Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Google+ Followers

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

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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!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Toy Elephant in Simi Valley Homeless Community Tent City


Toy Elephant in Simi Valley
 

Dolls as important as fossils or other artifacts of the landscape. As Amtrak carries me home to my family in San Jose, I see all kinds of tent cities and make shift homes along the highway.  Some have actual windows, and are bits and pieces of trailers and other small structures.  Others are just tarps over tents.  A few have lawn ornaments, and one had a blow mold snowman as a decoration.


 
The saddest, most poignant were the two with stuffed animals.  I couldn’t get a photo, but one was a toy stuffed elephant once pink, maybe.  It was positioned against the hill, near the top, as if it were climbing. The other was a velveteen Doberman dog, almost life-sized lying on its side next someone’s temporary camp.
 
There was a young girl sitting in front of one of the tent communities, around 30, wearing a parka, and lighting a cigarette.  It had been raining, which is rarer than we might think in California. 
 
How sad it is to see people living this way in a country that wants for nothing, and in communities like Los Angeles, Simi Valley and Santa Barbara, with its neighborhoods full of millionaires.  Yet, fate is what it is sometimes.
 
I guess my point is that while it's true things can be replaced, certain possessions define us and make our lives bearable. They are symbolic, like folk art, fine art, or beloved books are. Like fossils, they tell stories of those who came before us, or maybe like the artifacts archaeologists find, study, rescue and display.  To paraphrase Barbara Pym, even an ordinary persons things are interesting and tell a story.
 
Be well.





Monday, December 3, 2018

First Ever Virtual Doll Convention


 

In the words of our own "Doll Uncles" and Rachel Hoffman, the First ever Virtual Doll Convention is here!   We've proved that once and for all, it is a Small World where dolls are concerned! Take the opportunity to bond and connected with other like minded collectors and enjoy your favorite subject, amazing web fieldtrips, and much more, even if "the weather outside is frightful!!"

 

 

“It’s finally here. A VIRTUAL Doll Convention!

Join Doll and Teddy bear Enthusiast, Collecting Influencer, and Virtual Event Entrepreneur, Rachel Hoffman as she guides you and a group of like-minded individuals through a first-ever Virtual Doll Convention, with a side order of extra self-love and inspiration. With the support of experts across the country, you will enjoy four days of virtual seminars, special exhibits, doll care, and preservation workshops, AND shop a doll and Teddy bear virtual salesroom. We will also take you on two Virtual Museum Tours. On Sunday evening, we will participate in a cook along dinner with David Robinson. You’ll receive the ingredients list ahead of time and can tune in live to cook along with us, right from Michael and David’s home kitchen. Then we will eat together at our own virtual banquet. Your souvenir will consist of a beautiful piece of printable ephemera posted in the convention group each morning. The entire convention will take place in a private group on Facebook, open only to Conventioneers. All of the scheduled events will remain in the group for later viewing for those who can’t catch it live or want to watch it again. The content is created and streamed special for this convention, and will not be shared later. We hope you join us!”

 

Dates are: January 10-13, 2019.  Here is our website where you may sign up; do it soon, and there is a discount.  You could have all of our perks for only $20.00!!

Virtual Doll Convention: https://www.virtualdollconvention.com/

Via Doll Universe Facebook, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Private collection. 
Exhibition Jumeau

Friday, November 30, 2018

Guest Blogger: Dr. David Levy, Skyward

Once again, it is our pleasure to feature Dr. David Levy as our guest blogger.




Skyward


December 2018


 


 Inner Starlight


 
Photo by Dr. David Levy


 In 1994,  Star Trek:  The Next Generation was one of the most popular shows on television.  The episodes were so good that it was easy to tell that the cast was especially enjoying themselves.  One of the episodes that year was “The Inner Light.”  It was a beautiful story in which a strange probe approaches the Enterprise and attaches a beam to Captain Picard, who loses consciousness and has a dream in which he is living on a distant planet.  He enjoys  a full life there, with a wife, two children and a grandson, and he becomes politically active in his community.  He even outlives his wife.  One day his daughter asks him to watch a rocket launch.    He hesitates, but then his deceased wife and best friend appear.  The Captain then exclaims,  “It’s the probe that was sent for me!”

After  enjoying this episode many times, I was reminded of another beautiful story.  Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1824, it is called The Great Stone Face and concerns a large natural face-like structure hanging near Franconia Notch, across some granite rocks in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.  The site was magnificent, at last until a few years ago when the face fell down in a big heap.  The cliffs are still there, but no more face.


The night sky is much like Star Trek, and much like Hawthorne.  We look at a group of stars, perhaps a constellation or two, and our brains begin to make connections.  On Star Trek we share the idea of travelling through space, even if all we have to warp through space with our two good eyes and a telescope.  Some of us may even remember chapter 12 of Hawthorne’s  masterpiece The Scarlet letter, in which the “A” is likened to a meteor crossing the sky at midnight:  “…before Mr. Dimmesdale had done speaking, a light gleamed far and wide over all the muffled sky. It was doubtless caused by one of those meteors, which the night-watcher may so often observe burning out to waste, in the vacant regions of the atmosphere.  And there stood the minister, with his hand over his heart; and Hester Prynne, with the embroidered letter glimmering on her bosom; and little Pearl, herself a symbol, and the connecting link between those two.”


       Was the meteor an interpretation of the scarlet A parading across the sky?  The night sky is full of messages, and only some of those messages come from astronomers.  The rest come from people like you and me, people who have innocently stood up a looked at the stars, and who have wondered.  The rest come from Shakespeare, and Tennyson, and perhaps even Nathaniel Hawthorne.


The next time you look at the stars, picture yourself not just watching them but reading them.   Learn the stories they tell, as interpreted by your favorite writers  whether they be Shakespeare, Tennyson,  Hawthorne, or even you.  What sparks your imagination can be something as simple as a story you have heard, seen read, or even written.  Even in our modern age,  the message could indeed be written in the stars.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide for Doll and Teddy Bear Lovers - Ruby Lane Blog

Holiday Gift Guide for Doll and Teddy Bear Lovers - Ruby Lane Blog: The Holidays are here in full swing!  Do you know what to buy your doll and bear aficionado friends? Generally, we aren’t hard to please; most of us never met a doll or bear we didn’t like.  Yet, it can be hard to buy for the collector, or doll, who has everything, so here are... Read more »

Sunday, November 18, 2018

What I've Learned from Dolls

Devoting yourself to a hobby helps you learn a whole subset of skills in areas you never thought you'd be good.






It dawned on my that I learned to bargain shop looking for dolls, good dolls that were usually much more expensive.   I carried those skills over to grocery stores and to a new awareness of coupons. After a while, it's second nature to hunt for bargains.


When I was about ten, my family and I used to spend Christmas in California.  We went to after Christmas sales at Pool, Patio, and Things, Sax, Bullock's, Emporium, and Macy's   I couldn't believe what I could find at 50% off.






Soon 75%  and 90% off became available.  Like my mom, I bought gifts for next year at the holiday sales.


If any of those bargains needed painting or sewing, I could easily fix it.  I learned these things and more repair and craft techniques from dolls.











When I taught contract law, I reviewed stories of how the big doll companies were built.  I learned the definition of merchant/expert from Article 2 of the UCC, or Uniform Commercial Code through studying antique stores and dealers.


Of course, I picked up on archaeology, sociology, history, literature, art, and music through dolls.  Even my cultural geography textbooks talked about costume doll and crafts, as well as textiles involving dolls and doll making.






Through dolls, I learned about display, management and organization.  Dolls and collecting earned a few lines in my dissertation, and in the intellectual property courses I taught.


Through the study of dolls, I learned a lot of life skills, but also to appreciate beautiful things, handmade crafts, and human expression.   I learned a lot about research of all types, and used that skill in all my jobs.  I learned social media because of dolls, and learned to observe carefully and to think outside the box.


Having the dolls to study and collect has saved my sanity o ore than one occasion. I suppose we all need a passion what Barbara Pym called something to love, what Woolf referred to as "a room of one's on."  Mine happens to be filled with dolls.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Unpacking the Dolls

As we move closer to getting a building for the American Doll & Toy Museum,  more and more dolls are being packed, unpacked, repacked, and moved.  It is a lot like Christmas everyday, and given the international nature of our mission, it's Christmas around the world.


Spoiler Alert:  If you are neat-freak, clutter phobic, doll phobic, grumpy, a doll snob, a doll diva, or very OCD [which I lean towards] Don't look!!


***************************************************************************


Making Space and Making Room; the Doll Trek begins!



Small dolls on vintage acrylic shelves gleaned from our old Younker's Store
The Hills are Alive .. .
Italian porcelain miss dressed for travel.
Waiting their turn, cloth, vintage Halloween, vintage vinyl, bisque, antique and cloth
How will we ever gat packed ?
Tiny treasures wait patiently, if a little apprehensively.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall/ Who's the Fairest Doll of All
Angelic and cabinet sized
Native American Doll by Carlson Dolls, 60s-70s
I wonder if I'll have my own shelf?
Anyone need a ride?
The Storyteller is our bard; she tells of our journey.
Green Army Men, a gift from Marie T.
Family Portrait
So cute . . .
Is formal attire required?

A gift to the museum from Marie T.






And, we're just the drop in the bucket!! Look for more on the progress of our museum.























Monday, November 12, 2018