Holiday season arrives with Nov. 17 auction of antique dolls, toys, trains

Madame Alexander Christmas Holiday Special store display exclusive to FAO Schwarz, 1960s, horse-drawn sleigh with red velvet-lined seat and 1950s Elise doll passenger with original faux-fur blanket, 37 inches long. Est. $1,400-$2,000

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – On November 17, Stephenson’s Auctioneers in suburban Philadelphia will lift the lid on a holiday toybox filled with 400+ lots of dolls, toys, trains and figural cast-iron doorstops. The antique and vintage contents of the sale have come to Stephenson’s from various consignors and estates in the Mid-Atlantic region, including an extensive array of desirable doorstops from a private collector in southern New Jersey. Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

The fun begins with a parade of wonderful dolls produced over the past 125 years. Lot 94 (shown below), a 15-inch antique French fashion doll, unmarked other than a numeral “4” incised on the back of its bisque head, has a leather body, brown glass stationary eyes, and painted facial features. It is dressed in early, lace-trimmed clothing and a floral hat, and carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

Antique French fashion doll, bisque head, leather body, painted facial features; est. $2,000-$3,000

Lot 95, an antique bisque-head Jumeau doll with a ball-jointed composition body, was probably made for the French market by Simon & Halbig. Standing 22 inches tall, it has blue glass stationary eyes, pierced ears, an open mouth with upper teeth, and painted-on lashes and eyebrows. The head is incised “DEP 10.” This lovely strawberry blonde is expected to make $600-$900.

French Montreuil 17-inch bisque-head doll by Edmond Hieulle, jointed arms and legs, period clothing, marked on back of head. Est. $200-$400

An appealing circa-1917 French Montreuil bisque-head doll made by Edmond Hieulle (shown above) has jointed arms and legs, an open mouth with teeth, and painted facial features. Very nicely dressed in period clothing and shoes, the 17-inch doll entered as Lot 134 is estimated at $200-$400. Other antique and vintage European doll highlights include a late-19th-century squeaking wax-head doll, $100-$200; an 11½-inch bisque-head automaton, possibly German, whose head turns and arms move to strike a bell, $200-$400; and others by Kammer & Reinhardt, Armand Marseille, and Kestner.

Schoenhut jointed-wood Manikin male doll, 1911 patent, spring joints, ball-jointed waist, painted eyes. Est. $1,000-$1,500

Lot 4 (shown above), a very rare Schoenhut (American) jointed-wood male Manikin character doll, 19½ inches tall, has carved hair, spring joints, a ball-jointed waist and painted intaglio eyes. The doll has a label on the back of its shoulders that reads “Schoenhut Doll, Pat. Jan 17th, 1911, U.S.A.” Cindy Stephenson, owner of Stephenson’s Auctioneers, noted: “Schoenhut only produced these dolls from 1914 to 1918. They’re very desirable to collectors.” The example to be auctioned is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.

Examples of hard plastic Vogue Ginny dolls, including (front row, far left) a rare Calypso Ginny estimated at $1,000-$2,000

There are many excellent dolls from the second half of the 20th century, including Bob Mackie-designed Mattel Barbies, new in boxes and with an estimate range of $100-$300; and Vogue Ginny dolls (shown above; some boxed), with a highlight being Lot 84, a rare, circa-1952 strung Calypso Ginny in Caribbean attire, estimate $1,000-$2,000. Three mint/boxed Faberge porcelain Barbie dolls from the late 1990s are estimated at $200-$300 apiece, while Lot 179, a scarce, elaborately gowned Mattel porcelain Marie Antoinette Barbie, flawless in its regal stand-up display box, could reach $700-$1,000.

Ever-popular Madame Alexander dolls will be offered in both larger ($800-$1,600) and smaller ($400-$500) sizes, accompanied by their original boxes. The star of the grouping is Lot 50, a Madame Alexander Christmas Holiday Special store display (shown at top of page) made exclusively for FAO Schwarz. Dating to the 1960s, it comprises a horse-drawn sleigh with red velvet-lined seat and a 1950s Elise doll passenger with original faux-fur blanket. The total length of horse-drawn sleigh is 37 inches, and its estimate is $1,400-$2,000.

Examples from a collection of Marklin trains

Approximately 75 lots of trains (examples shown above) will be ready to ride the rails. Within the selection are many Marklin cars – mostly in their factory boxes – and a few Marklin engines. The great American train company Lionel is in the mix, as well, with several postwar cars and one pre-war standard gauge engine No. 10 with three passenger cars: No. 332 Railway Mail, No. 339 Pullman, and No. 341 Observation. Estimate: $200-$400.

A selection of Eugene Kupjack sterling silver dollhouse miniatures

Those who enjoy furnishing and decorating dollhouses and room boxes will be spoiled for choice with the estate collection of sterling silver and gilt-bronze miniatures by Eugene Kupjack (d. 1991) (examples shown above), which will be sold primarily in group lots. Most of the pieces were modeled after actual 17th- and 18th-century pieces seen in famous residences and institutions, e.g., a miniature chandelier from Mount Vernon, and a round, footed tray from the FDR Library. Lot 117 is an illuminated Kupjack-crafted Silversmith Shop with sterling silver miniatures arranged in the display window. The entire façade opens to reveal the shop’s interior and contents, including an unmarked National Cash Register and small domed trunk with lock. Estimate: $300-$600

“We expect a lot of interest in the Eugene Kupjack pieces,” said Stephenson. “His work was widely admired from the day his miniatures debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair. His miniature-filled rooms have been on view at the Art Institute of Chicago for most of the last 50 years and are among the museum’s most popular exhibits.”

Figural cast iron doorstops depicting people, fantasy characters, and a monkey

Cast-iron doorstops depicting various breeds of dogs

The metal theme continues with a selection of nearly 100 cast-iron doorstops (examples shown above) and still banks from a New Jersey collector. Doorstops include many forms: flower baskets, fancy ladies, and other human and fantasy characters; dogs of various breeds, and a few cats and other animals. Several of the most popular manufacturers are represented, including Bradley & Hubbard, and Hubley.

Bing (Germany) tin-litho Model T wind-up car, front and rear license plates, spare tire, driver figure. Est. $200-$300

Toy highlights include Lot 203 (shown above), a Bing (Germany) tin-litho Model T wind-up car, $200-$300; and Lot 214 (shown below), a Buddy ‘L’ pressed-steel Wild Animal Circus cage truck. Its tractor-trailer houses two animal figures – an elephant and a lion – and it retains its original “Wild Animal Circus” decals on its sides. Accompanied by the original pictorial Buddy ‘L’ factory box, it could attract a winning bid of $300-$500 on auction day.

Buddy ‘L’ pressed-steel Wild Animal Circus truck with elephant and lion figures, original pictorial box, est. $300-$500

Stephenson’s Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 auction will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail Visit Stephenson’s Auctioneers online at