Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

The Jumeau 201
Courtesy Theriault's and Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

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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
A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

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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

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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!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Remembering 9/11

16 years ago the world changed forever.  It is also the 5th anniversary of the Bengazi attacks.  Please take a moment to remember.  Below, is a public domain copy of The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln.  I include it so that we never forget, and so that the "government by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."


ABRAHAM LINCOLN, “GETTYSBURG ADDRESS” (19 NOVEMBER 1863)
[1] Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
[2] Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
[3] But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate-we can not consecrate-we can not hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.




May you have peace today.





Monday, September 4, 2017

Doll Eye Candy, or Doll Porn—

Doll Eye Candy, or Doll Porn—


We collectors love picture books, big lovely coffee table books of dolls like Carl Fox’s The Doll, or Manfred Bachmann’s Dolls the Wide World Over.  Then, there are the books my Marco Tosca, Lydia Richter, Gwen White, John Noble, and others, names from doll collecting past, to be sure.




What’s missing from these lavish photo studies are prices. They are not price guides.  Thy are histories, similar to the books on dolls and puppets by Max von Boehn and Professor Kenneth Gross.  Others scholarly works on collecting include The Collector’s Voice series by Susan Pearce.


It’s wonderful when books on dolls and related objects contain wonderful pictures and great text, but as a scholar and life-collector, I prefer the text.  Our obsession with photos has turned into doll porn.


By doll porn, I don’t mean dolls created for erotic purposes.  They are a whole other study, and this is a family friendly blog.  I mean that over the years, I’ve found editors of all types only want pictures, not history or text.  We want to zoom in on doll marks and mold numbers; we’ve analyzed the dolls to death by their parts, and can’t put them back together. As one of my good friends, Mary Hillier once observed to me, doll folk aren’t always much for reading.


We don’t use photo studies any more to identify dolls as we did with the brochures Seeley Molds and Doll Crafter used to publish.  We are more interested in investment, and price. We also don’t like to read.  We are obsessed with pictures, and not with interpreting them.  So, we have doll porn, which describes the knee jerk reaction we have to big splashy photos of dolls. 


Doll porn also makes us doll snobs.  We have lots of comments on how a do is dressed, its wig, its condition, the doll itself.  In the immortal words of Sly Stone, different strokes for different folks.  Or else, different dolls for different doll collecting folks.


 Words paint pictures, too, and words on dolls can be eloquent and historical.  My first doll books were more text than photo; I fell in love with the history behind dolls, and that led me to love all kinds of dolls.



I’d like to see more publications like Doll Talk or Clara Hallard Fawcett’s books, illustrated with small photos or drawings where appropriated, but with meaningful text.  Dolls are not subjects of material culture studies.  In general, we academics actually write, not just create picture books for grown-ups.


 


No one has to agree with me; but I feel the need to speak.  Doll collecting should not be a creepy habit, but a fun and educational pastime.  It should not just belong to those who can afford the big splashy photos in expensive catalogs featuring dolls that cost the price of someone’s house.


 


As Genevieve Angione wrote, All Dolls are Collectible.  Every doll’s picture tells a story.  Let’s read it, and study it.  Let’s not just drool over high prices and numbers incised on the back of a doll’s neck.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Power of Dolls, Effigies, and Statues

Lest anyone doubt the power of the human form, we have only to revisit the recent media coverage of controversial statutes and demands to remove them.
Statues from the King Tut Exhibit, 2016.  Courtesy, our son, Mitchell Milani




Dolls, like their statuary cousins, evoke emotion.  For some, those emotions are uncanny, as in the doll studied in The Uncanny Valley study.  Collecting dolls, making them, playing with them, evokes emotion.  For the poet Rilke, that emotion involved horror and distrust, but for others, dolls and effigies of the human form evoke delight.  Artists from the Ancient World to Leonardo to Henry Moore have loved the human figure and wanted to immortalize it in their art.
Courtesy, Dr. E's Doll Museum

Courtesy, Dr. E's Doll Museum




All politics and emotion aside, dolls have talismanic powers.  Max von Boehn in Dolls writes about image magic and ancestor worship. Certainly, the earliest dolls were objects of ritual and respect, and they were believe to have magic powers. Voodoo involves image magic, and voodoo dolls have existed for centuries.  Freud explored the power of dolls, automatons, and similar things in his famous essay,"The Uncanny", analyzed in an excellent essay by Professor Eva Marie Sims, "Uncanny Dolls."
Angel Statute, Public Domain Image





By the same token, more and more is being written about robots and their use in society.  Dark Net is a novel of suspense about an entire company that is overrun by its own Artificial Intelligence.  The AI forms a murderous cartel that hires assassins to do its bidding.  Other horror movies explore the evil potential of dolls, statues, and robots run amok.


Voodoo Doll, Public Domain

These artificial creations are not alive, yet they are.  They are not alive, yet not dead, and, they are made in our image, or can think as we do, or act as we do.   Robotics are the future in many disciplines, and statues represent their human models.  To disrespect the statue or harm it, is a type of image magic wherein the person is also disrespected or harmed, similar to burning in effigy.


Will these "dolls" take over the world--well, perhaps, to paraphrase the great poet Sylvia Plath who collected paper dolls, their foot's in the door.

Sylvia Plath, Public Domain Image

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: September Sneak Peek!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: September Sneak Peek!: September 2017 Sneak Peek   Our cover this month features a beautiful duet of two rare and wonderful Izannah Walker dolls.   The...