Theriault's Early Spring 2023 Doll Auctions Brochure

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T heriaul T ’ s e arly s pring M arquis D oll a uc T ions PO Box 151 • Annapolis, Maryland 21404 Tel: 410-224-3655 • Fax: 410-224-2515 Follow @theriaultsdolls • “SAYING GOOD-BYE, COMING HOME” MARQUIS DOLL AUCTION SATURDAY MARCH 25, 2023 “LENCI ART, THE ROMBERG COLLECTION” DOLL AUCTION SUNDAY MARCH 26 2023 MARQUIS WEEKEND THERIAULT’S


MARCH 25, 2023 at Theriault’s Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland

Preview 10AM Eastern • Auction Begins at 11AM Eastern


As dolls say goodbye to a home where they have lived for many years, it’s also a time when they are passing to their next abode. Thus, saying goodbye, but also coming home. Wise collectors know that dolls are not passing through our lives, but we are passing through theirs.

A fine collection of private owner dolls will be saying goodbye and seeking a new home when they make their appearance at Theriault’s March 25 auction to be conducted at our new gallery in Annapolis, Maryland. The treasures abound. Some carry their story with them such as the dainty porcelain poupée by Rohmer along with her trousseau and an aged ink-lettered note “this doll was brought home to Alice Sophia Chapin by her father from Paris November 1860”, or the famous classic period Bru Jne bébé known among Japanese collectors as “Chloe” who was featured in a series of writings in a 2016 Japanese blog.

The collection is highlighted by an exceptional English early wooden doll, standing a regal 27”, possibly from the Waustead House in Sussex, England. There are additional wooden dolls from England and the Grodnertal area featured in the auction, some having previously been in the home of early noted collector Margaret Hartshorn, and fine early paper mache dolls are featured, too.

French dolls are highlighted by a stunningly beautiful

early period A.T. bébé, and dolls by Bru include not only Chloe (mentioned above), but also the wooden-bodied Bébé Modele and smiling model poupées. Other French bébés include the wistful Jumeau Triste bébé and other Jumeau portrait dolls, Steiner bébés including the very rare “F” model, and beautiful bébés by Gaultier and Schmitt. A very fine Huret lady leads the poupée parade, followed by other beautiful models. Among the German doll rarities is an all-original 111 model by Simon and Halbig, and Kammer and Reinhardt’s 112 boy in factory original Scottish costume. Max and Moritz are up to their pranks, as three different sets are offered by both K*R and Kestner. Collectors seeking the unusual will find rare models by Schoenhut, early Steiff character dolls, all-bisque mignonettes and several excellent Meiji era Japanese dolls. There is excellent early doll furniture including a very rare early Baltimore chair, fitted French armoires, toilette tables with accessories, and more. And a splendid grand Spielwaren castle setting from the mid1900s workshop of Rudolf Szalasi with accompanying lots of musical carousels, coach and horse, and a plenitude of furnishings lights up the gallery.

There are more than 300 lots in the one-day auction. Bidders are welcomed to attend the auction in person at Theriault’s new gallery located at 2148 Renard Court in Annapolis, Md, 21401. Absentee, live telephone and live internet bidding are also available.

For more details or to order a catalog call 410-224-3655 or visit x

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x Theriault’s New Gallery Is Now Open! Theriault’s new gallery has opened the doors and you are welcomed in! Attendance is limited so be sure to call ahead at 410-224-3655 to reserve your seats for this special event! 4 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x
5 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x


THE CATALOG BOOK“SAYING GOOD-BYE, COMING HOME” Order this important catalog today for bidding purposes or your ongoing research library. Over 150 pages of full color photographs and read the historical descriptions of these rare dolls and playthings. The catalog price includes two-day priority shipping to you, and afterauction price results. $69. Call 410-224-3655. Note: If you order a 10-Issue Subscription before March 25th, you will receive both catalogs counting towards one catalog.
Dolls, Toys, and Candy Containers from the Barbara Kincaid Collection will also be featured at the March 25th Auction. 6 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x

Get Close-Up and Personal with Your Favorite Dolls from Theriault’s

Face2Live is Theriault’s new service that allows you to view on live video feed closeups of a few dolls you are most interested in. Call 410-224-3655 or email to schedule an appointment. Then simply go to and click the handy button on the side of the main page. From there you will be connected to one of our staff on video chat (you do not have to be on video yourself). A great way to get a closeup look of features and face in a live private video session. Available Monday through Friday 9AM-4PM Eastern.

7 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x


x Public Preview March 25 from 10AM-11AM immediately preceding that day’s auction.

x Visit and link to Theriault’s YouTube Channel for a video presentation of many of the dolls by Florence Theriault.

x Visit and link to ISSUU to view a digital copy of the catalog.

x Visit and link to “Bid Online” to see each doll in the catalog.

x Call Theriault’s at 410-224-3655 and make an appointment for a private video viewing of your preferred dolls.

8 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x


Sunday, MARCH 26, 2023

The Italian firm of Lenci, whose roots began just after WWI when family misfortune and youthful curiosity prompted 15 year old Elena di Scavini to run away and join the circus, and later travel to other parts of Europe away from her roots in Turin, Italy, melding into the intellectual and artistic communities she found wherever she traveled. Her life inspired her art. And the creation of the hand-painted modeled felt dolls she designed reflected not only her early life – the circus, the theatre, the sense of the absurd -but also told a story of those remarkable times.

“Collectors who are only familiar with the Lenci dolls of the mid/late 1930s are missing a whole part of the story”, says the collector Elaine Romberg, “and while I love those later and colorful dolls, too, I am fascinated with the history of the earlier Lenci dolls”.

The Romberg Collection of “Lenci Art” presents 160 dolls and ephemera from the 1920-1940 era, with historical background about the pieces. The collection remarkably includes 160 pieces from the premiere Lenci ad of 1920, as well as important and very rare celebrity dolls including Valentino as The Sheik, Josephine Baker in her famous banana costume, and Bombita of bullfighting fame. The complete story of the outstanding series of Asian dolls created by Elena di Scavini in the mid-1920s remains a mystery, although their grand exhibition size and astounding

detail is clear evidence of special commission. Few are known to exist.

Lovers of Lenci fashionable girls and boys will find favor in this auction, too. Vibrant colors with appropriate accessories create enhancing ensembles that echo the styles of the years they were made. Even accessories, such as hand-painted jewelry or pipes, were carefully created to enhance the looks.

At Theriault’s Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland. Preview 10AM Eastern • Auction Begins at 11AM Eastern
9 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x

The collection contains 160 wonderful and rare examples of these treasured dolls. Collectors are invited to attend the auction in person at Theriault’s new gallery at 2148 Renard Court in Annapolis, MD 21401 or can bid absentee, live by telephone or live on the internet. A live video/ audio of the auction is also aired. A full color catalog is available for $69. Note: If you order a 10-Issue Subscription before March 25th, you will receive both catalogs counting towards one catalog.

For more information or to order or subscribe to the auction catalogs call 410-224-3655 or visit x

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Here’s a trend that holds true across all categories of doll collecting. The early years of a dollmaker’s work are often overlooked. Instead, it’s the golden years of a particular doll that are most sought by the novice collector, the period when the doll artist or firm has achieved excellent quality control, both in materials and in production. And so it is with the Lenci doll, because it is her fashionable, colorful and wonderful child dolls from the 1929-1935 era that are most sought today, while important and extremely rare dolls from the 1919-1925 era are often overlooked.

That is a pity, for the dolls of these early years have other important values. They clearly project the dollmaker’s artistic vision. They are more visionary, more experimental, not at all hesitant about being different. And since the background of the dollmaker is often artistic or intellectual, rather than profit-making, the hard facts of business have not yet impacted their work. Three early 20th century women whose dollmaking years began this way were Kathe Kruse, Sasha Morgenthaler and Elena di Scavini. It is the early dolls of Elena di Scavini that are shown in this article.

In the post WWI years, as Scavini cast about for a life purpose, she rambled into the making of dolls. To this end, she remembered her own favorite childhood doll of rags and wood, of which she said, “My doll was nothing and therefore she could become anything”.  After her initial experiments in making a doll of canvas, she realized that

she wanted a fabric that could be molded. Felt, of course! Just like a hat, and so it was a hat factory she turned to for the production of a thin felt fabric that could be pressed onto a mold. Thus, the firm was born.

While 1919 and 1920 were the first years of production, and it is true that the quality of the felt was less refined than that of the golden years of the late 1920s, it is also true that the dolls from this era overcame that impediment through sheer force of characterization. This was the era of celebrity doll, of winking or sulky characters, of theatrical mainstays from Commedia dell’arte or circus figures that hinted back to Elena’s own teen-age years in the circus. Her studies in photography surely inspired a fascination with Hollywood silent film stars of which the most notable she created was Valentino as The Sheik. But there was also Josephine Baker, Tom Mix, Jim (Gene) Tunney and Jackie Coogan, who were specially named in the Lenci catalog, and others whose characterization was vaguely suggested such as Marlene Dietrich and Raquel Meller.

One particular character serves as example. This was Jim (Gene) Tunney who held the world heavyweight title from 1926 to 1928. In 1926 the Lenci firm presented a doll “178/A Tunney” in boxing costume. It appears to have been offered under that name for only one year, so it is intriguing to wonder if licensing issues occurred, as often happened during these early days of the licensing industry.

14 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x
The Romberg Collection notably contains seven dolls from the premier year of Lenci production as seen in this 1920 ad in Printemps catalog of the Parisian department store. The dolls are extremely rare.

Interestingly, three years later, another doll appeared in exactly the same costume, described simply as “1005 Boxer”, and then in 1931, once again in a tiny 6 ½” size as “Series XX/6”.

Since the mid-1800s, Europeans had been fascinated with the “Wild West” of the United States. When Hollywood’s silent films rolled around, this fascination was heightened, so it was no surprise that among the very first group of dolls offered by Elena Scavini in 1919/1920 there were the “#6 Cow Boy” and “#1 Chef Indien”. Soon after appeared Tom Mix who had starred in American Western silent films from 1909 onward and was known to be admired by Madame Lenci, as evidenced by her 1926 doll “178 Tom Mix”.

The early dolls of Elena Scavini and the Lenci firm offer great opportunity for collectors seeking to connect their dolls with historical and cultural changes. Did the famous Salome doll of Lenci represent a particular performer or merely the role itself? Did the scandalous rumors

surrounding the Salome performance enhance the sale of the doll or destroy it, since the doll is extremely rare and appears to have been made for a very short time only? What is the complete background of the extraordinary exhibition-size Asian dolls? And what about the rare early portrait of a Russian Cossack which does not appear in any Lenci catalog or ad, but whose head construction indicates production pre-1923? The historically elite cavalry guard Russian Cossacks had figured prominently in the political upheaval in Russia 1917-1922 and it is likely, but not certain, they inspired Elena Scavini’s model. Nor is it known if the doll was designed as a portrait model of a specific hero. And so the questions go on and on.

The dolls presented in this article, and featured in the upcoming Theriault Marquis auction “Lenci Art” are from the private collection of Elaine Romberg, who astutely studied and sought these early examples, appreciating not only their beauty and rarity, but also their importance in the Lenci story. For more information visit or call 410-224-3655. x

15 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x
First year Lenci Dolls as shown in the 1920 Printemps catalog.

Dollmastery Vignette Series

Watch Florence Theriault’s educational videos about antique dolls — available for viewing on YouTube. Simply

After February 23rd, watch for new videos featuring rare dolls from the March 25-26, 2023 auctions to be sold at the Marquis Auction Event at Theriault’s Studio Gallery in Annapolis, MD.

16 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x

The Fun of Attending a Theriault’s Marquis Doll Auction

So many reasons to come to the auction!

Start with the more than 500 wonderful dolls for auction — a veritable museum, indeed. And then consider these:

The visual joy of beautiful dolls in fine displays — dolls as they should be shown.

The good time laughter and bidding with auctioneers Stuart Holbrook and Luke Theriault.

The early morning walkthrough preview with Florence Theriault.

The delight at greeting old friends and meeting new ones.

And don’t forget the hot fudge sundaes!

Beautiful dolls in a fun and laughterfilled weekend. What could possibly ever be better than this?

If you really just can’t come in person, here’s the closest thing. You can watch and listen (and bid, if you wish) to the entire live streamed auction via Proxibid. and click on “Bid online” for easy details and access.
Stuart Holbrook Luke Theriault
17 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x
Florence Theriault

Bidding Is Easy At Theriault’s

Bid Live on the Internet

Plan to spend the day at the auction in the comfort of your home. Watch and listen to the auction live, and get ready to bid live when the dolls of your choice come up for auction.

Bid on the Telephone

Every Theriault’s auction brims with new discoveries for your collection. So why not join in on the bidding fun? It’s easy. Choose your favorite way to bid and prioritize your choices.

Choose your dolls, and then call our office to make a reservation for telephone bidding. We call you when your dolls of choice come up for bidding, and you bid just as though you were there.

Bid Absentee

Place your bids right up to the time of auction by mail, fax, email or phone. Advise us of the lots and your top bid. We will bid for you fairly and competitively.

We Can Answer All Your Questions

also now offer scheduled private video previews.

Theriault’s at 410-224-3655 or email
we’ll review
all the details and help you choose the option that’s best for you. We
Theriault’s President and Head Auctioneer, Stuart Holbrook
18 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x

BARBIE MOD & Before A One-Day Auction Saturday,

April 15, 2023

10 AM Preview x 11 AM Auction EST

At Theriault’s Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland

A wonderful 400 lot all-Barbie auction from two private collections with emphasis on Mod Era Barbies. Featuring many rare and seldom-seen dolls and outfits, as well as Japanese and European exclusives, in excellent to near mint condition.

Our gallery is open the day of the auction (preview begins 10 AM EST, Auction begins 11 AM EST) or for scheduled preview during the ten days prior to the auction. We encourage you to join us for the auction fun in person, or you can bid live by internet or telephone. Visit to pre-register for online bidding.

Also, the auction is available with live video/audio so you can watch and listen to the auction from your home. Visit for tune-in details.

For more information call 410-224-3655. The auction is available for viewing or bidding at after March 26. The Gallery is located at 2148 Renard Court, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.

19 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x

Rendezvous Returns!

And you are welcome to join us in person for the auction at our gallery or bid live on the internet or by phone.

What is Rendezvous? Well, it’s just that, a mid-week evening auction event that’s short and sweet, yet filled with delightful treasures. Just enough for the insatiable collector to get them through the work week.

So watch for Rendezvous Returns in March. Most auctions offer a variety of antique dolls and playthings, but here are three specialty Rendezvous auction you won’t want to miss.

Wednesday, March 15.

Vive la France! Poupées, bébés, accessories and all the treasures you love about French dolls.

Wednesday, March 22.

Costumes. Bonnets and Shoes. The closet is open! A wonderful collection of antique and vintage style costumes from the Kellerman and Kralovitz Collections.

Wednesday, April 12.

Artist Dolls. All your favorites including R. John Wright, Maggie Iacono, Eunice Tuttle, Anne Mitrani, Sally Cutts, Martha Thompson and more.

And here’s a tip. If you come to the March 15 or March 22 auction, you’ll have a sneak peek at the fabulous dolls in the March 25 and 26 Marquis auctions.

Wednesday, March 15. Vive la France!

Wednesday, March 22. Costumes. Bonnets and Shoes

Wednesday, April 12. Artist Dolls

20 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x

It’s fun—It’s fast

It’s just half a day and then you’re on your way. But it’s not for the faint of heart

And it’s the best kept secret in the doll world.

It’s Theriault’s famous Ten2Go doll auction, now in its 35th year.

And here’s what it is. Simple. 400 lots are sold in just three hours. One hour inspection before the auction. Caveat emptor. Every lot starts at $10. Some lots are treasures and others are not.

It’s what old-fashioned auctions used to be. No absentee bids, no telephone bidding, no internet bidding, Only you and the others in the room. And it’s all about dolls.

Coming up Ten2Go Auctions

Friday, March 10, 2023

Friday, April 7, 2023

21 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x

Collectors tell

Not to worry. For more than 50 years, Theriault’s has been the “little engine that could” in helping collectors and families accomplish that task effortlessly.

We listen to you. We evaluate your dolls and lay out a plan to accomplish your goals. And then, if you agree, we do all the work.

Our full-time professional staff travels to your home, inventories your property, carefully packs and transports in our own secure vehicles, prepares and markets your dolls for auction,

and presents them to collectors worldwide whose trust in Theriault’s is borne out by the prices they are willing to bid.

You just sit back and breathe a sigh of relief.

Stuart Holbrook,

is traveling throughout the country now, visiting with collectors by appointment. If you have questions or would like to schedule a noobligation complimentary appointment, call Theriault’s at 410-224-3655 or email

to a smaller home? Faced with handling a family estate? Or just deciding to downsize your collection.
us the
their feeling is “overwhelmed”.
most describes
410-224-3655 to schedule a no-obligation appointment. 22 x For more information visit or call 410-224-3655 x

2023 Calendar of Dolls

Featuring beautiful antique dolls. Sixteen full-color photographs featuring gorgeous antique dolls. 24” x 12”. $22.

Order Form for Doll Auction Catalogs

❒ “Saying Good-bye, Coming Home” Marquis Auction Catalog Featuring Private Collections — At Theriault’s Gallery, Annapolis, MDMarch 25, 2023. $69.

❒ “Lenci Art - The Romberg Collection” Marquis Auction Catalog — At Theriault’s Gallery, Annapolis, MD - March 26, 2023. $69.

❒ 2023 Calendar of Dolls (16 months thru March 2024): $22

*Maryland residents add 6% sales tax.

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Absentee, Telephone and Live Internet Bidding

We welcome absentee bidding, live telephone bidding, and live bidding on the internet. Too, you can “tunein” to the online auction and watch and listen to the entire event. Questions? Give us a call and we’ll help you choose the bidding option that is best for you.

Auction Information

The auction will take place at the Theriault’s Studio, 2148 Renard Court, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. For auction info call Theriault’s at 410-224-3655 M-F 9AM-5PM EST or go online to Email queries to

t he dollmasters  PO Box 151 Annapolis, Maryland 21404 To order the auction catalogs for $69 call 410-224-3655 or visit
25, 2023 “Saying
10:00 AM EST. Preview.
“Lenci Art”
EST. Auction.
March 26, 2023
10:00 AM EST. Preview.
Join the Auctions in a Live Video Presentation. Call Today at 410-224-3655 for More Details. x