The Billie and Paige Welker Collection of Dolls

Rare French Bébés German Characters and American Folk DollsAn Extraordinary Private Collection of Rare French Bébés, German Characters, and American Folk Dolls.

Theriault’s auction on July 15th features the very significant collection of French Bébés, German Characters, and American Folk Dolls from the collection of Billie and Paige Welker. Dolls included some of the rarest German bisque art characters, gorgeous French bébés and their costumes, French poupées and trousseaux, American cloth and paper mache folk dolls of the highest order, many bearing blue ribbon presentation awards, were among the treasures sought and perfectly preserved by the prescient North Carolina couple. Coupling good taste with a passion for the curious and unique, the Welkers assembled a perfectly blended selection of antique childhood treasures. In addition, the auction offers the well-known private collection of Door of Hope dolls from research author, Mary Sicard.

French Bisque Bebe by HalopeauPictured: An Outstanding French Bisque Bebe “H” by Halopeau in Fine Early Costume – 17″ (43 cm.) Pressed bisque socket head with plump cheeks, amber-brown glass paperweight inset eyes, dark eyeliner, painted lashes, brush-stroked brows with feathered detail, accented eye corners, shaded nostrils, closed mouth with outlined lips, pierced ears, blonde mohair wig over cork pate, French composition and wooden eight-loose-ball jointed body with straight wrists. Condition: generally excellent. Marks: 1 H (head) 1 (torso and right foot). Comments: Aristide Halopeau, circa 1884, only this one facial model is known from the firm, and few models of the bebe were created. Value Points: among the rarest of the classic-period French bebes, the “H” bebe has very beautiful expression, and finest bisque and painting, original body and body finish, and is wearing a superb antique costume comprising silk dress with maroon velvet trim, woven bonnet undergarments, brown stockings, and black leather shoes with silk bows. Estimate $28,000 .

Now, a number of pieces from the private family archives will be traveling to museums around the United States through the months of May, June and July 2015, under the sponsorship of Theriault’s.


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More dolls from the collection

French Bisque Bebe A T by Andre ThuillierAn Outstanding French Bisque Bebe A.T. by Andre Thuillier, Size 9 – 22″ (56 cm.) Pressed bisque socket head with very plump cheeks, dark blue glass paperweight inset eyes, thick dark eyeliner, painted lashes, feathered brows, accented eye corners, shaded nostrils, closed mouth with defined space between the shaded and outlined lips, pierced ears, brunette mohair wig over cork pate, French composition and wooden fully jointed body. Condition: generally excellent. Marks: A 9 T. Comments: Andre Thuillier, circa 1885, from the golden years of that firm. Value Points: the superb sculpting is enhanced by finest quality of bisque and artistic painting of eyes and mouth, original body and body finish, wonderful antique ivory silk costume, silk-lined bonnet, undergarments, knit socks, leather shoes with rosettes impressed with full figure of doll.

Jumeau Dolls by Pierre-François & Emile


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