The 9in (23cm) tall Series B doll had a Motschmann body, composition arms and hands and bisque legs and feet. Marked Sie. B. 3/10, she was owned by the vendor’s mother, born in 1913, and, it is believed, by her mother before her.
There was a small chip to the doll’s right ear but, other than the need of a careful clean, she was in good condition and it was always likely that she and her trunk of spare clothes would go above the £800-1200 estimate.
Nevertheless, it was a delightful surprise for vendor and auctioneer when she went to a UK collector for £9000.
Shoes of a Russian royal?
Doll sized, but with a connection to a real and tragic child, a pair of cream and leather shoes raised interest from Europe, Russia and the US at this disparate sale.
A label inside showed they were made by Henry Weiss, St Petersburg, and they came with a small hand-written card Shoes worn by HRH Grand Duchess Marie Nikolaevna of Russia, 1902.
The grand duchess, (the third daughter of Tsar Nicholas II) would have been three at the time. Sixteen years later she was slaughtered along with the rest of the Romanov ruling family at Yekaterinburg by Bolshevik revolutionaries.
Estimated at £80-120 at the Somerset sale, the shoes sold to a Continental buyer at £4900.