Sotheby's Doll Sale Should Fetch Pounds 3m
Jury, Louise, The Independent (London, England)
The owner of some of the world's finest dolls is to sell her collection to save her other great passion - a museum dedicated to the sculptor who immortalised her. Dina Vierny, the muse and model for the artist Aristide Maillol, is to offer her 500 dolls, together with dolls' houses and automata, for auction at Sotheby's in London this month.
The proceeds, conservatively expected to exceed pounds 3m, will go towards her recently opened museum in Paris. The ambitious plan for a grand exhibition of Maillol's works, which were left to Mrs Vierny when the artist died in 1944, has run seriously over-budget, and in a toss-up between the two collections, the sculpture won.
Speaking from the museum in the rue de Grenelle, Paris, yesterday, Mrs Vierny, 77, said: "I am very sad. But the transformation of the museum has been expensive and I have to pay the bank. I collected the dolls over almost 50 years. But for this, I am willing to sacrifice them." The collection amounts to more than 650 items and made Mrs Vierny one of the world's last great doll collectors, according to Bunny Campione, Sotheby's dolls expert. Mrs Campione said: "It is just stunning, a lifetime collection of real dedication to something she adores. It must be absolutely terrible for her to see it going under the hammer." Mrs Vierny was born in Russia but moved to Paris at an early age. …