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Record Price For 1909 German Porcelain Doll

February 17, 1989

LONDON (AP) _ An 80-year-old porcelain doll that lay forgotten in a nurse’s attic was sold for a record $159,000, Sotheby’s auction house said.

The 21-inch German-made bisque doll - a red-haired, blue-eyed girl in a pale blue dress - is one of only 10 of its type made by Kammer and Reinhardt, the auction house said Thursday.

The buyer was described only as a Madame Vierny, a Frenchwoman planning to open a museum of childhood in Paris. The same woman bought the previous record-making doll, a 17th century wooden doll that fetched $107,000 in March 1987.

The unidentified owner is a nurse from Sussex, England, who Sotheby’s said had played regularly, and rather roughly, with the doll through her childhood, even pushing it around in a doll carriage with her dog.

Just before Christmas, the nurse cleared it out of her attic with other dolls she had collected and took it to be valued, Sotheby’s said.

The auction house had estimated its pre-sale price at $26,550 to $35,400.

Another toy, a clockwork battleship, also sold Thursday for $70,092, a record for a tinplate toy.

The hand-painted model was made in 1904 by a German firm, Marklin. The previous record was $49,649 paid at Sotheby’s in 1984 for a tinplate train, also made by Marklin.

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