Circle Dot Bru Doll, ca. 1885
Appraised Value: $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:37)
GUEST: I bought this doll from a friend of my older sister's. Actually, the first thing she said to me was, "Do you think I can get $50 for this doll at a yard sale?" So I bought her, and I did take her to be appraised. And the appraiser wrote me up an appraisal and then said she wanted to buy it. And very shortly, the price she was offering me was far more than the appraisal, so I wanted to come here and find out what she was all about.
APPRAISER: What had she offered you?
GUEST: The appraisal was for $700.
GUEST: And before long, we were at $4,000 she was offering me for the doll--
APPRAISER: Wow. Really?
GUEST: --so I was confused by that.
APPRAISER: Well, any idea of the background of the doll, where it came from?
GUEST: The woman I bought it from told me that her grandmother had worked in one of the big houses on Bellevue Avenue, and when the hand was broken by the little girl who owned her, it was given to the housekeeper.
APPRAISER: And any idea of the date of the doll?
GUEST: The appraiser told me that she was French and from the 1800s.
APPRAISER: All right, well, the appraiser was right; she is French. It's made by a company called Bru--
APPRAISER: --in the Paris area. Bru is actually a Spanish name, so we're not quite sure where he originally came from. This is a transitional Bru. It's from the period around probably 1885. It's called a Circle Dot Bru. There's a funny little mark on the back. It looks like a circle, which is not really a mark. It's an indentation for a key for an open-mouthed version that was called a Nursing Bru. Now, this one is transition, because it says "Bru Jeune." And you mentioned the damage on the hand.
APPRAISER: The hand is no big deal.
APPRAISER: That finger can be fixed.
GUEST: Oh, really? Okay.
APPRAISER: The price the lady gave you on the doll was okay. I mean, at $4,000 it was a very, very good deal. What would you say if I said the doll is worth $8,000?
GUEST: I-- I would be really surprised.
APPRAISER: That's what she's worth. She's worth $8,000, but I want to show you something on the back. We'll turn her around. There's a little hairline crack coming from the back here.
APPRAISER: If it didn't have that hairline crack, it'd be worth between $15,000 and $20,000.
GUEST: For a doll?
APPRAISER: For a doll, right. Now, the hair's got to go.
APPRAISER: This hair has definitely got to go. You got to get an original mohair or sheepskin wig on it.
APPRAISER: Best place to find a good antique wig would probably be a doll show. If you look in your local newspapers they usually have them, you know, once or twice a year.
APPRAISER: Make sure it's an antique wig.
GUEST: Should it match her eyebrow color?
APPRAISER: Yeah, definitely, that would be good. Sure.
GUEST: Okay, great. Thank you so much, Richard. I appreciate it. Wow. (both laugh) Oh, my goodness.
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