Filed under: Auctions
If you are a doll collector, Theriault's is your place. The auction house was founded in 1970 by Florence and George Theriault and specializes in the appraisal and auction of antique dolls and other collectible toys. The firm, which is based in Annapolis, Maryland, is holding a doll auction on October 31 in Scottsdale. The auction will feature nearly 400 lots of rare antique dolls and other collectibles including doll furniture and French doll costumes for petite mignonettes from an original archive. The following day will feature the collection of the late Martha Hester of Houston, Texas, who collected Madame Alexander Dolls. Both auctions offer remote bidding both online and over the phone.
Theriault's buys dolls, doll-related items, toys, accessories and teddy bears and offers auction consignment or outright purchase. They have an in-house art and photography department to create art-quality catalogs. They conduct more than 35 doll auctions around the U.S. each year.
The little dolls can be big business. Earlier this year, Theriault's established a new world auction record for an antique doll when a French art doll, circa 1914, by sculptor Albert Marque sold for $263,000 (including buyers premium). Demi Moore and Barbara Streisand are among celebrity collectors. A doll of Streisand herself will hit stores this November.
I asked collector Deborah Jenkines, who inspired me to write this post, about the lure of dolls. She says that she became interested in dolls as women's history. "Dolls reflect a society's idea of the perfect woman or child. Dolls and the original clothing they wear are a reflection of the culture that produced them, the same as a pot shard or a building." Like many collectibles, dolls can be a connection to a certain time or place and collections seemed to be formed of equal parts nostalgia and aesthetic appeal.