Auctions | March 8, 2013

The Collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon at Bonhams

Los Angeles — Bonhams is pleased to announce its June 24 auction of the Doll Collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon in Los Angeles.  The 400 lot collection was compiled by the noted author and his wife and features stunning, hand crafted dolls from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, primarily from the Lenci Company.  Highlights from the famed maker will include celebrity inspired dolls such as Rudolph Valentino and Madame Pompadour; a series of sports figures and international dolls from China, Russia, Scotland and Spain, among others.  

Founded in 1919 by Elena Konig Scavini, the Lenci Company is best known for its iconic, beautifully crafted dolls made from manufactured and processed felt.  The high end dolls became popular in the 1920s and gained many admirers among adult collectors that included Queen Elena of Savoy, Josephine Baker and many celebrities of the day.

According to Dana Hawkes, Animation Art and Doll Consultant, “This is one of the largest offerings of Lenci dolls to come to public auction in recent years.   We look forward to international interest during the traveling highlight exhibition in London, San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

Highlights from the Collection of Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon include dolls inspired by Rudolph Valentino (est. $6,000-8,000), Madame Butterfly (est. $2,000-3,000), a skier (est. $3,000-4,000), a pair of Russian figures (est. $1,500-2,000 each), a smoker with a pipe (est. $1,000-1,500) and a Sultan (est. $1,000-1,500). 

The illustrated auction catalog will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at

San Francisco Preview: May 19 (select highlights)

London metro area Preview: May 19 at the Kensington Hall Doll Show (select highlights)

London Preview: May 21 at Bonhams’ Oxford office (select highlights)

Los Angeles Preview: June 21-23, Los Angeles

Auction: June 24, Los Angeles