Bru Doll & Accessories, ca. 1880
I brought you a doll that a neighbor gave me 45 years ago. I loved her a lot and I played with her all the time. But, maybe five years later, 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, 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.
Well, it's a beautiful doll. It's a French doll. It's by a company called Bru in Paris. This particular doll, called Bébé 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-- lovely face, lovely original dress, extra dresses, also original shoes. Now, 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?
No, and especially since it was broken... 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 is knowledgeable about dolls said because the mouth was closed, it was not as valuable as if the mouth were open.
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. (gasps) Her dress here, which is an original dress, pretty good condition, a few moth holes, probably $600 to $800. Her walking outfit, probably around the same. The extra dresses all, like, $100 to $150.
Without that crack in her head, between $20,000 and $30,000.
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