Neapolitan court lady with rare sculpted cap, 15in (38cm) late 1700s – estimate $1600-1800 at Theriault’s on March 6.

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For example, the French wooden court doll, usually posed in the presence of other court figures, each of which was singularly carved to represent a specific person, their collective purpose to insinuate a rumoured scandal of the court. But nowhere was the human theatre in dolls more vividly seen than in Naples, Italy.


Neapolitan red snood lady with taufling baby, 13in (33cm), late 1700s – estimate $1400-1700 at Theriault’s on March 6.

Doll collectors are familiar with the collections of Hanne Büktas which have featured at auction house Theriault’s in Annapolis, Maryland, in past years, ranging from The Hanne Büktas Collection of Antique Needlework Tools and Sewing Accessories to Lady Fancies, Half-Dolls, Bathing Beauties and More, to The Hanne Büktas Collection of French Poupées, Their Trousseaux and Accessories.

Theriault’s says: “It was while collecting French poupées that Hanne Büktas began the pursuit of other Continental dolls including Grodnertal, Genoese and Neapolitans, and, as was the case with her poupée collection, the pursuit encompassed each aspect of that collecting niche, including furnishings, accessories, animals, and other accoutrements.”

Favourite selection


Neapolitan peasant widow attributed to Bottigliero, 15in (38cm) mid-1700s – estimate $2200-2800 at Theriault’s on March 6.

Her final remaining collection, her favourite, will be offered on March 6 in The Doll as Theatre: Neapolitan and Continental Dolls of the 17th and 18th Century from the Hanne Büktas Collection, Part Two. Two special commemorative catalogues have been produced and feature nearly 500 dolls and hundreds of related ephemera, furnishings, and accessories.