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Collection of rare paper dolls to lead Rhoads sale
By Carole Deutsch

SPRING CITY, Pa. — One of the most unusual auctions this season is the lifetime collection of Marlene Brenner that will be offered by Ron Rhoads Auctions on June 15.

Marlene Brenner is widely known as a high quality collector of rare paper dolls and miniatures that she painstakingly amassed and preserved during a 30-year period. More than 400 select lots will comprise the main auction that will be in-house and online.

Prior to the main sale, a multitude of items will be offered in a 1 1/2 hour in-house only venue. For serious collectors of this genre, this sale is not to be missed.

“This is one of the most exceptional collections that we have ever offered,” said Eileen Rhoads. “The condition of these items is remarkable. Paper dolls are not usually found in pristine condition, if they can be found at all. Marlene Brenner was meticulously discriminating and I consider it a great privilege to be handling her collection.”

Many collectors believe few could handle this kind of auction as well as Rhoads, who tries to present every auction in a showcase setting. Items are displayed in situ or exhibited in a museum type setting so auction viewers can fully appreciate the possibilities and value of each item that is presented.

“It takes a discerning eye and a great deal of work, but previewers and consignors alike are always complimentary and appreciative of our pre-auction display,” stated Eileen.

Many rare and colorful early 19th century full sets of paper dolls in original boxes, packs, and books represent virtually every conceivable subject matter including American historical figures, British royalty, famous circus performers, unusual animals, wedding attire for brides and grooms, vintage cartoon characters, valentine and holiday themes and more.

Lady of London, Phoebe the Cottage Maid (1811), Brownie – Second Series, Little Fanny (1810), American National Circus by Chandler, Prince Henry & Princess Beatrice of Battenberg, Le Poupee Modele and Jenny Lind are just a few among the French, German, American, and English sets that will be offered.

Dollhouse miniatures are represented by Waltershausen and Tynietoy, as well as many other specialty artisans.

Furniture and decorative items are comprised of unusual sideboards, chairs, settees, chandeliers, lamps, china, pewter, treenware, ormolu accessories and ivories, as well as an elite selection of early German furniture.

Accessories of particular interest include sewing items, dresser sets, musical instruments, French fashion doll accessories consist of doll gloves, shoes, and hundreds of other doll clothing items.

Among the many full-sized and doll house dolls that are both early antique and vintage are peg wooden dolls, mignonettes, German dolls, china heads, and all bisque dolls, most of which are in the original clothing. Contemporary dollhouse room boxes will also be offered.

The auction will be in-house and online at on June 15. A Friday preview will be at Rhoads on June 14. For more information, visit

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