July 31, 2012

Rare Lucille Ball doll tops $10,000 at Amesbury MA Auction

A rare 1955 Madame Alexander Lucille Ball bride doll sold for more than $10,000 at a recent John McInnis Auction in Amesbury, Massachuesettes.

"It was a quite a successful sale," said Dan Meader, an appraiser for John McInnis Auctioneers, of the 700-plus doll collection of Kathy Hipp of Amesbury, who began amassing her collection in the 1950s.

The collection was sold at auction on July 14 at the McInnis Auction Gallery. It took in $300,000.

"We had 300 bidders registered online and another 140 to 150 people that came to the auction. We had buyers from other countries, including Japan and Australia and a strong concentration in this country," McInnis said.

"The mid-century (1950s) dolls did so well," McInnis said. The top lot was a very rare 1955 Madame Alexander Lucille Ball as a bride that sold for $10,062.50. An 18-inch Kathe Kruse swivel-head doll estimated at $500 to $750 sold for $2,950 and a Jumeau doll sold for $6,037."

Hipp started with a passion for Madame Alexander dolls and then branched out to fine French and German bisque dolls. Included in her collection was her vast array of 1930s to 1960s era dolls including Nancy Ann Storybook, Vogue, and Terry Lee. Her entire Madame Alexander Collection, including many rare examples, was sold. The collection included dolls from the 1860s to the 1980s, from rare French and German bisque dolls to Barbie, Kewpie, and GI Joe dolls.

"Some rare individual dolls sold in the thousands of dollars," Meader said, "some hundreds. Many of the Madame Alexander dolls are in mint condition and most are in their original boxes."

Other important examples of dolls in the collection included Jumeau, Steiner, Bru, K*R, Heubach, Simon & Halbig, Armand Marseille, SFBJ, F.Gaultier, J.D. Kestner, Schoenhut, Franz Schmidt, Effanbee, Gibson, Jerri, Pauline, Heidi Ott, Sasha, Nisbit, Lenci, Kathe Kruse, Corelle, and Grace Putnam.

The collection also included boxes and boxes and boxes of doll shoes, clothing, wigs, furniture, tea sets, and miniatures.

"It was a big undertaking," McInnis said, "a lot of work went into it, but it was a total success."

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