Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Among Friends Press Release by Theriault's

Rare  Dolls  Sizzle  at  Theriault's  Annual  Summer  Auction  
Collectors  eagerly  thronged  to  Theriault's  annual  midsummer  auction  of  antique dolls  despite  the  record  heat  wave  which  swept  the  region.  The  weather sizzled,  and  so  did  the  prices.  

The  auction, “Among  Friends”, featured  the  private  collection  of  Billie  and  Paige Welker  of  North  Carolina,  which  fittingly,  included  five  examples  of  the American  cloth  doll  known  as  "Maggie Bessie",  made  from  the  end  of  the 1800s  until  about  1935  in the then small  Moravian  community  of  Winston-­Salem,  North Carolina , by  two  sisters,  Maggie  and  Bessie  Pfohl.  
The  earliest  example,  known  as  "Miss  Chitty",was  actually  rendered  by Elizabeth  Chitty,  an  instructor  in needlework  and  mathematics,  who  collaborated with  the  sisters  in  the  design  of  their  doll.

Few  examples  by  Chitty  are  known  to  exist.  At  the  Theriault‘s  
auction,  an  example in  as found  condition,  soared  to  $8500  (pre-­sale  estimate  $2500/$4500).  Other  examples  of  the  Maggie
Bessie  dolls  sold  at $9500,  $8500  (with  painted  ears),  $13,000,  
and  $9000.

American  cloth  dolls generally  were  quite  strong.  
An  Izannah  Walker  doll  with  ringlet  curls  and  rare  blue  cloth  body  hammered down  at  $29,000  (pre-sale  estimate  $12,000/$18,000);
a  26"  black  cloth  "Mammy"  doll  by  Martha  Chase  reached  $12,500  (pre-sale estimate  $6000/$8500);and  an  early  cloth doll"Nana",one
-­of-a-kind made  by  American  artist  Dewees Cochran  in  1935,  with documentation  from  the  artist,  fetched  $12,000  (pre-sale  estimate 

Contrasting  the  plain-folk  simplicity  of  American  cloth
at  the  Theriault’s auction  "Among  Friends" , were  elegant  and  
exquisite poupees  and  bebes  by  French  dollmakers  of  the  19th  century.  A petite  14"  poupee  by  Leontine  Rohmer  with  trousseau  reached  $22,000  (pre-­sale $15,000/$22,000) and  a  gorgeous  26"  
portrait  poupee  by  Jumeau  went  to  $18,500  (pre-sale  $12,000/

Size  does  count -­small  size,  that  is  -­for  the  growing  coterie  of  collectors  who cherish  the  tiny  size  0  and  1  bebes.  An  especially  dear  91/2"  bebe  A.T.,  size 1,  more  than  doubled  its  pre-sale  estimate,  topping  at  $40,000.  Other  bebes  included  a  black-­complexioned  Bru  Jne  at  $18,500;12"  portrait  bebe  by  Jumeau  at  $14,000;21"  blue-eyed  Bru  bebe  at  $23,000;tiny  8"  Series  B  bebe  by  Jules Steiner  at  $16,000; the  very  rare  Bebe  Clement  with  hollow  leatherbody  at $24,000; and  a  gorgeous  22"  Bebe  A.T.  with  distinctive  eye  decoration  at $31,000,  each  solidly  within  or  above  pre-­sale  estimates.  

Miniature Wax Lady under Dome with Spinning Wheel, Among Friends Auction

2 Brown Bisque Babies from Among Friends Auction

 German  bisque  art  characters  whose  expressions  rang ed  from  pouting  to  serene  to  wistful  to just  plain  mischievous  were avidly  sought at  Theriault's  auction ,  too.  Featured  on  the  catalog  cover  was  an  extremely  rare  example  of  an  aged  and  strong-­featured  woman; she  fought  her  way  to  a  vigorous  $42,500  (pre-­sale  estimate  $30,000/$40,000).  Contrarily,  the  very  beautiful  painted-­eye  lady,  model  152  by  Simon  and  Halbig,  said  to  be  a  portrait  of  German  social  reformer  Rosa  Luxemburg,  topped  at  $23,000  (pre-­sale  estimate  $11,000/$17,000).  Another  rare  character  by  Simon  and  Halbig  from  their 1300  series  was  wonderfully  silk -­costumed  as  Polichinelle,  topping  at  $31,000  (pre-sale  estimate  $11000/18,000);and  a  superb  all -original  12"  model  of  Kammer  and  Reinhardt's  102  art  character  in  Tyrolean  costume  hammered  at  $24,000  (pre-sale  $11,000/$15,000).  

 The  popularity  of  googly-eyed  dolls  continues,  too.  A  rare  14"  winking  googly  with  sculpted  hat  by  Gebruder  Knoch  topped  at  $8000  
$42,500 against pre-sale estimate of $30,000/40,000
(pre-­sale  $5000/$7500);a  double -face  helmet  googly  by  Max  Handwerck  was  $2700  (pre-sale  estimate  $1500/2100); and  an  extremely  rare  19"  winking  googly,  model  175,  by  Hertel  and  Schwab,  soared  to  $30,000  (pre-sale  $5000/$8000)  to  a  collector  who  said  she  had  waited  for  this  doll  to  come  on  the  market  for  nearly  20  years.  

The  auction  also  included  the  famed  Mary  Eveline  Sicard  collection  of  Chinese  Door  of  Hope  dolls,  made  in  that  Shanghai  mission  in  the  early  years  of  the  1900s.  Among  the  examples  sold  were  a  group  of  children  whose  selling  prices  ranged  from  $1500  to  $4500,  a  Buddhist  priest  at  $4000;  a  Buddhist  girl  nun  at  $7000;  a  hospital  nurse  at  $6500;and  various  traditional  and  modern  brides  with  hammer  prices  from  $1200  to  $3750.

The  Annapolis,  Maryland firm  of  Theriault's  has  specialized  in  the  auction  of  antique  dolls  and  childhood  ephemera  for  45  years.  
The  entire  catalog  and  results  can  be  viewed  at  www.theriaults.com.  A  wonderful  160  page  full-color,  hard –­bound  catalog  of  the  auction,  titled  "Among  Friends"  is  available  at  www.theriaults.com or  by  calling  800-638-0422.  

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