Sheffield collector's rare doll of Queen Elizabeth that Queen Mum said looked 'too chubby' to be auctioned

A Sheffield collector's rare Princess Elizabeth doll is to be auctioned along with the rest of her collection worth £40,000.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 11:27 am

The Betty Fox collection includes more than 300 lots acquired over 60 years by the keen seamstress, a farmer’s wife who grew up in Aston, Sheffield. She died in 2019, aged 95.

The collection will be auctioned online by Special Auction Services which says it includes ‘a charming doll of our Queen as a toddler, a rare Schoenau & Hoffmeister Princess Elizabeth with original card tag’. The guide price is £500-800.

The company says: “Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was said not to approve of this doll as she thought it looked too chubby and as it didn't receive royal approval, it was not a big seller.”

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The Princess Elizabeth doll with others in the collection

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Daniel Agnew, toy, doll and teddy bear expert at Special Auction Services, added: “This is the largest single owner collection that Special Auction Services has ever sold.

"Betty’s collection includes some very rare early character dolls dating from the early 20th Century which are particularly sought after. She displayed her collection in the house and as she was a keen seamstress, she also made her dolls some lovely clothes.”

A company spokesperson said Betty, who went to school at Woodhouse Grammar, married in 1943 and went on to raise a family.

Betty Fox started collecting dolls in the 1960s and this became a life-long passion. She enjoyed visiting antique fairs and auctions and Betty was well-known and respected in the ‘doll world’.

A spokesperson for Betty’s family, who are based in the East Midlands, added: “We were devastated with the loss of Betty just before Christmas in 2019. We have decided now we can face with parting with her doll collection and would like others who share her passion for doll collecting to have the opportunity to purchase them and give them good homes.”

The auction spokesperson said: “She always enjoyed sewing and knitting and, as a form of recreation, she learnt more advanced sewing skills at an evening class where she made some life-long friends.

“Betty started collecting dolls in the 1960s and this became a life-long passion. The collection consists of mainly bisque headed German child and baby dolls with some French examples.”

The three-day online auction in Newbury starts on November 22. The total value of lots is more than £200,000.

The Princess Elizabeth doll has a guide price of £500-800.

Register at, call 01635 580 595 or email [email protected]

A rare Simon & Halbig character girl has a guide price of £800-£1200
The Betty Fox collection will be auctioned online on November 25.
The Betty Fox doll collection