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  • Writer's pictureArman Antonyan

Rare Antique Doll Collection Sells for More Than £250,000 in Auction

In a remarkable auction event, approximately half of a stunning collection of dolls dating back to the 18th century has fetched an impressive total exceeding £250,000. The pinnacle of the auction was marked by the sale of an English wooden doll from 1740, which commanded an astonishing price of £27,500, showcasing the remarkable value and historical significance of these artifacts.

Daniel Agnew, a specialist in teddy bears, toys, and dolls, expressed awe at the collection, hailing it as "truly a collector's dream." He highlighted the sale of the top lot as the pinnacle of the event, describing it as "absolutely incredible."


Among the auction's other notable highlights was Peggy, an 18th-century English wooden doll, which found a new owner for £11,875, along with a captivating mid-19th-century shadowbox featuring a garden scene with two dolls, fetching £9,375. The auction, hosted by Special Auction Services in Newbury, Berkshire, marked the largest and most valuable doll collection seen by the establishment in 25 years, attesting to its rarity and desirability among collectors.



The remarkable journey of this collection began over 75 years ago when Austin Smith and his late partner, Margaret Harkins, embarked on their passion for collecting in 1949. Mr. Agnew noted that Mr. Smith, now in his mid-nineties, was "delighted" with the auction's success, a fitting tribute to a lifetime devoted to preserving these treasures. Despite its privacy over the years, the collection garnered widespread acclaim upon its unveiling, leaving Mr. Agnew "blown away" by its sheer magnitude and beauty. With over 1,000 dolls and numerous smaller items, the collection stands as a testament to the dedication and passion of its creators, Austin and Margaret. As these cherished artifacts find new homes, it is a testament to their enduring legacy in the world of collectibles.

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