20th-Century Armand Marseille Googly Doll
Appraised Value: $2,500 - $4,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:28)
Dolls, Toys & Games
GUEST: I found her at an estate sale in Pensacola, and she was in pieces. And so, a friend of mine who makes dolls strung her again for me. But she didn't want to do her eyes because there seems to be a little problem with her eyes. I think that can be fixed.
APPRAISER: That's a fairly easy fix. Let's talk about the doll. Now, are you familiar with the Kewpie doll?
APPRAISER: This is not a Kewpie doll, but I wanted to talk about how this relates to the Kewpie. Rose O'Neill, in 1909, started publishing in Ladies Home Journal, articles... drawings about the Kewpies and then, very shortly after that, started producing the Kewpie doll, which was a great success in this country. And Kestner made most of the Kewpies. Now, there was so much success with that, a lot of the other factories wanted to get in on the Kewpie image, but it was copyrighted. So they had to start making similar items. What you have is an Armand Marseille, Mold Number 240, Googly doll. Armand Marseille was one of the largest factories in Germany. They were in Koppelsdorf, which is in the Sonneberg area. And I'll show you the mark here. It's on the back. You can see the 2-4-0. And the number underneath that is a zero. And what that indicates is size. Now there would be a one, which would be a larger size, two, three-- and they're also decreasing size. So, sometimes, you'll see a doll that's marked 1/0 or 2/0. That means it's smaller than their zero model. Armand Marseille registered the mold number 240 in 1912. So we have them making a Kewpie-type doll in 1912. And the quality of this is just as good as the Kestner Kewpies. And it has a lot of the Kewpie-esque features. It has the large side-glancing eyes. It has the impish mouth and the topknot. What it doesn't have, that a Kewpie always has, is wings. This is a very, very, very popular doll with doll collectors today. Now, it has the wonderful bisque head that's in excellent condition, and it's a jointed five-piece composition body. Now, this came two different ways. It came as a baby body, and it also came as this longer-legged toddler. The toddler body is going to be a little bit more desirable than a baby body. A baby body, the legs would have been just bent legs. You had mentioned the eyes. One is slightly fallen in. You can find a local doll hospital that will do that. That is a conservation that they do on a regular basis, is resetting the eyes. Now, originally, the eyes would have slept, so they need to be reset to sleep. Other than that, maybe some clothes. Can you tell me how much you paid at the estate sale?
GUEST: I bought two dolls at this estate sale, and I'm thinking I paid, like, $175 to $200 for her.
APPRAISER: Okay. Well, it's terrific quality and terrific condition. An auction estimate would be easily $2,500 to $3,500.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Yes. And you know, with this nice toddler body, you know, it might bring $4,000.
GUEST: Oh. If I'd have known she was valuable, I would've had a custom-made dress for her to come to the show.
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