Nun Dolls For Auction

Nun Dolls For Auction

Two very rare nun dolls are to be offered in Colchester auctioneers Reeman Dansie’s Fine Art sale on the 8th and 9th of November. 


The dolls are to be sold by direction of the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre. Nun dolls are believed to have been originally intended as instructional tools, for teaching novice nuns how to attire themselves, and also to maintain strict conformity to the Order’s specific costume over long periods of time.



It is thought that the two dolls in Reeman Dansie’s sale are one of just two instances in the U.K. where such dolls are still to be found in original context connected to their religious order. The earliest documented nun doll is the famous 17th Swarbrick doll, thought to date to 1680, which last appeared at auction in 2009 when it sold for £30,000.



The dolls in the November sale are believed to be possibly of 18th century origin, and may have been amongst the possessions carried in 800 coffers, which were said to have been transported to England, when the Canonesses became displaced from their original Monastery in Liege, prior to the French Revolution. They carry estimates of £3000-5000 and £5000-7000.

Recent Articles


Man Eater Alert!

A fine collection of antique Tiger and leopard skins feature in our August Fine Art sale, by direct family descent from the legendary huntsman Sir Archie William (Ibby) Ibbotson. 


Surf's Up...

Starring in our forthcoming Fine Art sale on the 6th and 7th of August is this evocative print by renown artist and printmaker Charles William Bartlett (1860-1940).


My Precious...

A rare first edition, second impression copy of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic book ‘The Hobbit’ will feature in our August Collectors' sale.



Reeman Dansie News Sign Up