Friday, April 6, 2012
Auctions featuring Steiner
Years ago, I used to correspond via email with Florence Theriault. I love their auction catalogs, and their write-ups. I am posting a couple even after the auction is over because I enjoy the prose and history. I have a lovely repro Le Petit Pariseinne by Clair and Evie Kidman of Wisconsin. I bought her in 1975, and she has gorgeous, long blonde, human hair. Enjoy:
Those were the words of the jury of 1878 International Exposition of Paris. They were describing the bebes of Jules Nicolas Steiner, and they went on to proclaim him “the inventor of the king of bebes”.
Which may help to explain why today’s collectors clamor for these beautiful French bisque dolls. Other reasons are their variety of faces and expressions, the curious and amusing mechanisms to be found on some, and their exquisite quality of bisque and painting. Theriault’s Marquis catalog doll auction, “The Well-Bred Doll”, coming up next Saturday, March 31, at the Westin Market Street in San Francisco offers wonderful Steiner bebes to satisy every collector.
Leading the list is the very rare series G bebe, having a superb presence at 28”, and with gorgeous modeling and bisque. Her luminous eyes and enchanting “pointy tip” nose are complemented by waist-length soft mohair wig and a fine costume, possibly original, including “Modes de Paris” signed shoes.
Jules Steiner had a special interest in the exotic doll, which was created in various complexions. A 24” bebe offered in “The Well-Bred Doll” has a superb ebony complexion that contrasts her daintily-painted coral lips and brown paperweight eyes. Her magenta and aqua knit costume is original, and a perfect example of two of the favored doll costume colors of the late 19th century. Extremely rare and pristine, with fine luminous complexion.
Other fine examples of Bebes Steiner in the auction are Bebe Gigoteur, Series C bebe with closed mouth in antique mariner costume, beautiful Figure A bebe, size 20, 28” with rare brown paperweight eyes and wonderful antique costume, and the rare Figure B model with double row of tiny teeth and very sweet expression.
French bebes, in fact, from many firms, make their presence at the auction, with nearly 50 choices for collectors from Bru, Jumeau, Schmitt, Gaultier, and others, as well as Steiner, ranging from a charming 10” size 1 Paris Bebe to a 38”bebe by Thuillier, size 15. Big, small, blue-eyed, brown-eyed, there are enchantments for all from the world of the French bebe.
The March 31st auction contains a wonderful collection of antique dolls, automata, and childhood ephemera of all sorts, to please every collecting taste. To see all of the lots in the auction, click here. The auction weekend fun continues on April 1st when the complete contents of the famous European doll and dollhouse museum, De Kleine Wereld, will be sold. To see all of the lots in the April 1st auction, click here.
San Francisco is surely the place to be for the early Spring doll events. We’ve arranged a special room rate at the hotel. Just call 800-638-0422 and ask for the special Theriault room rate of $199.
If you cannot attend the auction, there are many other ways to bid. We welcome absentee bids, live telephone bidding at the actual time of the auction, or live internet bidding at the actual time of the auction. For more information about any of these ways to bid, just call us at 800-638-0422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gorgeous award-winning full color catalogs are available for both auctions. Click here to order.