Record bids for Barbara’s rare Barbie

Barbie doll sold at auction by Barbara Clasper.
Barbie doll sold at auction by Barbara Clasper.

A rare Barbie doll, put up for sale by a Morpeth woman, has sparked a bidding frenzy.

Barbara Clasper, who grew up in Venezuela, put the doll into a sale at Anderson and Garland in Newcastle.

This is a record for us in terms of a sale of a Barbie.

John Anderson, Anderson and Garland

But she was stunned at how much interest it attracted, eventually selling for £1,300.

The doll is a rare early version of Barbie and was originally bought for Mrs Clasper’s younger sister, Sally.

She said: “Sally and her husband lived in Sunderland. They had a lot of dolls and she gave them to me to get them out of the way.

“I’ve had the Barbie for nearly 30 years. She had been in a drawer in the bedroom with other dolls. I’ve lifted them out from time to time because I have grandchildren.”

The 77-year-old initially went to the auctioneers with a set of beads she thought were amber, taking Barbie and two other dolls along as an afterthought.

Little did she know that the prized Barbie, which may have originated from the United States, would break the auction house’s record.

“My parents went to the States, but I came back to England at 14 to go to school in Durham so the Barbie may have come from there,” she said.

“I’ve seen loads of Barbie dolls in charity shops and I don’t know why I never got rid of this one.

“I couldn’t quite believe the price it went under the hammer for. My sister would be amazed.”

The doll was bought by a specialist collector after a telephone and internet bidding war.

Anderson and Garland toy expert John Anderson said: “This is a record for us in terms of a sale of a Barbie.

“Examples of the first and second pattern Barbie are relatively rare in this country, they’re found more often in America. This version is a type one or two, there is actually very little difference between the two.

“She has distinctive painted eyes and a very stylised face, which was softened later on. Type three, which came out in the 1960s, has a totally different face. She’s extremely striking.

“A lot of people were registering to bid for the doll and we knew early on we were going to get a decent price.”

The same auction saw an early Sasha doll sell for £1,100, with many Barbie bidders also trying their luck with Sasha.