A dog-chewed doll which was ready to be put in the skip has been sold for almost £53,000 at auction.
Made in 1910 by the German firm Kammer & Reinhardt, the antique doll is of a kind which only comes up for sale every 20-30 years, Teesside-based auction house Vectis said.
A German buyer missed out on the lot, and it was bought for £52,675 by a telephone bidder from the US, even though the doll’s foot had been chewed long ago by a puppy.
The life-like dolls were made to a very high quality, were based on real children and were made for adult collectors rather than youngsters.
But fashions changed in post-World War One Germany, and the mass market for such expensive dolls largely disappeared.
They said: “He has always lived in the living room on the sofa for as long as I can remember and our late dog chewed his foot off when he was a naughty puppy.
“My mum unfortunately is now unwell and, emptying her house, we found him again.
“Due to having so much furniture and mementos to sort out, we were having to be quite ruthless with what we were keeping so I put him on the pile of things to be skipped.
“However, my husband remembered the doll fondly and decided to put him in the ‘to keep pile’ and afterwards we realised how special he was.”
Vectis had estimated the lot to fetch £12,000-17,000 but that was easily surpassed.
Expert Kathy Taylor, of Vectis, said: “It’s amazing that it made that amount of money, but it is a beautiful example of something that is very rare.”