Doll automaton

Jean Roullet automaton, £11,000 at Special Auction Services.

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Estimated at £3000-5000, it sold for £11,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) at Special Auction Services in Newbury on April 30 to an American buyer.

Austin Smith and his late partner Margaret Harkins began collecting in 1949 after they rescued a broken doll from a house contents sale in the West Country.

The collection was displayed in several rooms in their large house. The first part was sold in February (see ATG No 2633) and further items are to be offered in June and December auctions.