NEW YORK – Yes, you can play with dolls. If anything, dolls are wasted on little kids. You know what you want, and why you want it, and your allowance is far more impressive nowadays, as it should be. Good thing, too, because the truly excellent dolls – as well as teddy bears, toys, and highly collectible playthings – would empty the piggy banks of young collectors several times over.
On Tuesday, September 14, starting at 1 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will host a sale called Steiff, Artist Bears, Dolls, Toys and More!, featuring 315 lots of exceptional examples of everything named in the title. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
R. John Wright is the modern king of doll-making. After being laid off in 1976 from his job clerking at the hardware store in his chosen hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont, he turned his energies to fashioning dolls out of flesh-colored felt. They were good enough to impress the proprietor of Serkin’s Craft Gallery, also in Brattleboro, and Wright was off and running. Thus began a storied career that would lead to him winning the Doll Of The Year (DOTY) award; the Golden Teddy award; the Jumeau trophy; and the Award of Excellence from Dolls magazine, among many others. So prominent are his works that collectors shorthand him as ‘RJW.’
The first of two R. John Wright highlights in the sale is a pair of dolls from RJW’s popular Little Children I series, from the early 1980s. Both Elizabeth and William stand 17in tall and are number 24 from their respective limited editions of 250. They are offered as one lot with an estimate of $800-$1,000.
Also on offer is another limited-edition R. John Wright creation: a Periwinkle doll, created in 1998 for the brand’s Collector Club. This example of the fairy-like doll, which is clad in green, sits on a pincushion, and clutches a needle, is number 87 of an edition of 800, and is estimated at $700-$800.
Rounding out the top lots is a stunning find dating to 1938 – a group of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs dolls bearing the Disney look and brand and produced by the Knickerbocker toy company. Not only have all eight dolls survived intact, they appear to have retained their original clothing as well. The set carries an estimate of $1,500-$2,000.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/