Saturday, 9 November 2013

The very picture of a loving doll

“I’d have thought you’d have got past that stage!” was one of the quips that auctioneer Piers Motley-Nash had to put up with from onlookers this morning as he was posing with this porcelain beauty from Germany.

As it happened he had a ready answer. “My sister’s due to give birth soon so no doubt I’ll be holding a real baby before too long.”

This Schoenau Hoffmeister doll is almost a hundred years old, but she certainly doesn’t look her age. Described in the Bicton Street Auction Rooms catalogue as bisque headed and open-mouthed with composite jointed body, she has moving eyes, is 69cm tall and has an estimate of between £120 and £150 in the antiques sale which starts at 10.00 am on Monday 11 November. 

Bisque dolls are characterised by their realistic, skin-like matt finish. Piers, who is Fairlynch Museum’s Antiquities Consultant, thinks that she was made between 1915 and 1920 and that she’s the most interesting of the eight dolls in the sale.  

So if you’ve admired the antique dolls in the Museum’s collection and wished you could have your own, why not try putting in a bid at Monday’s sale? Not all old dolls appreciate in value, but the one that Piers is holding comes with a good pedigree and seemed in good condition. The Schoenau & Hoffmeister porcelain factory in Burggrub, Germany, was founded by Arthur Schoenau and Carl Hoffmeister in 1901.  

The Bicton Street Auction Rooms is a well-established family-run business which holds regular sales covering a vast range of antiques and collectables. To read more click on

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