Rare Princess Elizabeth doll found

Autioneer Graham Paddison with the Princess Elizabeth Doll
Autioneer Graham Paddison with the Princess Elizabeth Doll

A RARE doll found on the East Coast is set to attract international interest when it goes to auction on Saturday.

Experts at auctioneers Dee Atkinson & Harrison were amazed when a retired pub landlady from Bridlington walked into an antiques valuation day at the firm’s saleroom in Driffield with a Princess Elizabeth doll.

The life-size figure dates from 1929 and was modelled on the then three-and-a-half year old future Queen by German doll makers Schoenau and Hoffmeister.

The firm applied to Buckingham Palace for an endorsement but they were turned down, supposedly because the Royals thought the doll made the princess look too chubby.

As a result Schoenau and Hoffmeister pulled the plug on the doll’s production.

Valuer Graham Paddison said: “It is extremely rare, the first that we have ever seen and probably the only one we will ever see.”

“When manufacturers were planning to introduce a new doll they often produced a few to test the market before putting it into mass production. The Princess Elizabeth doll never got beyond the trial stage; just a handful were made. How one ended up in Yorkshire is a mystery.

“The lady who brought it was given it when she was a child in the Second World War.”

The Princess Elizabeth doll is to be one of the star lots in a Classic Toy and Collectable Auction at Driffield on Saturday.

Mr Paddison added: “Despite the pre-war Royal Family’s lack of enthusiasm about the doll, there could hardly be a better time to sell one than the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. It will attract a lot of interest from collectors and it’s expected to go for several hundred pounds.”