Antique French character doll sells for record price of $300K at Theriault auction

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Mar 31, 2014 08:34 AM EDT

A French character doll created around 1916 by Albert Marque was sold for $300,000 at an auction held by Theriault, a statement about the record-breaking feat said. The auction price set a new world record. Theriault is an Annapolis, Maryland-based specialty appraisal and auction house for antique dolls and other childhood items established in 1970.

Theriault, which hosts live auctions in major cities across the US, held the event in Naples, Florida. The well-attended affair featured close to 1,000 pieces from what was once a well-known doll museum in Switzerland called the Puppenmuseum Stein am Rhein, the statement said. In a January 27 press release about the then upcoming auction, Theriault President Stuart Holbrook said that the doll museum owned by Frau Steiner had been closed for almost 15 years.

The doll sculpted by Albert Marque was the centerpiece of the collection. The statement described the activity surrounding the bidding as dramatic. Theriault said, "Bidding on the doll was fast paced and surrounded with dramatic tension as phone and floor bidders passionately laid claim to the doll. Ultimately the last bid was cast and the room broke out in applause."

The French art character doll was dressed in its original signed costume. There were 100 models that were said to have been crafted and the doll that was recently sold was #27. The said doll is believed to first have been unveiled to the public at the fashion boutique of Margaine-Lacroix in 1916. Margaine-Lacroix is a patron of Parisian art, the statement said.

Holbrook said in the statement, "The Albert Marque bebe has long been considered the most coveted doll in the world by collectors. It is for good reason in that this renowned art doll blends every essential characteristic of greatness: rarity, artistic provenance, fashion, romance, and, most importantly, unparalleled beauty."

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