Now I was never that interested in dolls as a child, but even I found my head turned by this young lady. She’s so clearly high quality – her face was made using a four-part mould created exclusively for this doll, and her body is bespoke with a slender torso and wide hips. She also has what doll collectors are looking for: eye appeal and rarity. How rare you ask? Well-
During World War I, when numerous German dolls were flooding the market, Parisian couturier Jeanne Margaine-LaCroix persuaded French doll-maker Albert Marque to sculpt 100 large fashion dolls. These 100 dolls were signed, numbered, and clothed in a custom-designed costume representing royalty or a particular region of France – our doll is number 12 (making her extremely early). Of the 100 “A. Marque” fashion dolls created only twenty or twenty-five are known to have survived.
Whenever an A. Marque doll comes up for auction there’s sure to be interest, and this was no exception. The doll in question fetched an outstanding $150,000 (£93,750) at Frasher’s auction house in Kansas City.
Antiques for Everyone opened yesterday at the NEC in Birmingham. It’s running until the 24th, so there’s still time to go and see if, if you haven't already. It’s really a fabulous show, and it’s well worth going to look even if you don’t intend to buy (although one does often lead to the other, I find).
Mark and I were part of the vetting team who went round the fair yesterday to make sure everything was suitable. Mark was inspecting 20th century glass, of course, and I got to look at some wonderful pieces of 20th century jewellery with my friend Arlene.
If you are planning to go, why not take a look at the fantastic pottery on display at John Howard’s stall? Last time I was at Antiques For Everyone I bought a lovely juggling hedgehog Staffordshire figure from him. I tried to convince him it was a juggling sheep (which is much less rare), but he would not be deterred from his conviction that it was a hedgehog, and now it lives in my home, I can see that he is quite right.
You could also take a look at the Jeanette Hayhurst’s stall of wonderful glassware – if you’re not going to the NEC, but you are going to be in London, you can catch her at her London shop on Kensington Church Street before it closes in 2 months time. Fortunately Jeanette will still be appearing at fairs, and selling glass over the internet – the glass world would be poorer without her.
There’s also a very rare and interesting doll in the shape of the young Elizabeth II, which is being exhibited at the NEC by Christopher Raimer. Apparently the Royal Family were unwilling to endorse the doll, because it looked much chubbier than the real Princess Elizabeth, but I think she looks rather sweet. There's an article about her and Antiques For Everyone in the Daily Mail, which you can read here.
Whatever you choose to look at, I hope you enjoy the fair as much as I did this year. And if you’re not going this time, there are now three Antiques for Everyone events a year, so make space in your diary for the next one!
There was a time when every young boy coveted a train-set, and for some it is a feeling that never goes away. Jerry Greene from Philadelphia began collecting model trains in the late 1960s and now aged 67 he has decided to sell his collection and Sotheby's have valued it at between £25 - £31 million. In all there are 35,000 objects, including 1,600 train sets, 700 stations and 10,000 figures most of which have been manufactured by the German maker Marklin. The pieces in the collection date from 1850 to 1940 and it can be seen at Sotheby's in New York until the end of February.
Few people don't know of Forbes Magazine, it was founded by B.C. Forbes and for many years until his death in 1990 it was run by his son Malcolm Forbes. Last month toys from the late Malcolm Forbes collection came up for sale at Sotheby's and fetched $2.3 million.
On 29 and 30 January Red Varon Antiques in Georgia is selling items from the late tycoon's collection of nautical and maritime collectables. It includes the largest private fleet of ships models ever assembled.
Some of the most impressive ship models include a 14.5-ft. long full-hull rigged builder's model of the British twin-screw steamship Orontes, built by England's Vickers & Armstrong and first launched in Feb. 1929; a 12-ft. builder's model of the British twin-screw passenger liner Rangitiki, built in 1929 by John Brown & Co. of Scotland; and an original Royal Yacht model depicting the sailing ship Britannia, first launched in 1893. 400 paintings, and several statues are also included.
It will likely be another big money earning sale, proving yet again that provenance drives prices upwards.
The royal collectables market is definitely on a roll with a two day sale of Royalty, Antiques and Fine arts at Reeman Dansie, starting tomorrow.. The auction house, in Colchester, Essex, is one of our oldest having been established in 1881.
Among the lots in the sale is this silver gilt coronet that belonged to HRH Princess Louisa Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn. It was made by Garrard & Co for Her Royal Highness for the coronation of King George V. As is so often the case sale catalogues are chock full of fascinating information and among the titbits associated with this lot were that Princess Louisa was a German Princess born in Potsdam in 1860. She married Queen Victoria`s youngest son Prince Arthur Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1879. Throughout their married life she accompanied her husband on many official duties in all parts of the Empire and was Viceregal Consort of Canada from 1911-1916. They lived at Bagshot Park, Surrey (currently the home of HRH Prince Edward, Duke of York) and Clarence House, London where the Duchess died prematurely at the age of 57 from influenza on 14th March 1917. She was the first member of the Royal family to be cremated and her ashes are interred at the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore.
The coronet is expected to raise £2,000 -£3,000. I must say it would be a rather nice thing to have at home.
It's Lot 17 that really caught my eye. It's a Disney breakfast set circa 1937 of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that belonged to Princess Margaret . It comprises epns cup, plate, bowl, knife, fork and spoon featuring Snow White, Dwarfs, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck - in original card box -and was originally bought at Christies sale of the Princess Margaret Collection in 2006. It is valued at between £3,000-£4,000