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This 18th century doll’s dress sold for £3700 at C&T's auction.

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Extremely rare, the silk and brocade costume complete with an underlayer on the 16in (41cm) wooden doll was pitched at £500-800.

Bids rained in from thesaleroom.com and lot-tissimo.com with the successful buyer coming from the German website.

“There was lots of pre-sale interest and we thought it would go above estimate,” said specialist Leigh Gotch. “But we were pleasantly surprised when it sold at £3700.”

French model

Top price at the November 13 sale was taken by a c.1800 French Schmidt Bebe doll in a presentation box complete with a full set of clothes and accessories.

At 11½in (29cm) tall, the doll, incised B. S.G.D.G, 3/0, was in the smallest, and rare, Size 3 of the Schmidt product.

With only a small repair to the left hand and otherwise in perfect condition, it was estimated at £4000-6000 and sold at £8000.