Kammer & Reinhardt doll sets world record at $212,000

A US auction house has seen a new world record set by a Kammer & Reinhardt doll in its January 12 auction in California.

German doll world record Kammer & Reinhardt
Renowned sculptor Arthur Lewin-Funcke used his own daughter as the model for the doll

The sale saw competitive bids for the prized doll, with a final bid of $212,800 securing the piece. It now stands as the most valuable German made doll ever sold at auction.

Coldly named Model 104, the doll was sculpted by the renowned Berlin artist Arthur Lewin-Funcke (1866-1937), whose own daughter served as the model. There are only two or three other examples of Model 104 known to exist.

It was first discovered in an old trunk in the home of a noble Spanish family, who had left their ancestral estate in the early 1900s to emigrate to a mountain village in Peru. It is believed to have lain there for more than a century, with its elaborate costume still as fresh and vibrant as when it was first released.

"The greatness of this doll was evident in the number of collectors vying for a piece of history that might only come up once in a lifetime," commented the auction house's president Stuart Holbrook.

"Further, it is a testament to the importance of dolls being appreciated as not only a commercial endeavor but an item that is, in the context of the time it was made, a work of art."

The auction house, which specialises in doll sales, currently holds the world record for any doll at auction, set in 2009 by a French model by sculptor Albert Marque, which achieved $263,000.

The present sale was the third-highest grossing in the auction house's history, realising $2.3m and proving the potential of collectible dolls at auction.

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