A charming late 19th century English wooden doll with a painted face, 18in (46cm) tall and dressed in a woollen costume, holding a bone cane and wearing a soft hat, is priced £150 with dealer Judy Bebber. She is also organiser of the biannual Kensington Doll Show, the first of which in 2017 is at Olympia on Sunday, May 14.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The event selling antique and vintage dolls, dolls’ houses and vintage teddies started about the same time as she launched Doll Advertiser, a biannual magazine for doll lovers and collectors.

This month there is a new venue for this spring fair only: in the Pillar Hall at Olympia, with the first event of the year to be held there on Sunday, May 14.

Bebber says: “This year seems to be popular for early wooden and papier-mâché dolls. Although prices have fallen in general with most dolls, there are some lovely antique dolls to be found at this fair, including those by the great French makers.

“Everyone is looking forward to the fair held at Olympia for the first time. There are lots of dolls to choose from among the 60 dealers from the UK, France and Germany, all bringing a fine selection of dolls. Regular foreign buyers come from Japan, France and Germany and sometimes the US, and we also have serious regular English buyers.”

The autumn, Kensington Doll Show will be back at Kensington Town Hall on Sunday, October 8.


Dolls' house village


Rachel Whiteread’s ‘Place (Village) 2006-08’ is now on permanent display at the V&A Museum of Childhood. Photo credit: V&A Museum of Childhood.

Anyone interested in dolls and dolls’ houses should head to the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green in London’s East End, which has the largest collection of dolls in the UK as well as more than 100 of the miniature homes. Also, artist Rachel Whiteread’s Place (Village) 2006-08 is now on permanent display.

This large-scale artwork features a “community” of houses in a variety of styles and eras all lit from within, from Georgian mansions to terraces and Tudor cottages which were collected by Whiteread over more than 20 years.