A very rare and important George II English wooden doll, which has belonged to the same family for over two centuries, is to be sold by Bonhams, as part of its Fine Toys, Dolls and Lead Soldiers Sale on 15 November 2011.
Named Marianna after its first owner, it has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £20,000 - 30,000.
The doll is accompanied by a hand-written note saying: 'a doll given to Grandmama Marianna Davis in Paris, when she was three years-old, after she had recovered from a dangerous illness.'
Dressed in an original crimson, blue and cream striped silk sack-back dress with a coordinating cream silk underskirt and a pair of extreme pink panniers with ties, the doll has remained in the family ever since.
Another star lot is a unique and large William and Mary wooden doll, which has also been estimated at £20,000 - 30,000.
Dated circa 1690, it is the oldest commercially-made doll that Bonhams had ever sold, and is similar to the Lord and Lady Clapham dolls in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Sale highlights also include an extremely unusual and beautiful A. Thuillier bisque head bebe, circa 1880 (estimate £20,000 - 30,000); and an unusual Kammer & Rienhardt 107 'Carl' bisque head character doll (estimate £8,000 - 12,000).
Collectible dolls have enjoyed success in 2011's markets, including an extremely rare 1914 portrait doll originally commissioned for the Paris boutique Margaine-Lacroix.
It sold to rousing applause for $168,000 (inclusive of 12% buyer's premium) at Frasher's July 9 auction.