“Strike Up the Band: The One-Owner Auction of the Nancy Smith Collection" Auction Catalog



When Nancy Smith of Massachusetts began doll collecting, she was a traditionalist. This was New England, and the bisque dolls revered by fellow collectors could be found at the many flea markets and auctions that abounded there at that time. German bisque character dolls soon found a way into her home, and then were followed by a splendid collection of antique French bisque dolls. Nancy’s quest for the rare and unusual, as well as her New England proximity to the hometowns of Izannah Walker and Martha Chase soon caused her eyes to open to the special charms of these dolls, and her collection is proof of the dedication she gave to that quest. As all quests do, one thing led to another. Soon Nancy became fascinated by the life stories and works of two European women of the early 1900s, the German Kathe Kruse and the Italian Elena di Scavini of Lenci. The auction, too, features very rare early caricature dolls, teddy bears, and animals from the firm of Margarete Steiff including the extremely rare Steiff Circus Marching Band which graces the catalog cover and serves as inspiration for the auction title “Strike Up the Band”. And there is more. There are the rare Schoenhut children, the original manufacturer and store catalogs and documents, the outstanding collection of art dolls by Dorothy Heizer, rare early paper dolls, squeak toys, candy containers, French all-bisque mignonettes, doll furnishings, and still others.  There are nearly 400 lots in this important one-day auction. 180 pages. 8.5” x 11”. Softbound.  BT-390

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