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Rare porcelain doll of the queen as a toddler goes on sale

Rare porcelain doll depicting Princess Elizabeth, 3, who was rejected by the Queen Mother for looking ‘chubby’, is being sold in a collection estimated to be worth £40,000

  • A rare doll of the Queen as a toddler is up for sale in a collection worth ‘£40,000’
  • The Queen Mother was dissatisfied with the princess’s German-made model
  • She refused to give the Schoenau and Hoffmeister doll the royal seal


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A rare doll of the Queen who, as a toddler, infuriated her mother for looking ‘too chubby’ has been unearthed in a collection estimated to be worth £40,000.

The Queen Mother was so dissatisfied with the German-made model of a three-year-old Princess Elizabeth that she refused to give it royal approval.

As a result, the doll never entered mass production and very few prototypes exist today.

The blond-haired, blue-eyed toy was made in 1929 by toy manufacturers Schoenau and Hoffmeister.

A rare doll of the Queen as a toddler (pictured) that angered her mother for looking 'too chubby' has been unearthed while up for sale in a collection estimated to be worth £40,000

A rare doll of the Queen as a toddler (pictured) that angered her mother for looking ‘too chubby’ has been unearthed while up for sale in a collection estimated to be worth £40,000

The Queen Mother was so dissatisfied with the German-made model of a three-year-old Princess Elizabeth that she refused to give it royal approval.  In the photo some of the 500 dolls in the collection

The Queen Mother was so dissatisfied with the German-made model of a three-year-old Princess Elizabeth that she refused to give it royal approval.  In the photo some of the 500 dolls in the collection

The Queen Mother was so dissatisfied with the German-made model of a three-year-old Princess Elizabeth that she refused to give it royal approval. In the photo some of the 500 dolls in the collection

The laughing pink-cheeked doll was dressed in a pink frilly dress and white oilcloth shoes and socks.  It is believed that the outfit was modeled after one worn by baby Elizabeth (pictured, three years old)

The laughing pink-cheeked doll was dressed in a pink frilly dress and white oilcloth shoes and socks.  It is believed that the outfit was modeled after one worn by baby Elizabeth (pictured, three years old)

The laughing pink-cheeked doll was dressed in a pink frilly dress and white oilcloth shoes and socks. It is believed that the outfit was modeled after one worn by baby Elizabeth (pictured, three years old)

The laughing pink-cheeked doll was dressed in a pink frilly dress and white oilcloth shoes and socks. It is believed that the outfit was modeled after one worn by baby Elizabeth.

But it also depicted her with thick legs and arms and plump cheeks.

Due to its rarity and the fact that it has retained its original red card label, the 16 inch high porcelain doll has become a sought after item.

The one for sale is part of a huge collection of vintage dolls collected by the late Betty Fox, a farmer’s wife and seamstress who made clothes for her 500 figures and displayed them in her Nottinghamshire home.

Betty passed away in 2019 at the age of 95 and now her family is selling the 500 doll collection with Special Auction Services of Newbury.

Specialists said it is one of the largest to ever come up for auction and could be worth over £40,000.

As a result, the doll never entered mass production and very few prototypes exist today.  In the photo some of the 500 dolls in the collection

As a result, the doll never entered mass production and very few prototypes exist today.  In the photo some of the 500 dolls in the collection

As a result, the doll never entered mass production and very few prototypes exist today. In the photo some of the 500 dolls in the collection

The one for sale is part of a huge collection of vintage dolls collected by the late Betty Fox (pictured), a farmer's wife and seamstress who made clothes for her 500 figures and displayed them in her Nottinghamshire home.

The one for sale is part of a huge collection of vintage dolls collected by the late Betty Fox (pictured), a farmer's wife and seamstress who made clothes for her 500 figures and displayed them in her Nottinghamshire home.

The one for sale is part of a huge collection of vintage dolls collected by the late Betty Fox (pictured), a farmer’s wife and seamstress who made clothes for her 500 figures and displayed them in her Nottinghamshire home.

Several very valuable dolls are included, such as a late 19th century Phenix Star Baby from France valued at £3,000.

Daniel Agnew, expert at Special Auction Services, said: ‘This is an important collection, both because of the size and the rarity of many of the items.

“It’s the largest single-owner collection Special Auction Services has ever sold.

The owner died in 2019 and has been collecting for 60 years. Throughout her house, she displayed her beloved dolls in glass cabinets. Being an avid seamstress, she also made beautiful clothes for her dolls.

The collection includes some very rare early dolls from France from the late 19th century to the 1960s, the most expensive of which sold for £3,000.

Phenix Star Baby, pictured, a 19th century French doll that is the most expensive in the collection

Phenix Star Baby, pictured, a 19th century French doll that is the most expensive in the collection

Phenix Star Baby, pictured, a 19th century French doll that is the most expensive in the collection

An Italian fashion doll from the 1960s, pictured above, estimated at £80 to £120

An Italian fashion doll from the 1960s, pictured above, estimated at £80 to £120

An Italian fashion doll from the 1960s, pictured above, estimated at £80 to £120

By far the most notable item is our Queen Elizabeth II’s baby doll. The Queen Mother did not approve of it because she thought it looked very chubby – as a result, it never received the royal warrant and was not a big seller.

“It’s especially rare because it retains its card label, which was usually torn off and discarded. We think the outfit is based on an outfit actually worn by Elizabeth.”

Betty’s son, who did not want to be named, said: ‘Mom had dolls all over the house – in the bedrooms, in the middle room and she had a sewing and doll room where everyone loved to see her latest acquisitions and projects.

“She spent many a cold winter night in her doll’s room sewing with her hand-powered machine.

“As a family, we were devastated when Betty passed away before Christmas 2019. Only now can we say goodbye to her doll collection. We want others who share her passion to give them a good home.’

Betty’s collection will be sold between November 22 and 24.

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