×
Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots

32" Wooden "Smuggling" Doll.

Lot 0146
According to Vera, she purchased this doll in 1949 or 1950 from an auction house in Switzerland. Very little is know about this doll as to manufacturer, exact date or country of origin. A similar example is pictured in Rosalie Whyel's "The Rose Unfolds: Rarities of the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art". According to Vera, an open wooden panel at the back fo the torso would allow various items to be concealed and smuggled across the border by a child accomanying her father. In Rosalie's Book she attributes the doll to be from the 1860's time period, this is also the opinion of Vera as mention in her "Dolls in Wonderland" book. Constructed wholly of wood with a fully articulated body. The pleasantly carved face being painted with a smile almost hints at the possibility of a secret treasure within. The wooden body has no painted finish other than the finely carved high button boots which are black. The dolls articulation is accomplished by pin joints which can easily be unscrewed. Black light inspection appears to confirm that the paint is correct and without touch up or in-painting. A most interesting doll with a unique appeal both in appearance and historical nature. Insert from Vera's book:653Wooden doll made specifically for the purpose of smuggling. I am not sure what would have been smuggled inside this doll but does appear to have been made of papers rather than commodity. Furthermore there is no small whatsoever left over from the contraband within the doll. This is a most interesting doll being made with pin joints which could easily be unscrewed from the main torso. The head unscrews from the permanent screw fixed at the neck. The panel used for smuggling is at the back of the doll and it is a perfect fit. However you will note that the front of the body is made to look like the back. It is also made in a panel which is nailed down with hand made nails, whereas the back panel is loose. The clenched fist of the right hand seems to suggest that the doll would have held something although many dolls of about this period were made with a clenched fist. Boots are exceptionally well carved and gives us a clue to the date of the doll. The head is covered with gesso then painted. The wig is of the old style wig making of knotting the hair through the net. The doll is very heavy, rather too heavy for a child to hold but it probably would have been carried by the nanny for the short journey through customs. Ca. 1860pg 122 32'' T.

Starting Bid

$2,500.00

Buyer's Premium

  • 23%

32" Wooden "Smuggling" Doll.

Auction ended on Fri, Sep 23, 2016
|
Estimate $10,000 - $20,000
|Sell a Similar Item
Bidder
Bid
Internet Bid
$5,000.00
Competing Bid
$4,750.00
Internet Bid
$4,500.00
Competing Bid
$4,250.00
Internet Bid
$4,000.00
Competing Bid
$3,750.00
Internet Bid
$3,500.00
Competing Bid
$3,250.00
Internet Bid
$3,000.00
Competing Bid
$2,750.00
Internet Bid
$2,500.00
Starting Bid
$2,500.00
Interested in this item?Save to 'Saved Items' to access later.
2000 N Reading Road
Denver, PA 17517
United States
Ask a Question|