Hugette Clark’s Collections

…57-year-old Huguette fully embraced her status as a recluse. She refused to leave her apartment aside from occasional errands, and by 1975, had even cut out chauffeured trips, immersing herself completely in her hobbies behind closed doors. There, she expanded her doll collection, took photographs from her apartment windows overlooking Central Park, and even sketched cartoon still frames from episodes of “The Smurfs.” She would peruse the catalogs for upcoming doll auctions, and then send her lawyer, Donald Wallace, to do her bidding. When he became ill, her accountant Irving Kamsler would attend auctions in her stead. Huguette made frequent phone calls to friends and family, but she did not step foot outside for nearly 20 years — through the presidencies of Ford, Carter, and Reagan.

This hugely fascinating article about Hugette Clark — “The Reclusive, Doll-Collecting Copper Queen of Fifth Avenue” — comes after the auction of the heiress’s family estate this past June, which garnered almost $8.5 million dollars. It’s the perfect eccentric-heiress-dies-and-leaves-behind-two-wills-and-there’s-a-resulting-brouhaha read, only with dolls.

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