World's first Barbie fetches $5,470
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World's first Barbie fetches $5,470

Barbie No. 1, in a zebra-print swimming costume, ponytail, hoop earrings and white-rimmed sunglasses, was born in 1959.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2006 12:38 IST

The world's first Barbie doll, in a zebra-print swimming costume, ponytail, hoop earrings and white-rimmed sunglasses was sold at auction at Christie's in London for $5,470 on Tuesday.

The original Barbie No 1, a brunette dating from 1959, fetched double its estimate at the opening of the world's biggest-ever auction of the iconic creations.

The doll was one of 4,000 Barbies due to go under the hammer at the special sale, expected to yield in excess of 100,000 pounds.

The wide range of Barbies, including limited editions designer models by Givenchy, Dior and Versace, as well as boyfriend Ken, span the doll's 47-year-old history.

Dutch fashion designer Ietje Raebel and her daughter Marina collected them whose plan to set up a private museum failed to come to fruition.

Raebel started collecting Barbies for her daughter in the early 1960's and soon amassed the largest collection in private hands.

Ruth Handler, co-founder of the US Mattel toy company, invented the Barbie doll in 1959.

Christie's said estimates for individual dolls start at 80 pounds, but it is expected that bids will generally be higher due to large demand.

A Christie's spokeswoman said there was "great deal of interest" in the auction room, on the telephone and via the internet.

First Published: Sep 27, 2006 12:38 IST