Rare 1914 Albert Marque bisque doll a $168,000 thriller at Frasher’s July 9 auction On July 9, Frasher's Doll Auctions sold an extremely rare 1914 portrait doll sculpted by the renowned French artist Albert Marque (1872-1939) for an incredible $168,000.
rendered a melancholy expression. The doll settled at the midpoint of its estimate, selling for $15,680.
Another fine Jumeau, a circa-1878 Premiere Bebe, was noted as being the earliest of its particular type. Described in the auction catalog as having “superb complexion, modeling and expression, and exceptional eyes,” the 15-inch bisque beauty featured an excellent original body, wore a fine fitted silk couture costume and bore a “Jumeau Medaille d’or Paris” stamp. It sold within estimate for $7,280.
Other notable lots included a circa-1850s Mme. Leontine Rohmer petite poupee, 14 inches in length, with rare swivel-neck design and almond-shape cobalt glass eyes. Its all-original body included porcelain forearms. The coveted French fashion doll clothed in a deep-burgundy gown and straw bonnet exceeded its presale estimate to finish at $6,325.
Additional highlights included a classic 1872 Bru bisque poupee, 16 inches with “E” mark, $3,737; a petite Steiner bebe, 10½ inches with a label from the Parisian doll shop Au Nain Bleu, $3,920; and a highly sought-after model of the Emile Douillet Jumeau bebe with “E.D.” signature, $4,600. An 18-inch Francois Gauthier (F.G.) French bisque bebe with an “A La Tention, Guyot” shop label was bid to $5,040.
A section of the sale that “caught fire” with collectors was the extensive offering of doll costumes and clothing. “Some of the dresses brought as much as $1,500; and some of the bonnets went for $500 to $600 apiece. There’s a huge interest in accessories and clothing,” said Frasher. “Costuming a doll to make it one’s own is something collectors really enjoy. The highest prices are paid for antique clothing in good condition, but there’s also a strong market for contemporary productions replicating period clothing.”
Frasher, whose doll-auction business is now in its 29th year, said gloomy economic news has not deterred collectors from bidding on dolls. She believes that, overall, the doll market is stronger than some other avenues for investment. “Collectors have concluded that owning dolls brings them enjoyment and that they are a pretty sound investment over the long term. They’re not like a stock. You can hold them in your hand and enjoy them. The fact that there are still a lot of quality dolls coming onto the market and attracting good prices is a positive sign.”
Frasher’s Doll Auctions will hold its next event on Nov. 5-6, 2011, again at the KCI-Expo Center. The approximately 300-lot sale will have a heavy emphasis on French and other high-quality dolls. The inventory will also include a large selection of vintage costumes, dresses, bonnets and accessories. Quality consignments are currently being accepted for Frasher’s January auction in Scottsdale, Arizona – now a 20-year tradition with antique doll buyers.
To contact Frasher’s Doll Auctions, call 816-625-3786 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CAPTION FOR IMAGE AT TOP OF ARTICLE:
Top lot of the sale, a French circa-1914 bisque doll created by sculptor Albert Marque, 22 inches, signed and incised with the number ‘12,’ $168,000. Image by Frasher’s Doll Auctions.