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Tuesday, December 16, 2014


From our Friends at Theriault's:

Dear Friends,

We did it. Another year. And what a year! Countless landmark auctions and tens of thousands of dolls found their way to new homes amidst world records and the laughter and fun of each unique and diverse auction. And as we prepare to cross over to Theriault's 45th year of business, we look to start you once more in the right way, the best way we know, together as friends and at the world's most spectacular event.

"January" is upon us again.

We know that this is the time that everyone waits to hear the details and learn first-hand what we are putting together for you at our annual grand weekend of auctions and events in Newport Beach, California. For over 25 years this auction weekend is anticipated by doll lovers seeking the best of the best for their collections.

This year we do it once more as we will honor and share in the vision of the great Southern California collector, Susan Whittaker. Don't know her? You soon will through her collection, her legend, and the singular vision she built in dolls.

For the early collectors in Los Angeles, Susan Whittaker is a name that is synonymous with the 1970s and 80s throughout that region's doll circle. Here was one of the first major society doll collectors. From her majestic home that stood at the top of Beverly Hills and was a showcase and famed location in itself, Susan and her husband Bob, both legends in Beverly Hills society (their parties were highly anticipated...friends like Hugh Hefner, Frank Sinatra, James Garner and Kirk Douglas would rarely miss one), began a doll collection that would quietly develop over decades into one of California's most significant.

Susan was a person you never forgot. She was strikingly beautiful, stunning even, and turned an entire room in her direction when she walked in. If you were a collector back in the day and were at auctions or shows you would see and remember her always. Some of you might be nodding your head right now. Yes, Susan was that person that no one ever forgot.

But for some of us we came to know Susan more through her dolls. Here was a woman with a unique love of very distinct and different doll genres. Three areas became a point of focus and would be her primary quest throughout 40 years of collecting: French bebes, French and German mignonettes, and googlies. She would frame this core passion with accessories and the occasional "other" doll to truly build a visionary collection.

First, the French. Ten Bru bebes, six A.T. bebes, two "H" bebes, a stunning Albert Marque doll, and dozens of bebes from Jumeau, Steiner, Schmitt and others. Automata, fashion dolls, fabulous costumes and accessories as well. This could be an auction itself...or two even! But here you will have for the first time in history a chance to make countless choices within a spectrum of the rarest French dolls. There are so many to choose. This could be your chance!

The googlies? This will be the largest collection of googlies ever offered at auction. Over 75 total from Oscar Hitt to Hertel and Schwab, K*R and Kestner. Even the googlies you know, such as the JDK 221 or Hertel and Schwab 165, Susan would work to get examples in virtually every single size. Unprecedented, and if you love googlies, this will most likely be the one event that will never be matched in our lifetimes.

Mignonettes and all-bisques also played a key part of the Whittaker collection. Are you ready? Over 150 all-bisques comprise the entire line of rarities from French to German to, yes...more googlies! It could be a special dedicated auction in itself (we almost thought about doing this!) as you will witness them unfold through the pages of this hardbound commemorative catalog.

Now, don't think that's all, there are others. Susan never passed on a whim of fancy and she also would obtain interesting and rare French and German characters, furniture, accessories and other items that came her way. All in all, this special two-day event and single HUGE hard-bound catalog will comprise more than 500 of the finest pieces all from one collection.

Excited now? We are as well! So, here are the details. For most of you the January format is ingrained into your year...yet you will see now firsthand, how special this weekend really is.

Starting on Friday evening, January 9th, we will, this year, focus on just coming together for a special wine and champagne reception from 7:00 pm-9:00 pm to tour and walk-through with Florence this remarkable collection. It would be impossible to do this collection justice with a single morning exhibit so the evening on Friday will allow you more time, the added attraction of Florence's walk-through of her favorite pieces, an opportunity to meet some of the family of Susan Whittaker, and the joy of greeting your doll friends again after a year.

On Saturday, January 10th, let the auctions begin! All day the excitement will fill the room and the usual energy and joy of "January" will lead us to amazing objects to add to your collection.

The weekend continues with so much more on Sunday, January 11th! Part Two of The Whittaker Collection will excite us once again and lead us into the grand finale...the always popular and something for everyone mid-afternoon Discovery Day auction with another few hundred dolls.

January is the most special doll weekend of the year. Sure, the dolls, especially this time, will be the culmination of greatness. But, what makes this weekend truly wonderful is: You. That is, our reunion of sorts in the doldrums of winter when we can shine together in the California sun. And see our friends that make the joy of collecting so wonderful. This year you will have that and so much more, including an unprecedented opportunity, perhaps not seen since the 2006 Lucy Morgan Collection auction, in which to bid on the rarest of antique dolls. This is your time. This is your chance.

Soon, all the catalogs and more details will emerge (have you ordered yours?). This year we convene at the luxurious five-star Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach that will be a wonderful retreat in itself. We can't wait to host you and we do sincerely hope that you will join us.

Warm regards,

Stuart Holbrook

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