Bonhams Sells Most Expensive Doll in the World for £242,500

Is this the creepiest doll you've ever seen?

This Kammer & Reinhardt doll is now the most expensive doll ever sold. Photo: Bonhams.
This Kammer & Reinhardt doll is now the most expensive doll ever sold. Photo: Bonhams.

Bonhams has broken the record for the world’s most expensive doll, selling a rare German Kämmer & Reinhardt character doll for £242,500 ($395,750), reports ArtDaily.

The Knightsbridge auction, which took place September 24, erupted into a round of applause when the winning bid went through. The exquisite, lifelike doll is a little girl with plaited auburn hair and blue-gray eyes that match the sash and accents on her lace-sleeved white dress. She also wears a straw hat and white shoes and stockings.

There are no other known examples of this doll. Due to her unique pierced ears and unusually mature expression, she is thought to be an experimental mold.

The lucky buyer closed the record sale just in time for the release of horror film Annabelle, the sequel to last year’s The Conjuring. artnet News recommends he or she opts out of watching the film, as the plot involves a large, newly purchased vintage doll in a wedding dress that comes to life and turns out to be a “sinister conduit to the damned.”

Two other Kämmer & Reinhardt dolls, designed by Berlin artist and professor Lewin-Funcke, rounded out the evening’s top three lots, all of which doubled or tripled their pre-sale estimates. A bisque head doll modeled after one of Lewin-Funcke’s four daughters topped an expected £40,000–60,000 ($65,000–98,000), hammering at £170,500 ($278,000), while a “Heinz” character doll based on the artist’s nephew Heinz Burkowitz fetched £115,300 ($188,000).

“The collection offered a unique array of dolls, portraying real children from the 1909–1912 period,” said Leigh Gotch, head of the Bonhams toy department, in a press release. She attributed the record breaking prices to “the rarity and high quality artwork of these dolls.”

The sale dovetails nicely with an increased interest stateside in dollhouses (see “Big Market for Tiny Furniture“).


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