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Dolls House With Rare Furniture Sells for £8,500

8th July 2020.

A 19th Century Dolls House and Furniture sold for £8,500 (plus buyer’s premium) in Tennants Auctioneers’ Costume, Accessories and Textiles Sale on 4th July, having been consigned by a private vendor local to the North Yorkshire auctioneers. The Dolls House, modelled on a Victorian brick-built town house with attached carriage house was not the main attraction, however. It was three pieces of small but perfectly formed rare dolls house furniture that caused much excitement amongst afficionados.

The furniture comprised two tinware (painted metal) pieces, a circular green pedestal table and a yellow washstand, which were made in the 19th century by Evans and Cartwright, a toy manufacturer from Wolverhampton. The wares produced by Evans and Cartwright were usually made in a reddish-brown colour, thus the unusual painted colouring on these examples helped set them apart. The third piece was an 18th century painted wooden table, of which only three or four others of the type have been recorded. The style and shape of the table’s legs are particularly unusual. Whilst modest in appearance, these three tables certainly caused a stir in the saleroom, before the lot was won by a collector bidding over the telephone.

From the same collection came two lots of rare wooden dolls, which also greatly exceeded expectations. The first lot comprised a Mid-18th Century Carved and Painted Wooden Tuck Comb Doll and Two Later Miniature Dolls with Pinecone Skirts, which sold for £1,700 (plus buyer’s premium), and the second a Late 18th Century Carved and Painted Wooden Doll and three further wooden dolls, which sold for £1,500 (plus buyer’s premium).

Elsewhere in a very buoyant sale, Vintage Costume and Accessories proved very popular with strong prices seen throughout. Group lots of vintage clothes from the 1940s and 50s sold particularly well, with one lot of 14 items selling for £1,100 (plus buyer’s premium) – over ten times the bottom estimate. There was a strong demand for pieces of clothing bearing the ‘CC41’ label, which denotes a piece of Utility Clothing which was made to aid the economy and help the war effort following its introduction at the end of 1941.

A Lock & Co. black silk top hat in a brown leather box and two feather fans sold for £2,500 (plus buyer’s premium), a stellar price perhaps due to the unusual size and good condition of the hat. Always a firm favourite in the saleroom, a vintage Louis Vuitton leather suitcase adorned with colourful shipping luggage labels sold for £1,200 (plus buyer’s premium).

The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £56,600 with a 97% sold rate for the 192 lots. 


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