The exceptional doll collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon will be sold by Bonhams on June 24 in LA, featuring a Lenci felt doll of Rudolph Valentino.
Alexandra Sheldon is a former actress, model and advertising executive, who married the late Sidney Sheldon in 1989.
Sidney was a respected writer, winning an academy award for his work on I Dream of Jeannie and The Patty Duke Show in 1947 before launching into highly-successful fiction novels.
Italian Lenci dolls are some of the most sought-after, renowned for their large size and superb felt. The Rudolph Valentino example at auction depicts the actor in his role as The Son of the Sheik in 1926.
The $8,000-estimated doll stands over two feet high, and is very rare due to the fact that it was discontinued after just one year of production following the 1929 stock market crash.
Other Lenci incarnations of famous figures in the sale include Madame de Pompadour (estimated at $1,200), Mozart ($1,600), Columbina ($2,000) and Madame Butterfly ($3,000).
More highly collectible doll types will feature, including German bisque-head dolls, which are extremely sought after, as well as R John Wright dolls, Sookum dolls from the 1920s-1940s and Kewpie dolls.
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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