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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Press Release Soirée from May 14th Auction; Thanks to Theriault's for Sharing!

            Theriault’s antique doll auction in Las Vegas on May 14 was titled “Soirée”, a play on the French word for an evening gala and a nod toward the extraordinary musical automata that were featured. But the auction was actually an entire day of auction treasures that had fascinated bidders eagerly competing the entire time.  Highlighted was the estate collection of Ron and Mary Ellen Connors of Rogers, Arkansas, whose interests had clustered around musical automata, music boxes, and the glorious 19th century bisque bébés of Emile Jumeau.


            Automata and Jumeau came together in many of the most important pieces, notably a grand-sized automaton by Gustav Vichy known as “Bébé Triste with Toy Theatre and Pup in Basket.”  Vichy’s use of the rare “triste” model by Jumeau was a clue  to the luxury quality of the piece , which featured a tumbling acrobat in the theatre, a pup with waving paw in the basket, and a bisque child delighted by all the toy treasures she was holding.  A splendid 30” tall, no other example is known to exist; she sold for $44,800.  Other automata included Vichy’s “organ Grinder with Dancing Doll” topping at $22,00, Lambert’s “The Spanish Mandolin Player” at $20,100, a “Troubadour Playing the Mandolin” by Roullet et Decamps for $8700, and Lambert’s “The Ballerina” for $11,500; 25 musical automat, in all, were sold to enthusiastic bidders.


            Among the beautiful dolls of Emile Jumeau that were presented at the auction were the very rare E.J.A. which was made by the firm for one or two years only, circa 1879; it soared to $34,700.  A very rare size 20 Bebe Jumeau, the largest model made and likely for exhibition purposes only, topped at $33,400, selling to a private collector who had bid against Mr. Connor some 15 years ago when the doll was originally presented at a Theriault’s auction.  “I’ve dreamt about this doll forever, it seems”, she said, joyfully.  Other rare Jumeau bébés include a lady-bodied tete model with her original elaborate Spanish costume and wooden shipping box, topping at $10,000; a tete model in outstanding original couturier Asian costume and headdress at $9000; a gorgeous and all-original Bebe Jumeau, size 16, with original chemise, wig and box at $15,000, a “Paris Bebe” at $7700, and a tiny 8” bébé with rare “F” markings at $6000.  More than 50 gorgeous examples of the Jumeau dols were presented at the auction, with prices especially strong.


            The auction also featured the collection of the late Carolyn Guise of Dayton, Ohio.  During the heyday of her collecting years, Mrs. Guise lived near Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the hometown of the revered American cloth dolls by Martha Chase.  The seeking and acquiring of rare Chase dolls became a preoccupation of the discerning collector, whose collection included nearly two dozen examples, each different.  Especially notable was a brown-haired lady with rare double chignons, presented in their original box, which sold for $4800; another brown-haired lady with are double spit curls at the sides of her forehead went to $3900; “Little Nell” lady topped at $1700, while another brown-haired lady with classic chignon and original box realized $1900.  A large black cloth “Mammy” doll sold for $5500; while a rare 12 “black-complexioned child was $6000.  The bald-headed gentleman known as “Mr. Micawber” topped at $5200, while a younger handsome lad with stylish side-parted hair soared to $7000.  All prices reflect a 12% buyer’s premium.

            Theriault’s Marquis cataloged doll auctions are considered “events’ in the doll world, featuring museum-quality displays, pre-auction lectures by noted authorities, and even the signature hot fudge sundae breaks.  For those who cannot attend, absentee bidding is encouraged including written bids, live telephone bidding

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