French Bébé Doll Soars Past Estimate, Sells for $18,000 at Dolls & Teddy Auction

(This article first appeared in the February 2013 issue of DOLLS magazine)

This French bisque bébé doll sold for $18,000 at Morphy Auctions’ December doll sale.

Sculpted by French artist Poulbot, “Nénette” was designed to represent the mischievous orphans of Paris after the First World War.

This American “Maggie Bessie” cloth doll sold for $16,800.

DENVER, Pa. – A Japanese collector paid $18,000 for a 23-inch French bisque bébé doll at Morphy Auctions’ Doll and Teddy Bear sale held Dec. 4, 2012, in Denver, Pa. The doll, marked “Eden Bebe Paris 9,” had been expected to sell for $1,200 to $1,600.

Other doll highlights from the auction include a rare 13-inch “Maggie Bessie” cloth doll made by the Pfohl sisters of Salem, N.C., in the early 20th century, which sold for $16,800; a French character doll, “Nénette” by the SFBJ, which sold for $6,600; and a Jumeau bébé circa 1880, which sold for $6,000. Total proceeds from the sale were more than $480,000.

The top teddy bear price was for an early 12-inch honey-colored Steiff bear with an appealing face in excellent condition, still retaining the Steiff button in his ear, which sold for $4,800, including a 20-percent buyer’s premium.

This early Steiff bear recently sold for $4,800 at Morphy Auctions.

A 10-inch Steiff bear wearing an original “Teddy B” suit sold for $1,200.

This unidentified 21-inch mohair teddy sold for $780.

A charming 10-inch Steiff bear wearing an original “Teddy B” tan cotton suit with brass buttons and hat, with some fur loss but generally in very good condition, sold for $1,200. Of special interest was a rare Heinrich Silberstein model from Germany, circa 1905-1910, with velvet nose and paw pads, which sold for $840. An unidentified 21-inch apricot mohair teddy in very good condition brought $780.

For more information about the antique and collectible dolls and teddy bears from this sale, check out Morphy’s online catalog.

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