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

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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

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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

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Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
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Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

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Baby Boo 1960s

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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

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A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

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Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

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GAHC 2005

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A lovely dress

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Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

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Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI
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Little PM sisters
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Really old Dolls!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Great Conjunction, and the Christmas Star by Dr. David Levy

 This is the best blog, yet!  And this took place on the Solstice, Blessed be!


Skyward for January 2021.-

 

 


                                    The picture of the conjunction was taken by Dr Tim. Hunter on December 21,

                                                        2020.


A Great Conjunction, and the Christmas Star

 

By David H. Levy.

Said the night wind to the little lamb:
"Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite"

                    Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne, 1962

 In the words of this beautiful Christmas carol,written during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, we are reminded of Christmas, the biblical Book of Matthew, and the Star of Bethlehem.  Famous as it is, this story appears but once in the Gospel according to Matthew::

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying,

 “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.”

 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy;  and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

 

For more than two thousand years, people have tried to attach some astronomical meaning to the star.  From books and planetarium shows, I have gathered several; possible interpretations:

 

1)      The star was Halley’s comet.  Unlikely, because Halley’s comet returned in October of the year 11 BCE.

 

2)      An exploding star; a nova or a supernova.  Although we have no evidence of such an event in those years, there could have been one. 

 

 

3)      A planetary conjunction. The Moon did pass close to Venus in the eastern sky (the location in the east appears twice in the biblical account).  My personal favorite is a conjunction between Jupiter and Venus, on June 17, 2 BCE.  However, 4this conjunction happened after the death of King Herod in 4 BCE, and it would have led the Magi in the wrong direction.

However, there was a Great Conjunction in 6 BCE. (Great conjunctions involve only Jupiter and Saturn and take place roughly every twenty years.)  A subset of this series involved the Moon passing close to Jupiter on April 17,  6 BCE.  True to the biblical account, Jupiter was in the east over Israel at this time, and King Herod was still living.

One thing I like about the planetary conjunction theory is that astrologers in those ancient days4, more than the general population, paid attention  to these events.  One possible translation of “wise men” is “astrologers”, people versed in how the stars and planets influence humanity.  They would have paid attention to planetary conjunctions more than the general population.

4)      It could have been a miracle.  In my own life, I consider every night out under the stars as a miracle, so why not?

Whatever the Christmas star was,  we got to see it again as a ”Great Conjunction” on Monday, December 21st.  It is the closest that Jupiter and Saturn have been close to each other since 1623, that long-ago year that also saw the first publication of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays.  On that day in 1623, the conjunction took placed in daylight, so no one would have paid attention to it.  But the one in 2020 was visible in the early evening!  Therefore, millions of people were definitely paying attention to it, and it reminds us of the Star of Bethlehem.  Whatever it was, we shall never know.  But for those of us who were able to gaze in wonder at this fabulous event, it acted to increase the nightly miracle of the magnificent sky.

          Even in our postmodern age, the chance close alignment of the solar system’s two biggest planets is not a big scientific event.  However, it is a big astrological happening.  While no true scientist follows astrology these days, two thousand years ago the night sky was all about astrology.  And were it not for ancient astrology, we would not enjoy 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Third Rock and the Fluffy Buddies

 I caught the Third Rock from the Sun Fluffy Buddies episode on Laff this morning.  it is the spoof on bean bag plush madness as it evolved during the 90s.  It's hysterical, and John Lithgow, who played a doll maker in Amazing Stories during the late 80s, is superb.


He makes me laugh every time, and every aspect of collecting, good and bad, is spoofed in less than half an hour.   I recommend it; find it on YouTube, or on Laff;  The show is also on Netflix.  If you want to explore Magnificent Obsessions, this is your episode.


Happy Holidays, and here are some photos of holiday dolls and toys to enjoy.






























Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Top Gifts that are Reasonable and Fun for 2020; No Fuss, No Muss, Just Warm Christmas Spirit

 

Top Gifts that are Reasonable and Fun for 2020; No Fuss, No Muss, Just Warm

Christmas Spirit

 

 


We are only at the first of the month, no need to panic, but many of us have a lot of Santa work to do.  Covid 19 notwithstanding, we still have friends to mail things to, coworkers, others we just want to remember.  Here are some top ideas.

 


  1. Hand sanitizer; many come in fancy little bottles done up for the holidays.  Nordstrom Rack had some cute ones, but Dollar Tree also has neat ones’ for your purse or pocket.  Put them in a cup with some candy, or a tiny stocking.  They are a thoughtful, healthful gift and a good stocking stuffer.  I used to get one from my coworkers fairly often, usually gingerbread scented from Walgreens.  I really appreciated it.
  2. A box of Christmas cards for those too busy and stressed to by their own.  This happened to me one year, and my dear friend Kathy Borowski, now in Heaven, brought me a lovely box of cards as my gift.  She knew I wanted to send cards to everyone at work especially, but with my mom sick, repeated ice storms, and tons of work to take home, she knew I couldn’t get out.
  3. Christmas ornaments, vintage, homemade, quirky, Hallmark, or elaborate, make nice gifts for those who celebrate.  There are also small menorahs and Hanukkah gelt [chocolate coins in gold foil], Hanukkah gnomes, trolls, and dreidls.  For Kwanzaa, there are angels and Kwanzaa gift giver figures, and also art shaped like gourds for the harvest.  Marilyn Scott-Watters, The Toy Maker, has great printable ideas, free to print and make, easy to do, for all these Holidays at the toymaker.com.
  4. The obvious; Face Masks!  Get a packet of disposable ones as stocking stuffers, or fancier versions you can get anywhere in Hobby Lobby, or department stores.  I picked up a cutie with kitten Santas yesterday at Home Goods.
  5. Hand warmers; you can get them at drug stores or grocery store, two to a pack, or around $10.00 for a pack of maybe 8.  I saw them at Bass Pro Shops, too.  Add a pair of dollar store gloves, or texting gloves from your favorite department store.
  6. If you have artists and crafters on your list, pick up some skeins of gloss, yarn, extra paint, brushes, sketch books, you get it.  If you know your loved one is working on a particular project, ask what s/he needs to finish and contribute.  Ditto gardeners; you can always find rakes, baskets, gloves, garden clogs, hats, and even seeds and cuttings online at places like Logee’s.
  7. Ear Buds; for those plugged in , you can never have enough.  They even sell them at the dollar section at Target.
  8. Collectibles; see who on your list is a collector.  Museum shops have tiny rocks and minerals, or kits for them.  Hobby Lobby has supplies for stamp and coin collectors, as well as model builders.  There are great places for buying dolls on Etsy and eBay, as well as Ruby Lane.com.  Check out local toy stores, and stores like Farm and Fleet for their toy sections.  Lots of collectors love Star Wars and Hot Wheels, not to mention Playmobil and Lego, and there’s a lot out there for them.
  9. Hats and scarves; you can never have too many.  There are great Burberry inspired designs that are reasonable, as well as cashmere, wool, blends, printed, silk, and velvet.  Import stores have gorgeous examples from India and Pakistan.  If you knit and crochet, now’s your chance to make someone you love feel warm and fuzzy!
  10. Books; yes, we still read them and love them.  Ditto, magazine subscriptions.  Library sales are still around, you can buy online, of course.  Check local thrift stores, antiquarian book sellers, antique shops, gift stores, and brick and mortar book stores for favorite authors on friends’ lists.  Tie a pretty ribbon around a stack of favorite books, and watch them smile.  

 


Remember that it is the thought that counts; people love to be remembered.  If you can’t mail gifts, try sending an elaborate popup card like those Hallmark offers, or a card that sings.  You can also send candy, good gifts, and fruit baskets from local sellers, or larger companies like Hickory Farms, Fiji, and Harry and David.  Be safe, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Peace and Health to all of us in 2021.  I have to quote it, “God Bless us Everyone!”

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Skyward November 202 Dr. David Levy OSIRIS-REXx

 From our guest blogger, Dr. David Levy.  We have a variety of space toys and memorabilia in our museum, even a few meteorites and model rockets.  We dedicate this post to the memory of our friend, teacher, and Mentor, Dr. Roald Tweet, d. Nov. 4, 2020.

Skyward for November 2020

 

David H. Levy

 

Hello, Bennu!

 

          Not long ago OSIRIS-REx, a spacecraft sponsored by the University of Arizona and flown by NASA gently touched the surface of asteroid No. 101955, an asteroid named Bennu, tried to grab some material, and then quickly took off again.  It was the first try, but it was a huge success!  The craft gathered more than twice what was expected—so much that some small pieces of material started to leak out.

Of course, if all the sample leaked out, then there was no sample.  But that won’t happen.  NASA plans to transfer the material to a safe storage container earlier than expected, and then the sample will be safe. 

          The mission, run jointly by NASA and the University of Arizona,  cost the U.S. taxpayers about eight hundred million dollars, plus about 185 million for the launch aboard an Atlas V rocket.  The Osiris-Rex is an acronym for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer.  Asteroid Bennu is an interesting choice.  Bennu was the name for an Egyptian mythological bird associated with creation, the Sun, and rebirth.  But much as the name might inspire us to look back at the early days of our solar system (which it does), that’s not the real reason this particular asteroid was chosen.  Bennu is a C-type asteroid. It is also a sort of time capsule dating back to the birth and early  evolution of the solar system.  C is for carbonaceous asteroid, but it is a B sub-type because it is primitive.  The reason for this is that it had undergone almost no geological change since it formed.

          Especially if you pay taxes to the government of the United States, you may wonder why more than 800 million dollars was sent to this distant spot of lightb in the sky.  I could begin to answer this by saying that Bennu’s sample will teach us about what the solar system was made of at its formation.  From that, Bennu could give us a healthy idea about what the Earth itself was like at its birth.  Sometime after it was formed, its orbit changed so that now, every few dozen years it gets pretty close to Earth.  There is a very small chance that it might hit Earth in the distant future.  Dolores Hill, a long-time member of the OSIRIS-Rex team adds: “NASA sent this mission to Bennu, a primitive body, to return a pristine, protected sample so we could better understand the beginning and history of the solar system, formation of organic compounds important to life, and understand how Main-belt asteroids migrate to the inner solar system to become Near-earth asteroids.”

 

          All this is fine, but couldn’t that money be better spent on Earth, to feed the starving, cure those afflicted with coronavirus, house the homeless, and do all the other things we thought we could drop when we decided to go to the Moon in the 1960s?

          Yes, it could.  Except for one thing.  Going to the Moon seemed pointless until we all were glued to television, watching breathlessly as one human stepped onto the surface of another world.  Dear readers, we are explorers.  It is in our blood, our DNA, in our hopes and dreams.  And in the midst of this horrible pandemic, a small piece of human-built machinery tapped the surface of a distant world and grabbed a sample.  Indeed, space journeys like this one help make life worth living.  We live here.  This is our neighborhood. We reach for the stars.

 

Figure 1.  This photograph of asteroid Bennu   It is a a composite of
images taken from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on December 2, 2018.