Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Translate

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory
Her Grace wishes us all a Merry Christmas!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
Bought Athens on the street

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
Among first "Toys?"

ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Popular Posts

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase
Courtesy, Antique Daughter

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

Follow by Email

Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

Popular Posts

Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren
Ultimate Doll Restorer

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Baby Boo 1960s

Baby Boo 1960s
Reclaimed and Restored as a childhood Sabrina the Witch with Meow Meow

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum
L to R: K*R /celluloid head, all bisque Artist Googly, 14 in. vinyl inuit sixties, early celluloid Skookum type.

Two More Rescued Dolls

Two More Rescued Dolls
Late Sixties Vinyl: L to R: Probably Horseman, all vinyl, jointed. New wig. R: Effanbee, probably Muffy, mid sixties. New wig and new clothing on both. About 12 inches high.

Restored Italian Baby Doll

Restored Italian Baby Doll
One of Dr. E's Rescued Residents

Dolls on Display

Dolls on Display
L to R: Nutcrackers, Danish Troll, HItty and her book, Patent Washable, Mechanical Minstrel, Creche figure, M. Alexander Swiss. Center is a German mechanical bear on the piano. Background is a bisque German costume doll.

A Few Friends

A Few Friends
These dolls are Old German and Nutcrackers from Dr. E's Museum. They are on loan to another local museum for the holidays.

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

The Merry Wanderer
Courtesy R. John Wright, The Hummel Collection

The Fennimore Doll Museum

The Fennimore Doll Museum

Robert

Robert
A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

The Cody Jumeau
Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

German Princesses
GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

A Little PowerRanger
Halloween 2004

The Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
Doll House murder

Popular Posts

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A lovely dress

A lovely dress

Raggedy Ann

Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI
Pixar Animator's Collection

Little PM sisters

Little PM sisters
Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

A Spy in the Wild, Techno BJDs, Hollie Hobbies on Little House

Here is a little doll pourri of things that might interest us during this trying time.  A Spy in the Wild is a PBS show about animal automatons fitted with cameras.  They are sent out to wild habitats to film animals that before, could often not be filmed at all.  Some of the animal robots included a Komodo dragon, a wild big, tiger cub, polar bear cub, salmon, all kinds of flying birds, a sea turtle,crabs, all sort of wild things.    Wouldn't we love one for the museum!  So far, the wild pig was destroyed by a predator, but the others seem to function.  For more, go to PBS.org.

Spy In The Wild: Part 2 DVD | Shop.PBS.org
Public Domain Image; spy wolf cub

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I've mentioned before that Little House on the Prairie with Melissa Gilbert often features dolls.  In an episode where Mary Ingalls has a crush on a Carnival performer, tiny rag dolls are used as carnival tramps in a game of chance.  The prize?  A Knickerbocker Hollie Hobbie rag doll, contemporary when the show was made!!

January | 2016 | Unquiet Things
Public Domain image

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April 2019 Doll Castle News magazine features The Smart Doll.  This is a doll that "designed and manufactured in Japan-utilizing modern 3D prototyping technologies together with traditional casting techniques called 'slush casting. ' (Nance DCN 26). This vinyl 1/3 scale doll with Manga looks is stylish and collectible, but she also lets you charge your phone, MacBook, and store 2TB data (Nance DCN 26).  The doll called  Mirai has become the official tourism mascot for Malaysia and Japan.  Apparently, she has been around since 2013.   DCN is an excellent magazine for doll collectors.  Please visit their site, and consider subscribing.  For almost fifty years, they have served the needs of doll collectors at all levels, writing about all kinds of dolls. My friend, the late Stephanie Hammonds who was an artist also created paper dolls for them.  Other noted paper doll artists and authors are Diana Vining, currently with The Virtual Doll Convention, and noted artist and author R. Lane Herron.

https://shop.smartdoll.jp/

Kizuna Yumeno Smart Doll
Smart Doll, Public Domain


The Magic Lyrids, by our guest blogger, Dr. David Levy


Skyward for May 2020.

The magic Lyrids
Plenty of telescopes grace my observatory, but I still enjoy watching shooting stars, or meteors, more than anything else.  This year, after a break of several months, the Earth passed through the Lyrid meteor stream on the night of April 21.  The meteor shower takes place when the Earth encounters dust from Comet Thatcher, a comet that last appeared in 1861. I captured five meteors with my camera, of which one accompanies this article.   As I relaxed outdoors during this time, the memories began to flood back.
My first experience with the Lyrids was on April 22, 1963.  I was at the time a patient at the Jewish National Home for Asthmatic Children in Denver.  I wrote it up this way in my diary:  “I had a regular day today, until tonight.  I went out and saw a fireball (a very bright meteor.)  Then a big, fat, hunk of cloud came over. I saw no more meteors.”    The next night was also cloudy, and I saw no further meteors despite being outside for several hours.  “I officially considered this year’s meteor shower the most disappointing failure I have ever had.”    Not for long, however; I have been blessed with many far more spectacular failures since then. 
My love of the night sky goes back many years, to around 1960, but as I grew older I also developed a strong interest in literature, and that passion stems directly from my Dad.  I honestly feel that if I had not inherited his love of Shakespearen in particular, he might have taken me out of his will.  And I believe he was pleased when I took up English Literature at Acadia University in the 1970s.  But I recall back then, reading about Shakespeare’s references to eclipses in King Lear, and hardly giving them a second thought.
The next Lyrid shower I was part of took place on April 23, 1976.  I was engaged at the time to my “practice wife.”  (That marriage lasted barely two years.)  That Friday evening was clear and I was part of a team organized by the Montreal Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.  The sky was clear and we saw several meteors.  As I enjoyed the night, my mind roamed a little.  I wondered about how many other amateur astronomers might have enjoyed this particular meteor shower in earlier times. I also thought of writers who might have written about the sky. I was aware that Shakespeare wrote about eclipses (specifically in King Lear) and about meteors and comets as well.  At that very moment I decided that for my master’s thesis I would write about poets who have loved the night sky.  The poet I concentrated on, at Queen’s University, was Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Decades later, I finally received my Ph. D. from the Hebrew University, for the dissertation on Shakespeare’s many references and allusions to the night sky.  Among the hundreds of allusions I found, here is one from Richard II that looks on meteors and a lunar eclipse:
’Tis thought the king is dead; we will not stay.
The bay-trees in our country are all wither’d
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
10The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth. . . (2.4.1337-1340)

Figure 1)  This is the brightest Lyrid I saw, and recordered on the
night of April 21, 2020.


Figure 2) A number of years ago I recorded this Eta Aquarid meteor
while observing Lyrids.  This particular meteor is a large particle of
dust from Halley's comet.



The Lyrid meteor shower brings me back to the hazy dawn of my life, and my passion for astronomy.  May a shooting star brighten your nights as well.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Monday, April 13, 2020

American Doll and Toy Museum: The Doll Museum and Covid 19

American Doll and Toy Museum: The Doll Museum and Covid 19: What does a doll museum in quarantine do? Like so many other small businesses and non profits; American Doll and Toy Museum is shut...

Guest Blogger; Dr. David Levy on Comets

We an still look to the heavens for hope and inspiration:


Skyward for April 2020.

The Great Comet of 1844, and the Great Comet of 2020?




Just a week before Christmas 1844 (December 19, 1844) a sea captain named  Wilmot discovered a bright comet without using a telescope.  The comet was easily bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye, and remained so throughout January, and then, with a telescope, it could be followed through the end of March.  The comet was as bright as Halley’s comet was, earlier, at its appearance in 1835.  At the time there was some speculation as to whether this comet might have been on a similar orbit to that of the Great Comet of 1556, but George Bond, after having investigated that possibility, ruled it out by concluding the orbits were not similar enough.
          What cannot be ruled out is that the comet of 1844 might have been a large fragment of a much larger, and earlier, comet.  On December 28, 2019, last year, the ATLAS project discovered a very faint comet (ATLAS is an acronym for Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System.) The comet was magnitude 19.6 at the time of its discovery, too faint even for large amateur telescopes. ATLAS used a 0.5-meter (20-inch) diameter telescope near the top of Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
Early in 2020 the ATLAS comet rapidly brightened.  On March 15 I looked at the irregular cigar-shaped galaxy Messier 82.  Just beneath it in the field of view was Messier 81, a large galaxy that is gravitationally interacting with M82.  By themselves, these two galaxies are lovely.  But when I moved the telescope just a little lower,  the comet appeared.  It was easy to see but I was not aware at the time that this was the comet that was brightening so quickly.
          If all goes well, the comet will pass by the Earth on May 23, and then pass perihelion—its closest point to the Sun, about a week later.  If it rivals its earlier cousin, the Comet of 1844, it could be as bright as Jupiter, or maybe even as bright as Venus, being easily visible without any telescope or binoculars. Or it could fizzle.  There have been several comets that were supposed to become bright, like Kohoutek in 1973, Austin in 1990, and ISON in 2012, but either they failed to live up to expectations, or they simply broke apart and vanished. 
          Comets do their own thing, as if they have minds of their own.  I am fond of saying that comets are like cats; they both have tails, and they both do precisely what they want.  Soon we shall see what mood Comet ATLAS is in as it prepares to round the Sun next month.  With some luck, it will remind us of the Great Comets of the nineteenth century that scrawled their filmy signatures across the sky.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Beating the Virus Blahs with Dolls




In these days of uncertainty, social distancing, and emotional isolation and fear, it helps to fall back on what we love.  Here are some ways to spend time at home, yet enjoy dolls.






  1. Join Pinterest and start a Board.  There are terrific boards on dolls and doll-related items.  
  2. Join Facebook; there are terrific pages for dolls and doll stores.  Ask to join the group, and if it is not closed, and administrator who invites people in will include you. 
  3. Explore other social media like Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr  for doll related photos and images. You can also set up albums of your own doll photos on Google and on the social media discussed above.
  4. Visit The Library of Congress online at loc.gov and explore resources for dolls, including thousands of photos and other images.  You can also explore titles for doll books.
  5. Dust and rearrange your doll displays.  Facebook and Pinterest are great places to get ideas.
  6. Look for clearances sales online, and think outside the doll house.  Craft stores, hobby shops, fabric stores, and gift shops are great sources for dolls, books, related items, and supplies for doll making, doll clothes, repairs, and miniature projects.
  7. Make a doll; go to Etsy for inspiration.  You can favorite certain stores and sellers and get newsletters.  
  8. Watch movies about dolls and toys: Toy Story, Child of Glass, Dolls, Dollie Dearest, Shirleymania, Barbie Nation, Barbie Films, Raggedy Ann Films, Documentaries, etc.
  9. Check out films on YouTube about dolls; good searches are Doll Collection, Doll Museum, Dolls History, names of dolls like Monster High, Barbie Collection, Names of stores and specific museums. 
  10. Find a doll blog, like American Doll & Toy Museum or Dr. E’s Doll Museum Blog, and post something nice.




Monday, March 30, 2020

The Travels of Marco Polo; Collecting Middle Ages Style

As I languish in isolation from a modern plague, I couldn't help but compare this time to the ancient and medieval plagues that stalked the world.  They didn't stop Marco Polo and his family from their 26 year adventure to the east and the court of Kublai Khan.

In  reading The Travels of Marco Polo, I realized that they were inherently collectors, first.  the descriptions of gems and jewels, silks, brocades and other treasures are meant to inspire wonder, but are also carefully catalogued.

I'm reading the 1934 Heritage Press edition, edited by Komroff and Fyodorovitch Lapshin.  It is a gorgeous book in itself.

Marco Polo - Wikipedia
Public Domain, Marco Polo