"Bebe Modele" Bru Doll & Accessories, ca. 1880
Appraised Value: $12,000 - $18,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:34)
GUEST: I brought you a doll that a neighbor gave me 45 years ago. This neighbor was collecting clothes for a play for a theater production. This doll came in a trunk of clothes, and she called my family, because we had ten children. And I loved her a lot and I played with her all the time. But maybe five years later, um... her head got broken because I kept her wrapped up in clothes and my sister was looking for a skirt and she flipped out the clothes and the doll came out and broke her head. And I glued her with Elmer's Glue and that was okay for a while, but then maybe 20 years ago, I had her head repaired, and I just wondered what you can tell me about her.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a beautiful doll. It's a French doll. It's by a company called Bru, in Paris. This particular doll called "Bebe Modele" came in in 1880 and probably lasted for about five years. She's the first model child doll that the Bru factory produced. It has a fully wooden articulated body, which is very unusual-- you can see by her toe there-- uh... lovely face, lovely original dress, extra dresses, also original shoes. Now, um... you told me about the damage on her head. What we're going to do is, we're going to take off her hair and bring her around here, and you can see inside her head where the crack is. Anybody ever tell you about it? The value of it?
GUEST: No, and especially since it was broken, I, um... I knew it could be valuable but, because it was broken, thought maybe the value was lost. I never really pursued it. A woman who was knowledgeable about dolls said because the mouth was closed, it was not as valuable as if the mouth were open.
APPRAISER: Oh, really? Actually, a closed mouth is better than an open mouth. Unfortunately, she did get damaged, but she's still pretty good. I mean, you know, I would think, okay, with the repair on the head, probably $12,000 up to $18,000. That's just the basic doll itself. You have her shoes, which are marked Bru shoes with the B in the circle. Those are worth between $500 and $600 for her shoe.
GUEST: Oh, my Lord!
APPRAISER: Her dress here, which is an original dress-- pretty good condition, a few moth holes-- is probably $600 to $800. Her walking outfit-- probably around the same. The extra dresses all like $100 to $150.
APPRAISER: Without that crack in her head, between $20,000 and $30,000.
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