English wooden doll
This English wooden doll c.1740 included a trousseau comprising 12 gowns. It sold for $250,000 (£175,000) at Theriault.

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Her regal size, exceptional carving and a remarkable trousseau comprising 12 gowns (mostly of the period) suggest she was made at great expense for an aristocratic patron.

Included in Theriault’s Marquis Auction in Annapolis, Maryland on May 15, the doll – shown here wearing both a textured gold silk robe a la francaise and her birthday suit – was described as being “in generally excellent condition with some light paint wear and an original finish with very delicate light touch up on nose”.

English made wooden doll

The English wooden doll from c.1740.

Her former owner was Rosalie Whyel, owner of the Museum of Doll Art in Bellevue, Washington (once considered the best private doll museum in the world, it was open from 1992-2012), and co-author of The Heart of the Tree, Early Wooden Dolls to the 1850s where this piece is illustrated.

Theriault’s estimated it would bring $30,000-40,000 but as an early doll that ticked all the boxes it sold to a private American collector at $250,000/£175,000 (plus 15% buyer’s premium). The price is thought to be a record for a Georgian doll at auction.