Antique Dolls Bring $3.5 Million to Mark a New World Record The Antique Doll Collection of Lucy Morgan Yields $3.5 Million at Recent Theriault's Auction, Making This the Largest Single Doll Auction Event in History
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - ANNAPOLIS, Md., -- Years from now collectors will hark back on the January 7th auction in Newport Beach, CA that was held by the venerable Annapolis, MD based antique doll and toy auctioneer Theriault's, as perhaps the most significant doll event of its time. "This marks a turning point," says company President Stuart Holbrook. "Finally antique dolls are coming into their own and being recognized for the value they deserve by a wide group of sophisticated collectors." After years of being in the top 5 collectibles in the world, yet significantly under-priced when compared to others, such as stamps, coins, or even comic books, the collection of Lucy Morgan proved to market watchers that dolls are quickly on the rise and are becoming a powerful force in the world of collectibles.
The auction, which yielded this mind-boggling total, nearly doubling Theriault's previous record with the legendary Mildred Seeley sale three years ago, is even more astonishing when you consider that it consisted of only 280 items. This can be attributed to Morgan's tremendous standards in her collecting of only exceptional and rare dolls, going for quality rather than numbers, as well as Theriault's vigorous international marketing. This turned out to be a worthwhile strategy as thousands of collectors from around the world bid aggressively throughout the day, taking nearly every doll to big results, so as to own one of these fine examples ... some of which had never been seen on the auction market before. Morgan stated that she had chosen Theriault's to handle her important collection because "they know their subject so well and the world's top collectors trust them."
Attesting to Theriault's credibility among doll collectors was the strong bidding by absentee, telephone and live internet bidders. More than $2 million in bids were registered by Theriault's online service provider, Proxibid, making this the largest number of online bids ever recorded at Theriault's. Yet it was the strength of the attending audience that usually prevailed in the end -- with 85% of the dolls being sold to the floor-bidders.
Right from the start, with the very first lot, a tempo was set in the bidding that gave collectors a taste of things to come. It was a fine French Bebe Bru, circa 1885, and it quickly rose in a flurry of bidding to $27,000, a far cry from its presale estimate. Things just kept rolling along and by lot 7, a German character lady doll by Simon and Halbig, the internet and phone bidders were in full swing and the competition became fierce. The doll, estimated to bring in the area of $30,000, left collectors virtually speechless as it finished off at just under $100,000.
Bru's and AT's were perhaps the stars of the show and were certainly an area of focus for Lucy Morgan during her 15 years of being a formidable collector on the world market. Over 20 examples of the dolls of early French maker Casimir Bru were presented, with collectors not hesitating to