding to the excitement and chatter of the thousands of global collectors who either attended onsite in New Orleans or were bidding online or on the phone. Company President Stuart Holbrook commented that; “The items offered from the two museums complemented each other so perfectly that it was a natural fit in presenting them as we did. Further, it generated a huge buzz amongst collectors and provided for a wonderful energy for the entire two-days.”
The two museums offered were the Spielzeugmuseum Prader of Davos, Switzerland and the Dolls and Dreams Museum of Judene Hansen of Palm Beach, FL. Both were privately owned and run by noted collectors who spent decades building legendary and diverse collections.
From the Prader Museum the unique pieces delved into the entire history of dolls. Collectors fought tooth and nail to obtain even just one of the rarities that it held. While collectors will most certainly recount the exceptional prices on such items as a Steiff School Set for $50,000.00 and a rare French Fashion by Clement with trousseau known as “Victoria” for $55,000.00, it was smaller fringe categories that had collectors gasping throughout the first day of sales. Such items as a German toy stove by Bing at $12,000 (pre-sale $1100/1500), and an early French cloth taufling doll with hand-written inscription “Je suis ne Ie 13 avril 1785” reaching $13,000 [pre-sale $800/1300) were just two of the many pieces that had collectors competing in frenzied bidding.