A c.1820 English mahogany dolls’ cabinet and contents – £12,500 at C&T.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Opening with the original lock and key, the 3ft 6in (1.06m) tall cabinet had two wings revealing six rooms with windows – a house with all but a pitched roof and one of high quality craftsmanship.

On the ground floor the kitchen had a tinplate range, equipment in the cupboards and moulded food on the table, and in the nursery next door was a teacher and two dolls who themselves had dolls and toy animals.

The first-floor dining room boasted an extending dining table, glazed display cupboards and chairs upholstered in silk. Next to it the living room had a tinplate fireplace, a Walterhausen circular table, a cabinet and a writing desk.

The bedrooms were fitted with metal beds, washstands, mirrors and even a bone spinning wheel.

Add the original wallpaper and one could see why the cabinet – pitched at £600-1000 at the sale on May 16 – attracted bids from the US and Germany before it sold at £12,500 to an English collector.

Scottish and English examples

Two c.1890 dolls’ houses with painted brick exterior, both fully furnished and fitted, sold at around 10-times estimate.

A Scottish example, roughly 3ft 3in (1m) square and 17in (44cm) deep, went to an English dealer at £4200. An English example, about 6in (15cm) larger all round and including five early Parian-type dolls with original clothes and five glazed china shoulder head dolls, went to an English dealer at £4000.

Painted wooden doll


A c.1760 wooden English doll – £2600 at C&T.

Best of 160 lots of dolls ranging from Georgian to Barbie via the likes of Simon & Halbig and Kammer & Reinhardt was an English c.1760 painted wooden doll.

With gesso-covered painted head, cloth upper arms and original lace cap, the 19¼in (49cm) tall doll wore a later cotton dress. The right hand lacked the fingers but, against a £500-800 estimate, it went to an English dealer at £2600.