All fun and games for antique toy collectors
Norm Hurford with a French antique doll with a price tag of over $5000 (left) and the new addition bought from an Ipswich collector.
THE annual Doll, Bear and Craft Fair at the Ipswich Civic Centre yesterday drew fans from interstate and had a hint of international stature this year.
The most sought-after item was a French Jumeau antique doll that Lismore dealers Lesley and Norm Hurford brought to the fair.
Dating back to the 1890s, the rare doll is all original, dressed in its original clothes and has a price tag of $5625.
Mrs Hurford found the doll in Germany at the International Doll Festival at Sonnenberg while on a doll tour earlier this year.
Yesterday, Mrs Hurford also bought a small piece of Ipswich history, buying a miniature porcelain doll from a North Ipswich retiree.
"It was a nice story behind it," Mrs Hurford said.
"The lady said that as a child she was only allowed to play with it for 10 minutes once a week.
"Dolls were that precious in those days."
The collectible antique will now go into the Hurfords' doll museum in Lismore.
Mr Hurford focuses more on collecting and restoring automata dolls, wind-up dolls that move, which can retail from $5000 to $80,000.
Ipswich Doll, Bear and Craft Fair organiser Val Metcalfe said the Hurfords were among 80 traders at the fair with hundreds of collectors filing through the doors to find items to add to their collections.
Redlands dealer Jill Rose showed one of the oldest collectibles at the fair, a Ferdinand Max Schilling doll from Germany which were made from 1871.