Lenci felt boudoir doll auctions for $6,000 at Bonhams

A gorgeous Lenci felt doll of a maid has seen the highest bids in Bonhams' auction of The Doll Collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon, which was held June 24 in Los Angeles.

Lenci French maid doll
Due to the nature of their manufacture, Lenci dolls were always expensive and only the most privileged families could afford to buy them

Made circa 1930 and wearing a French maid's outfit, the Italian doll sold for $6,250.

Lenci 's fantastic toys are considered the pinnacle of felt doll making. They were introduced as an answer to the problem of young girls not being able to play with their porcelain dolls.

Alexandra Sheldon is a former actress, model and advertising executive, who formed a magnificent collection with her late husband, Sidney Sheldon, after marrying in 1989.

Sidney was a highly respected writer, who won academy awards for his work on I Dream of Jeannie and The Patty Duke Show, before launching into a series of highly successful fiction novels. He died in 2007.

Lenci Fascist Italian Youth Movement doll
The doll provides a fascinating snapshot in the history of the Italian dollmakers

A Lenci character doll of a young boy in the fascist Italian Youth Movement uniform brought the second highest bids of the sale, selling at $3,750.

A fascinating piece, the doll reflects the history of its makers in 1930s Italy, where fascist ideology was taught to children as an addition to their school education.

A rare Lenci doll contained in its original Easter egg trousseau matched the sale price of the Italian Youth Movement doll. Its value lay in its magnificent state of preservation, with additional outfits still contained within the felt egg that it was originally supplied with.

The world record for a German-made character doll was set in January this year at $212,000, when a Kammer and Reinhardt example sold at specialist auction house Theriault's.

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