Bonhams to Auction Sheldon Doll Collection in June

The auction for the doll collection, all owned by writer Sidney Sheldon and his wife, features at least 400 lots.

LOS ANGELES — The doll collection of noted author Sidney Sheldon and his wife, Alexandra, heads to auction on June 24 at a sale sponsored by Bonhams.

The 400-lot collection of the noted writer and his wife features dolls from the 1920s through the 1940s, primarily from the Lenci Company. Highlights include celebrity-inspired dolls such as Rudolph Valentino and Madame Pompadour, as well as a series of sports figures and international dolls from China, Russia, Scotland and Spain.

Founded in 1919 by Elena Konig Scavini, the Lenci Company is known for its high-end felt dolls, which became very popular among adult collectors in the 1920s. The most popular Lenci pieces include Queen Elena of Savoy, Josephine Baker and many celebrities of the day.

“This is one of the largest offerings of Lenci dolls to come to public auction in recent years,” says animation-art and doll consultant Dana Hawkes. “We look forward to international interest during the traveling highlight exhibition in London, San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

Featured pieces from the auction include dolls inspired by Rudolph Valentino, ($6,000 to $8,000), Madame Butterfly ($2,000 to $3,000), a pair of Russian figures ($1,500 to $2,000 each), a smoker with a pipe ($1,000 to $1,500), a skier ($3,000 to $4,000) and a sultan ($1,000 to $1,500).

The illustrated auction catalog will be available for review and purchase at Bonhams’ website in coming weeks.

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