Morphy Auctions’ May 17-18 Doll & Miniatures debut auction features collections of Yvonne Baird and Virginia Gordon

Rare Halopeau bébé could bring $50,000-$70,000
May. 13, 2008

DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions’ recently launched Doll department, headed by specialists and co-directors Becky and Andy Ourant, will present its premiere 1,000-lot auction on May 17-18 at the Morphy Auctions Gallery in Denver (Adamstown), Pa. The 1,000-lot event features exquisite antique dolls and dollhouses, as well as an extensive array of fine Schneegas, Walterhausen, silver, ormolu and other dollhouse miniatures. To preview the fully illustrated auction catalog, and place Internet bids, please visit

The sale will open with 340 lots of antique dolls from the Yvonne Baird collection, by such prestigious makers as Jumeau, Bru, Gaultier and Simon & Halbig. Coveted cloth dolls by Kathe Kruse and Chase comprise another of the sale’s featured categories. Chase characters include a 40-inch “Chester” doll with a steamer trunk full of clothes and provenance from the Atlanta Toy Museum, a “Mammy” and a very rare George Washington in its original box.

Yvonne Baird’s collection also includes china dolls with many different hairdos, a bisque bathing beauty collection, Schoenhut dolls, teddy bears and an Effanbee doll designed by Dewees Cochran (with hang tag) that originally belonged to Gloria Vanderbilt. But if there is a headliner in Saturday’s session, Becky Ourant said, it is the very rare French “H” (Halopeau) bébé, standing 24 inches tall and dating to around 1880. Dressed in period clothing of pink silk and lace, the doll is estimated at $50,000-$70,000, but a past price of $100,000 has been recorded on an example of this doll, “so anything could happen,” Ourant said.

Another special feature of both sessions one and two is the Virginia Gordon collection, which is beautifully replete with bisque French fashion dolls (by Bru, Gaultier, Barrois, Rohmer, etc.) and German dolls, many of them accompanied by elaborate wardrobes. Additionally, the collection contains many small French bébés, wax dolls and a French mignonette. The Saturday session will conclude with a single-owner collection of approximately 50 papier-mâché holiday candy containers, including Halloween, Christmas and Easter characters.

On Sunday, the auction fun begins with more of the Virginia Gordon collection, opening with rare early paper dolls. The grouping includes uncut Kewpies, Lettie Lane and McLoughlin paper dolls, and a particularly rare copyright-1811 S. & J. Fuller “The Protean Figure and Metamorphic Costumes.” Next up will be a fabulous grouping of antique and artisan miniatures. Large, wonderful dollhouses in the collection include two mystery houses, a red-roof Gottschalk, examples by Bliss and two well-made contemporary dollhouses, each filled with artisan miniatures. “There are some amazing silver and furniture miniatures, and dollhouse dolls in this collection,” said Becky Ourant. “They are simply superb.”

The second-day offering of French and German dolls, as mentioned above, will be interspersed with artist dolls – many of them very limited edition and handmade – by such renowned designers as Ella Haas, Hildegard Gunzel, Avigail Brahms, and Lynn and Michael Roche. “These are very high-end productions – true artists’ dolls,” said Ourant. “The woman who collected them had receipts for all the dolls and reference books in which many of the dolls are pictured.”

Other significant categories in the Sunday sale include approximately 50 lots of acclaimed R. John Wright dolls from the Ann Doorley collection, many of them early releases; and designer teddy bears by Ted Menten, Cindy Martin, Ardie Sison, David Scarpati, Karen Meer and many others.

Visit to view the full auction catalog and place absentee bids prior to the auction.

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