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 and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright


Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

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



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


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?"


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

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Hakata Doll Artist at Work

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From the Museum Collection

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Japanese Costume Barbies
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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

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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.

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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
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GAHC 2005

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy 2011 to all our friends. We thank you for following The Museum, and for following us on Twitter. We hope to have Articles filed soon, and we have several speaking engagements pending for 2011. For those who love shopping for your collectibles, I recommend Killer Stuff and Hollywood Stuff, both by Sharon Fiffer! Also, of course, Mary Randolph Carter's American Junk Books. Check your local thrift shops for bargains; Discover Shops are marking their holiday offerings, including many doll and bear decorations, at 75% off. Target and Michaels are good sources, and Sears already has 3 plus foot tall Mini and Mickey Mouse, Charley Brown and Whinny the Pooh plush figures at 60% off. They also had A Christmas Story villages and Victorian ornaments done up in plaid that featured little girls and dolls. Penney's has marked theirs at 75%, but I regret to say I've not been there yet.

I like to wait for the 90% off sales to begin in a couple of weeks; they certainly are a way to beat the winter doldrums!

We've added several books from Anne Rice's legendary library to our collection; one doll book was written by a friend of mine, Mr. R. Lane Herron. It is serendipitous that it should show up in Ms. Rice's library. She also had many good books and Blue books on collecting and making and restoring dolls. I also was able to buy books she had underlined, and marked with postits, something I do, that show that she used them in her research for her work. Sometimes It is a small, wonderful world.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Consumer Reports; Dr. Santa's Health Blog

A few tips from Dr. Santa; it is his real name as he explains. Especially pay attention to heart attack symptoms and how to avoid a Christmas heart attack. I will try very hard to follow his, and my own, advice!

Dr. Santa’s 12 tips for a healthy holiday
Yes, my name really is Dr. Santa. (It’s Hungarian.) I like doctoring around the holidays—my name makes it fun, and a lot of important health issues come up then, too. I hope this series helps you navigate the season.

TIP 9 Don’t be a holiday heart attack

It’s hard to sugarcoat the statistics: You’re more likely to die of a heart attack on Christmas or New Year’s than any other day of the year. Why? It could be a lot of things. Stress. A particularly high-fat meal. Shoveling snow. Substandard care in an emergency room staffed with a limited holiday crew. But my guess is that denial plays a big role.

Denial, after all, is pretty common over the holidays. We want lots of laughing, all the meals gourmet feasts, and everyone a picture of health. In other words, we think life will take a holiday. But it won’t. You want to believe that slight pain in the chest is just heartburn and not worth making a fuss over. Right? Wrong.

Precisely because heart attacks are so common around the holidays, you should be especially alert to these warning signs:
Chest discomfort, including pain, pressure, squeezing, or a feeling of fullness in the center of the chest. The symptoms may wax and wane.
Pain or discomfort that radiates to one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
Sudden onset of shortness of breath, even without chest discomfort.
A cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
If you think you’re having an attack, call 911. Then chew and swallow a regular-strength aspirin.

Of course, it’s even better to avoid heart attacks in the first place. So take these common-sense steps:

Avoid overindulging in food or alcohol. The risk of an attack appears to double in the two hours after a particularly large meal.
Get a flu shot and treat any respiratory illness immediately. In frail folks, those infections can sometimes precipitate an attack.
Minimize emotional stress. Negative emotions, such as anger or stress, trigger the release of hormones that can threaten your heart.
Bundle up outside, since cold temperatures can increase blood clotting and cause blood vessels to constrict.
And take it easy when exerting in the cold, too—whether it’s shoveling snow, or playing with the grandkids.

—John Santa, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center

TIP 1 Don’t shop till you drop: How to navigate the holidays in a stress-free and healthful way.

TIP 2 Lights, ladder, and candles: Avoid holiday accidents.

TIP 3 Dr. Santa’s stocking-stuffers.

TIP 4 What not to get for the holidays this year: A cold or the flu.

TIP 5 Over the river and to the ER: What to do if you get sick while traveling.

TIP 6 Raise a toast—but not too many.

TIP 7 Stuff the goose—not yourself.

TIP 8 Difficult holiday conversations.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I can't beleive that I've not posted yet in December, but it ahs been that kind of month. We missed a major blizzard, but are subzero and ice covered; some of long for a nice, warm trip to Siberia! The museum joined the Montana Lady's Antique Doll Pages today which is a terrific reference site. I recommend it to all. She is faithful about posting and sharing information. Best online "doll club" yet!

My thanks to my friends at the Warren County Doll Club; we had a great Christmas meeting and party, and the ornament exchange was terrific. This is a devoted and wonderful group of people, warm and sharing in the true spirit of doll collecting.

Christmas is a sad time for us at the museum; since my mother died, there are really no gifts, and no festivites at my parents house. My dad, ever a scrooge in somethings, is now in his glory. It's HIS way of keeping Christmas. Our holidays consist of trips to her grave, but I don't mind that. I look forward to it, and I have left her small dolls and little things like we used to buy together. She loved Christmas, and busy as she was with me, Dad, and a job, she always made ornaments and dressed one of my dolls in a fantastic outfit. She knitted and crocheted till the day she died, for the dolls. She hated old things, but gamely went with me to antique shows and stores, and got to the point that she "loved the hunt" herself, and would ask for dolls for "our" collection for special occasions. We will have a gallery devoted to her work, and the doll she made and dressed. Her specialty was outfits for "ugly" dolls, like the Alien Queen, and two-headed Halloween monster baby, who now wear tasteful knitted ensembles. She also created fantastic Barbie wardrobes, shoes, trousseaux for china heads, and knitted stuffed animals.

She loved to decorate trees, and we had all kinds of all sizes. My late puppies were always in the act, and my Smokey dog didn't bother the tree, but loved to brush by it because his tail set off an ornament with a bell. He liked hearing it ring.

We scoured the after Christmas sales all over the country; Macy's and Marshall Fields were tradition. We also cooked and baked till we dropped, cleaned, looked for real holly, and organized gifts for the next Christmas. We wrapped everything, and even our puppies had stockings. The room was filled with all kinds of beautiful stockings and wrapped gifts,and we always had something to exchange through the 12 days of Christmas and Epiphany and Russian Christmas on the 7th.

Now, I honor the season for her sake, but it is painful, and the stark "do without" is a shock. I try to put up my own decorations, and my husband and his family try, but it is not the same. There used to be more than 12 people around our Christmas table, even if we travelled to my Grandmother's. Now, there aren't even two.

But, Christmas is about love and sharing; I bake for my friends with her recipes, I visit her grave, I do things at work and we send things to the Children at the Sun Valley Indian School in Arizona. I also like to donate to Goodwill, Toys for Tots, and The Salvation Army. Sometimes, I'm sad, but a little releived when Christmas is over. January was her birthday, and the month she died, and the month we have lost others in my family. I've come to be more of a spring/summer person, with fall my all time favorite season, but Christmas with its old traditions and my mother's love of dolls and doll restoration will always live in my heart.

Seasons Greetings and Merry Christmas to all of you from The Doll Museum.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

American Pickers

Happy Post Thanksgiving and Black Friday! I've been off due to severe tendinitis and carpal tunnel in my left hand. But, here I am. I've decided that American Pickers, those stars of The History Channel, need me, Dr. E, to avoid costly mistakes! In fairness, I've become addicted after a rare afternoon and evening with Net Flix. After finishing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which hadme riveted, I go into American Pickers. I'd never seen it, though we made one pilgrimage to find their hideout; it was closed up. The stories are great, and the travels intriguing, and it is amazing what people collect and have behind their front doors, an observation Carl Fox made about NY Brownstones forty years ago.

I enjoyed their strategies, tips, and preferences, but I also watched them walk right by a group of paper covered, lithographed toy and doll houses at one location, that I was sure were Bliss. I got the shivers looking at them, and I only get the shivers around something really good in the antique/collectible realm! They boys didnt' have a clue, or just weren't interested, but the Bliss houses can be worth over $1000. Go figure.

We at the museum follow Lovejoy, the antique dealer/detective created by Jonathan Gash. We shiver and have "feelings" when we come across a neglected treasure, and we've learned to keep it to ourselves.

So far, the live-sized Gualtier mannikin on display is keeping her head. I think she gained weight since I bought her many years ago. I had to carry her up to the exhibit. It wasn't easy. And, I had to re-attach her head. She does look happy in that sled, though. Photos to follow.

Woodsy Owl was finally reclaimed; after he was washed, disinfected, dried, and sort of reshaped, I made him a slipcover with an owl appliqued mask. He is now preserved and santized from the ravages of the great flood disaster the dolls and I survived a couple years ago. In the words of the late but immortal Genevieve Angione, "All Dolls are Collectible!"

There are many interesting dolls out there this Xmas, including Video Girl Barbie who is spawning lots of controversy. Not that I'm happy about it, but if cell phones do it, well . . . Another Shirley, a Patseyette, several Nancy Anns, and some lovely compos have joined our family, as well as some great Alexanders.

I had a long journey finding Egypt by Madame. I may as well have gone there. I finally found a dealer who had her, a lovely lady with a family owned business. I just wish she had her figures staight. The "discount" she gave me, which I paid before she even sent the doll, turned out to be "low." After a lot voodoo economics, I got a phone call asking for $15.00 more. I'm sending it, but I'm not the one who sent the price. The doll is bought, paid for,and in my possession. Dr. E's is not under any legal duty to pay more money. I'm doing it out of compassion. But, this is not the greatest way to do business.

On a positive note, our recent trip to American Girl Place was wonderful, and Felicity joined our ranks. There is less acquiring and more refurbishing, restoing, decorating and organizing these days. Museum maintenance is important.

At this time of year, I like to review all the dolls my mother contributed, restored, and dressed. Christmas meant new clothes for several of my dolls, that disappeared in the weeks before Xmas, but reappeared on Christmas Eve in a gaily wrapped package with a whole new outfit, even new shoes and hairdos.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and more to come from Dr. E's!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Restored dolls, vintage vinyl, Raggedy Ann, Black Dahlia, and German Costume

There are some new photos up of our newest museum displays and of dolls Dr. E has restored. If these could be fixed, there is hope for the most hopeless!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why Dolls Should not be in Landfills

I went to another doll show, and found some amazing things, including the 20th c. F.G. Fashion, and an Emma Clear, The Gibson Girl, a Kathy Hansen baby boy, some lovely bisque dolls, a china head, glazed with blue flowers and boots decorated with bisque flowers, and these add to my finds of last week, and a couple surprises at The Salvation Army, including a Wendy Lawton Little Woman, JO, I think.

I am a sucker for a doll that needs help, and I always have a wreck or two in need. Woodsy Owl, flood ravaged, is my worst. I am rebuilding him an appliqued felt body, a la a model on Etsy that I admired. Dolls don't belong in landfills, should not be destroyed, abused, vandalized for parts, tossed in garbage, simply because, they are made in our image, and thus, someone loved them. Someone appreciated them, and they were a personal talisman, if not once a loved and important ritual object, representative of something greater. No other human artifact can claim this,though portraits, photographs of people, figurines, and other statutes share the idea. They shouldn't go in landfills, either.

Just a few thoughts on a late, lonely night. It also helps us to reclaim and to restore. It helps us to appreciate the creations of others, and to know that a little bit of their sould is in the doll they lovingly made or owned. If only they could tell their own stories. Good night, and Happy Thanksgiving from The Museum.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stickers and Dolls

I love stickers; we still use them at school and have competitions even though we are in college. Doll stickers abound, and the Dover sticker paper dolls are both reasonable at $1.00 - $2.00 each, and lots of fun. You can have a whole doll collection for under ten dollars! Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Doll House also rocks, as do Sticker Advent Calendars. Children love stickers. There are even sticker collections on display on the Martha Stewart Sirius Blogs, e.g., Morning Living, during collectors week. I saved and adhered to a better surface wonderful new Chiquita stickers, and interesting stickers from fruit. These are free with the fruit, and encourage kids to collect, and to eat what is good for them! They could make great sticker albums for Christmas this way.

Here are a couple of new photos from our museum holiday displays. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Long Weekend

It's been a long but fun weekend visiting American Girl Place and presenting at MMLA, a dream for me. American Girl Place was truly fantastic; lots of people, even late in the afternoon, and all pink, white, and pastels. Two floors of the dolls and their accessories, and life-sized vignettes of the historical periods from which the dolls come. I chose Felicity to join the rest of the American Girls, since she will be retired. The staff there is very helpful and friendly. One chooses the type of purchse from tiny post-it note photos and descriptions. There were many books and of course, the clothes for little girls. I would liekt o return to see the holdiay window and to have lunch. They don't validate for Watertower, though, and don't serve dinner.

MMLA was fantastic; I saw one of my old profs from grad school, and the speaker was Lady Antonia Fraser, noted author and authority, and widow of Harold Pinter. I also love her Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Warrior Queens, and Mary, Queen of Scots. She was the first author to respond to me when I was writing my dissertation, and later my book. The Vampire Narratives panel went great; I mentioned the vampire dolls and toys popular, and gave everyone gummi skeletons and plastic vampire teeth. We all need our toys! The conference theme was "terror" and my sister panelists were terrific. Thanks for a wonderful experience.

Today, I went to a presentation on German cooking and holiday cookies. I visited the disoplay of my own dolls, too. We learned about gingerbread figures and molds, and figures made of dough and given on St. Nicholas day. I am going to make them for my class. Dolls made of dough and in gingergread are an important part of German Christmas, along with the Christmas markets and toy markets that date to at least 1450 or even earlier. The Christmas stollen, or cake, I learned, represents the Christ child in his swaddling clothes. There is a long tradition of dough figures from Sweden, South America, the US, Greece, and other countries. There is a fertility goddess with three breasts in Carl Fox's classic, The Doll, and the 1956 World Book Encyclopedia discuss Swedish dolls made of dough and dressed in long gowns.

I have several edible dolls made of gingerbread and other types of dough, preserved and varnished for posterity. I keep them in an extra fridge, low temp, or in cool, dry, tightly sealed places. I have seen Golliwog cookies in collections, and gingerbread marionnettes as well.

Tomorrow or so, there will be new photso posted of displays of my nutcrackers and German dolls and some of the dolls that I restored which were beyond hope. Also, I hope to discuss some of my favorite mysteries on dolls and hobbies by Deb Baker, Laura Childs, Diane Mott Davidson, Tamar Meyers, Joanne Fluke, Margaret Grace, Sharon Fiffer, Sharon Holub, and Ms. Jackson's classic, Missing Melinda. Happy Dolling!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

It has a been a cool, brisk, and green Halloween; tomorrow is The Day of the Dead. I found the skeleton family of dolls on sale at Michaels, along with the Lemax houses. I bought the family, and was very pleased. Today, at our local flea market, I found a Ginger with outfits and marked Hangers, and an HP Pam with original shoes, hat, dress, etc. I found a great cross stitch of Little Women, framed and matted, and two of the very small Nancy Ann HP dolls with original outfits. They are my best examples of this size. There was also a tiny doll watch to fit a Saucy Walker, in an original package.

The dealer has been an acquaintance and friend for a very long time. Her mother used to dress dolls and her father proudly told all her customers that his wife made the outfits. I bought several outfits that her mother made, and relived the memories. We first met her at the same flea market. I also found an art deco Strombecker corner table in its original box. Later, I found our local stamp club show, and won the door prize, a Lincoln stamp worth over $250.00! I was very, very excited, and it was my best stamp ever. I won it nearly the moment I walked in.

Outside, the scarecrow and Halloween decoration dolls reigned. It was clearly their evening. I dressed as The Black Dahlia last night, and one of my black haired dolls actually snaps in two and back together. I dressed her in a two-piece black felt dress decorated with white flowers. After the party, I snapped her back together; she is restored and redressed, and only needs a new pair of black heels. Half of her was a brooch, and half a necklace, to go with my black velvet dress.

Hoping to view new American Girls and outfits, soon. I also have more dolls to dress from my Uber great restoration project. Life has been very busy, and I hope to make some holiday ornamnents from pressed leaves, another passion.

Happy Halloween, Blessed Samhain, Blessed Day of the Dead and All Saints and All Souls Days.

Till Next time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Historical Dolls

It's been a good haul for the museum again. We found our first Porcelain Marie Osmond doll, and a very nice Boyd's doll, and of course, a porcelain Adora Belle. Then, never seen before, a hard plastic, mechanical CPK and a mechancial Bratz girl joined the family. We alsol found an all brass dancer from India, arms outstretched, and a small figural bell, also from India, with a Bridegroom figure on top. Many procelain costume dolls and clowns, a few foreign dolls, some plush characters and another bear or two have also found their way to the hallowed halls of Dr. E's Doll Museum.

We will be setting up exhibits in a sister museum of nutcrackers and German dolls and characters, as well as a later display of Barbie, Lili, and friends.

In the spring, we will have a travelling show of dolls representing historical women. Today, my doll of Boudicca, from our friends at Uneek Designs comes to mind. Such a perfect miniature, and of one of my favorite all time historical women. She will be part of the show for sure. The graphic of her is one of my favorites, another strong warrior woman, mother, leader, soldier, full of courage, brave so that even her enemies write of her with admiration. Isn't thathat the way to go?

Autumn is a good time for historical women dolls. There are female ghosts, and Prisilla Aldens, and Pochohontas dolls of all types. There are Erzebeth Bathory's and Brides of the Monster, Elvira, witches, especially the famous
Titutbas and others from Salem. There is Evangeline, and the Cornhusk doll with her apple head and gourd sisters, the ephemeral and eclectic Jaqueline O'Lantern and her fmaily, the Dried Fruit sisters, the dolls of famous maker made by other famous women, my penpal Suzanne Gibson, the late Ann Parker, The Grand Dames, Ruth Handler, Madame Alexander, Miss Elsa, Dame Peggy Nisbet, and Miss Walker, Miss Chase, and Miss Ginny Graves. So many, including Sister Innocentia, and Madame Lenci, Fraulein Steiff, the elusive Marjorie Spangler and Christmas Christina. We love them all. We love the corncob dolls of Laura and Mary, Miss Hickory and Hitty, The Doll of Lilac Valley, Sethany and Nicey, and all of them.

Happy Fall, and Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Dolls and other Ideas

For more tips and holiday ide, see my blog on tips for living green.

Today it feels like October. It is getting colder, and darker early, and there has been a spooky, misty rain. Check out Dr. E’s Greening Tips for the Common Person, my other blog as well. You can google the title and find it easily. There are photos of dolls and vintage art there, as well. I’ve also posted tips for making holiday cakes and for making miniature terrariums and dolls of natural materials. There are also ideas for homemade and craft gifts for the holidays.

I’ve been checking around the stores for great holiday and Halloween decorations and dolls. The miniature houses and accessories at Michaels still rock, as do the Dept. 56 houses and accessories. A personal favorite in my collection is a light up house entitled “Vampire Attorney” office, which was part of our local vampire display. I also have preserved as gingerbread and cookie house, bought over twenty years ago at Marshall Fields. Next would by my Elvira and Grim Reaper dolls, and the dressed skeletons my mom and I bought, but also knitted and sewed for. We have brides and grooms, Ophelia who sings “Fright Wedding” to the tune of “White Wedding,” our Puffkins and Beanie Babies and Bean Sprouts witches and ghosts, and an assortment of scarecrow dolls with pumpkin heads. My late friend, my dear Greg, would bring me cornhusk dolls to display together in baskets, and beaded miniatures to wear at Harvest. I also love the wax candles I’ve blogged about earlier, and my witches, many of which came from Salem, MA itself!

The museum has a small collection of voodoo dolls and magic dolls from around the world, and we have large mechanical Frankenstein’s monster and various other images, including one of our newest additions, The Golem of Prague. We love our living dead dolls, especially Erzebet, and our MacFarlane toys Six Faces of Madness figures. Personally, I love my carved masks from around the world, but my husband won’t let me display some of them, and my Dia de Muertos figures. We have a mechanical zombie baby and a Spasm, the Emaciated Prisoner, who shakes and moans. She is wearing some of my clothes, and a tasteful hat and slippers. I can’t bear to leave her cold and suffering. She sits on one of my beds with other dolls, but again, my husband won’t look at her! Of course, there are the doll horror films like the Chucky films, Dolls [my favorite], Dead Silence, and Interview with the Vampire, as well as Audrey Hepburn in Wait until Dark, and a scene with doll in the mini series Tommyknockers. Dolls are at their eeriest this time of year, and it is fun to collect them and look for them. Annalee Dolls makes wonderful Halloween editions, and so does Mattel. We have quite an assortment of Halloween and Wizard of Oz Barbies, as well as Cruella De Ville, and also doll versions Dracula, Twilight characters, the Universal Monsters, and Maleficent. We even have the Bride of the monster and a tiny Nosferatu, and the famous Hunchbear of Notre Dame. We love our monsters at the museum, and we love Halloween. Now is also a great time to visit The Shelter for Misfit Dolls online. Google the name. Happy, spooky dolling!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thank you

Thank you to all my Twitter followers, and thanks to the over 1250 who have viewed this blog and the over 300 people who have viewed my other blog with living green tips for the common person. You all inspire me to keep writing, and keep on with the museum plans, though I confess life is getting in the way big time. This is a sad, elegiac time of year, and I see the lost faces of those I love in the dolls they have made for me, dressed for me, and given me. My mother and grandmother used to sew Halloween costumes for me, and for my dolls, and they made rag dolls and doll quilts and doll clothes. I still prefer my mothers handmade Barbie clothes, and I marvel the Christmas she made little boots and maxi coats of faux leather, brocade evening gowns, velvet skirts and dotted swiss blouses with bead and ribbon trim, while she taught seven classes every day, came home, cooked, kept me entertained, and graded papers incessantly. Dolls are so much more than just collectibles or investment items to me; they are the symbols of her love. They mean motherhood and family and creativity and even sacrifice of valuable time. When I think of getting rid of the all of them and of the whole museum idea, they seem to reproach me, and the spirits of those who have loved me so well in better times seem to say, "haven't we been through worse than this, and haven't we seathered the storm?"

Now is a good time to look for craft dolls and holiday dolls of all types. Many stores will have Hallwoeen items on sale, some at 40 or 50% off. There are more estate sales, and last of the season yard sales, and of course, the wonderful catalogs that come out. I love Design Toscano and Sadigh Gallery for ancient dolls and replicas of ancient dolls, and miss the old Marshall Fields, Sears, Wards, and Enchanted Doll House catalogs. Mark Farmer used to have a great doll catalog, as did Shopping International. Thse are now colletible items in themselves. American Girl has always had a good catalog, and Harriet Carter, Doll Masters, Standard Doll, and Mangelsen's still have great ones. I also loved Lynne's Miniatures, Shackman, and Federal Smallwares, and there was the wonderful Doll Talk from Kimport.

Online shopping is great; I swear by Etsy, but I miss those in hand catalogs that served as great paper doll sources, and alter, as great research sources.

Thanks to our friends at The Haunted Doll Museuma and site, and to those who loyally follow this blog. Till next time.

Dr. E.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

City Wide Yard Sales

Today I attended the first of these in my area. I was surprised at how many were participating. The entire community center was filled with tables, better even than our Antique Show and Holiday Craft Fairs. I did very well; at the end, folks were generously giving things away, and I was able to pick up good prizes for school. I found a wonderful antique wall pocket, many fine pieces of china, vintage dolls in original clothing and shoes, another metal doll house, this an L-shaped ranch with patio graphics, and lots of great furniture to go with it. I found some old paper ephermera, Boyds bears for $2 each, and trains for our special civic project. One of the dealers was a lady who, with her late husband, ran our own Lighthouse Antiques, now defunct over 30 years. My mom and I had great memories of going there and buying bisque Nancy Anns for $.50 and many wonderful old dolls, including pincushions, and composition Shirleys and Shirley twins, Horseman, foreign dolls, you name it. The dealer remembered me; her husband, and my mom, are now gone. It was very bittersweet for me. I remembered how excited my mom and I were when the compo doll with the cute face we turned over had the Shirley Temple mark on the back. We researched and cleand up every doll. My mom lovingly dressed them, and one Shirley twin was a look alike of the doll she had to leave behind in Europe. She often washted them up, and put them on our evergreens to dry in the summer. She and my uncle would laugh and laugh, because I would be playing under the bushes, in their shade, oblivous to the fact that the dolls, often birthday presents, were drying right above me. I guess it is true that hiding something in the open makes the best hiding place.

It was very emotional for me, and I remember my mother having such a good time. She had met this lady herself about ten years ago at another flea market, but once again the dolls bring back family memories. I still have all of the dolls from the LH. the museum is proud to have them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

YouTube and Doll Museums

There are some great museums on YouTube, including Musee de la Poupee, and our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum Surf, use doll musem, names of doll museums, doll collections, Barbie, G.I. Joe, Toy Museums, etc. Have Fun. Here is one link for Musee de la Poupee:

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Followers and Autumn Blogs

Welcome to our new follower, and thanks to the over 1000 folks who have viewed ups here at the museum. The inhabitants and I are very happy. Too, a trip to one of my favorite rural doll shops over the Spoon River Drive weekend and stocked up on shoes and stockings for Margaret's orphan dolls. They are shaping up quite nicely; they wouldn't recognize themseves! I will somehow get some photos on the blog for everyone to see. Genevieve Angione was right; all dolls really are collectible.

We had a great time at our Pen In Hand research for fiction session, and I brought examnples of research files I put together in accordion files or binders for Tasha Tudor, the metal doll book, examples of doll reader and old toy catalogs I love to use. The whole group was very enthusiastic. I was reading and rereading the Kromholz book on German dolls and her trips to sites and factories. I recommend her work highly; she is very informative and is now self-publishing her book on china dolls. She leaves no stone unturned, which I appreciate.

The outdoor dolls, or garden statutes, are slowly finding their way indoors for the winter, though we are enjoying a late summer. I'm very pleased to be sitting in my favorotie coffee bar, blogging away. I feel very literary, and also thrilled to have The Haunted Doll following us on Twitter.

I saw many new and interesting dolls at Toys R. Us on our pre-Christmas window shopping trip. Monster High is still my favorite, but the various Barbies are excellent. I just read All Dolled Up, and highly recommend it. I will post my poem Fishwife Barbie here; it is not pornographic, but parents, it may be a bit much for young kids. I love Barbie, in all her manifestations. I included Marge Piercy's poem "Barbie Doll" in the bibliography. I hope both my books will soon be out. There were great 20 inch plus sized Alexanders, and a variety of doll clothes. I also have my eye on the different varieties of the Fisher Price doll house, and certain lego and playtmobil sets.

At the Christian book store, Zondermann's, the Life of Faith dolls are gone, but there were still a few God's Girlz. There were great action figures, some representing nativities. All had cloth clothing, but were a little pricey. I also fell in love with a Fisher Price Little People nativity.

Have found some tiny metal dolls of lead and brass that are very interestig, one an old woman sitting in a red metal rocker, separate from her body. She is not Amish. Another is a 5 inch English brass bell, with molded clothing and headdress in the style of Elizabeth I.

At Spriit of Halloween, I saw mechanical and nonmechanical zombie babies; so frightful they are cute. I was able to buy one last year, but the variety is even better. There were also a couple of evil clowns that were intersting, and the usual life-sized Hellraiser and Jason figures.

There are also many more dolls and figures for Thanksgiving, which makes me happy, including some that seem to be inspried by the art of Ellen H. Clapsaddle. She is worth googling if you love Victorian postcards. Her biography as a 19th c. female artist is also very cool and puts her incompany with Rose O'Neill, Maude Humphrey Bogart, Grace Storey Putnam, and others.

Happy autumn dolling. More reports as I get catalogs and get out to view more holiday dolls.

The Museum Curator!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vampire Dolls

Hereis a poem; I'm going to upload some photos of vampire dolls in honor of the season. The poem is original; I wrote it and will soon publish it. It is inspried by tales of Erzebet Bathory, the Vampire Countess.


Victims, my victims? Or victims of ignorance and gloom?
Amnesty, for me none, family, friends, mother, father, gone
Mountains between me and freedom ,caverns wall me up
Pity, is there none? Promise of justice, of freedom? None?
Youth misspent, mine and others, games and frolics misunderstood
Revenge of old enemies, robbery and mayhem of my father’s castle
Enigma, mystery, shrouds of truth, freedom, honor and justice

Vampire Dolls

Here is a poem; I'm going to upload some photos of vampire dolls in honor of the season. The poem is original; I wrote it and will soon publish it. It is inspried by tales of Erzebet Bathory, the Vampire Countess.


Victims, my victims? Or victims of ignorance and gloom?
Amnesty, for me none, family, friends, mother, father, gone
Mountains between me and freedom ,caverns wall me up
Pity, is there none? Promise of justice, of freedom? None?
Youth misspent, mine and others, games and frolics misunderstood
Revenge of old enemies, robbery and mayhem of my father’s castle
Enigma, mystery, shrouds of truth, freedom, honor and justice

Monday, October 4, 2010

Macabre Musings

We at the Museum love haunted dolls, and spooky dolls, and all kinds of dolls. We are a home and repository for all kindred spirits. We also adore our Dia de Muertos friends. We hope to adopt a haunted doll soon. What is your doll wearing this Halloween?

We also love comments; welcome to the 1000+ doll folk who have viewed us. We hope to have up a web museum of metal dolls first, and other dolls later, very soon.

Don't turn your back; it's Halloween, and the dolls may come alive at night!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ningyo Kuyo - Temples where Dolls are Burned in Japan

This is a festival celebrated September 25th in Japan. Dolls are blessed in Buddhist or Shinto temples; supposedly as worn out objects, but many gorgeous dolls are destroyed as well. I've read articles where the most valuable and lovely dolls are not cremated, but displayed. In keeping with the spirit of the season, I mention them and will post some photos. I knew I was having a bad day on the 25th!

Haunted Doll Musuem

In the Spirit of the Season; here is The Haunted Doll Museum Gallery.

Haunted Dolls and Dolls of Horror

Here is a link for an eBay review on buying Haunted Dolls; nope, I'm not kidding. "Tis" the season! There are dolls on eBay and on websites describint them, which are reputed to be haunted and to host paranormal activity. Personall? No, I don't believe it, but I'm interested in dolls in all aspects of peoples' lives. These are certainly intresting histories connected with the items I love to collect. There is also the story of Robert the Doll, which can be googled. Rilke, the great poet, was a little afraid of dolls; they reminded him of corpses, but he also said that to him, they were alive, but also very dead. Freud, that great collector of ancient artifacts, figurines, and yes, a few of them dolls, also felt that dolls were uncanny, and Eva Marie Simms has written a great essay on Freud and the dolls entitled, "Uncanny Dolls." It can be found through google, too.

The creepiest dolls I've seen besides the Halloween figures and animatronics are the custom-made historical figures by Headless Historicals, and a series of altered porcelain vampire dolls that have real, sharpened human dentures fixed into their little bloody doll mouths.

Also, though cached, I love The Shelter for Misfit dolls hosted by The Little Dead Gyrl. I've tried contacting her, but no luck. The site was last updated over six years ago.

Ah well...

I spoke of spooky dolls earlier, and I'm on the hunt for new examples to add to my collection. Halloween Barbies are always favorites, and I love the new Horror High School series, and any of The Universal Studios Monsters. The Twilight and Dr. Who figures are great, especially by Tonner, who also makes the great Goth girls. I've also seen Barbie sized Brides of Dracula, and who can forget Corpse Bride?

Mego and other companies produced wonderful monster dolls that were jointed at then neck, elbows, knees, shoulders, and hips. These were all well-costumed. McFarlane toys makes the terrifc monsters from film as wellas the six faces of madness dolls/figures which include Erzebet Bathory, the Blood Countess. There are lovely pumpkin figures and witches at Tuesday Morning, Marshalls, and TJ MAXX, and terrific Native American figures and pilgrims, some very large, at major department stores including Younkers, Dillards, Von Maur, Macy's, and others. Target always has a nice selection.

More and more places are stocking authentic Day of the Dead figures, and sugar skulls and animals. These are also featured in the animated feature Ray Bradbury's "The Halloween Tree," with Bradbury narrating. There are a lot of Great Pumpkin and Peanuts dolls and figures for this time of year as well. At the museum, we plan galleries of horror dolls and Halloween dolls. I can't wait to display all my witches, vampies, ghouls, monsters and demons together. I'm especially fond of the vampires and of Elvira herself.

We spent time decorating for Halloween today, and my twelve foot, hanging pirate is holding court from his favorite tree. I have a few more scarecrows to put out, but we are nearly through. The lighted figures will go out Halloween night. Let's not forget the carved pumpkins, gourds, figural cookies and Jack O'Lanterns. They, too, though ephemeral, are dolls and relatives of dolls. They play their part in doll and Halloween history well.

As far as really scary dolls, I've been restoring quite a group, which were the kind gift to me from my dear friend Margaret. They were damaged by water, but she did want to toss them. Don't blame her; I never toss a doll, other things, sure, dolls, no. I've truly proved I've never met a doll I didn't like. They looked haunted and creepy, and their little eyes were cloudy and cracked in some cases. I scrubbed and scrubbed with gloves on, using steel wool, windex, Febreze, soap, water, and nail polish remover. I let them dry in the sun, and washed their hair. I'm now finding wigs, clothes, and shoes. Little by little, they are being reclaimed. No, I won't sell them. They are proof that one should never give up. These were dolls from the 40s through 70s. I learned that hard plastic dolls wear better than any, and that expensive vinyl, Vogue, Royal, quality Eegee, suffers far more from damp and is harder to clean. Who knew?

I hope to go on a fall scenic drive or two next week before it is over; I have my favorite doll places there, too. Don't be spooked by your dolls, though I admit my toddler Leatherface from Living Dead Dolls gives me a turn; I prefer him put away in his box, wrapped in a bag, on a high shelf! Sometimes at night, I think I hear the hum of a tiny chainsaw ...

But, Chucky, Freddy, The Cryptkeeper Dracula, these are old friends! My husband will not let me display some of my handcarved masks and animatronics, especially Spasm the Emaciated prisoner. Poor Spasm was given a new wardrobe, complete with hand embroidered sweater, vintage hat and knitted slippers. And, of course, there is my two-headed baby, Frederica the painted skeleton, my Alien queen in a red knitted dress, the dancing maggot, all these have outfits, scarves, and accessories knitted and crocheted by my Mom, whose comment in Marie Leveau's House of Voodoo when I as buying Voodoo dolls was, "Cute." I miss her terribly; she understood. Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Conclusion to With Love from Tin Lizzie Redux

Here we go again. I lost the first post! I am re-blogging the last chapter of With Love from Tin Lizzie. It is a tribute to my friend Jim, but also a teaser, I hope, and the first step to turning this blog into a web museum. I will be modifying and adding to the book, including new photos of some great new, but antique, additions, and a chapter on dolls made from found metal objects, as discussed in the latest Art Doll Quarterly by Somerset Studios.

Finds for this weekend were a German dollhouse baby with cradle and bunting and a Renwal green and yellow porch swing with baby, all in a dollar bag with other vintage miniatures from Concord, Marx, Renwal, and Shackman. Be sure to read my other blog on Greening tips, for a discussion Reusable Usalbes, a store that recycles in a big, clean, tasteful way. I was able to take away from there gorgeous vintage Christmas ornaments and treetop angels, some very old, and great shells and demitasse cups for my Barbara Pym class.

I also found at a quilt show, sewn parts for rag dolls, sew that my badly distressed Raggedy Ann can now be completed and saved. She was one of the great flood of 2008/2009 disasters. I threw many things, but no dolls, and only one or two books. All else has been scrubbed, aired, baked when needed, fumigated, packed, and repacked. I've been a regular factory of restoration, an in another tribute, I think I became the Shelter for Misfit Dolls, 2! Happy antiquing! The Dr.

Conclusion: What Next?

I love history! Dolls are history. They have had an impact on life throughout time, from emotional youngsters
getting one as a gift to impacting whole economies . . .

Jim and Joan Radke, JnJ Dolls

In an allusion to the legendary statue of Memnon and the theory that Ancient Egyptian statues had souls, Rilke has written that dolls were fed and made alive through children's imagination like the "Ka" of the Egyptians is fed on imaginary food.
Some doll makers, however, were not content with inanimate dolls that only lived through the power of a child's imagination. They strove to make dolls so lifelike that they could actually imitate human movement and sound. Formanek-Brunell and Kuznets would have us believe that there were serious gender differences among doll makers, and that male toy makers saw the dolls they made as extensions of both themselves and the machines that they created. Thus, even female dolls had male anatomy and characteristics, and like their creators, they were made of hard, efficient substances. These tiny human impostors were not meant so much for love, as durability.
In any case, the doll, as cultural artifact, is our "double," the other which both repels and attracts us. It perplexes us that something so "dead," can also be so alive, and that something the modern world has relegated to the toy box can have such a rich and complicated history.
Dolls will continue to be made as long as there are human beings to conceive of new designs for them. They will continue to reign predominantly in the children's realm, though individual adults and museums will still collect them as tangible artifacts of human history, miniature representations of humanity for their respective ages.
Metal dolls, while still not prized in most important collections, may have the richest history of all. From the golden idols of the Inca and Aztecs, to the toy soldiers of lead and silver and the Minerva and Juno heads of the last century, metal dolls could form a fascinating collection in themselves. It is hoped that this book will inspire others to take up the "iron" gauntlet and add to the dialog that I hope this research has created. Until then, to all who are interested in doll history and doll collecting, Happy "Dolling," with love from Tin Lizzie.
November 1999, The Eve of the

Illustrations for Chapter 8
112. Facing page. A little girl of the early 1960s holding her doll. The doll is mechanical; when wound, it plays music. The face and hands are vinyl, while the body is stuffed, pink plush. (Author's collection).

113. Facing page and following: The outline that follows is a brief history of dolls and doll collecting, including a list of famous collectors. Doll collectors are from all walks of life, and dolls have influenced artists, musicians, philosophers, and physicians.

114. This photo illustrates the variety of dolls available today to collectors. As the Radkes of JnJ dolls have pointed out, collectors have different philosophies about collecting. Mr. Radke, who "caught the collecting bug" from his wife and her mother, prefers antiques, including metal heads, china heads, bisque dolls, and celluloid dolls. He buys with an eye to the doll's history and future value potential. His wife, Joan, likes to collect all types of dolls, regardless of their future value potential. Left to Right: Top Row: Bisque artist doll with hand painted face from an Austrian company, China head said to have survived the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, small sheet metal doll dressed in the style of the 1830s with muslin dress and ball of yarn, vinyl fashion doll by National Institute of American Doll Artists member Suzanne Gibson, 1970s cloth over wire doll from Taiwan. Second Row: Bisque doll by Armand Marseilles of Germany, wig and sleeping eyes; on her back is written a memorial to the little girl who once owned her but died in childhood, small Mexican wax doll, Italian hard plastic mulatto girl, bisque or Parian man with molded collar. Third Row: A modern vinyl representation of Princess Diana, composition man from Saudi Arabia, china headed British soldier from Hong Kong with Asian features, composition Wendy by Madame Alexander, ball-jointed bisque doll by Kestner of Germany, small bisque by Armand Marseilles. First Row: Blown glass Christmas ornament of a snow man, Small bisque head with ball-jointed body dressed in white satin, "nodding" Indian doll of clay and wire, tiny bisque doll house doll, clay miniature figurine of St. Teresa of Avila, Victorian dressed Valentine's Lady by Gorham, tiny clay doll from India, black bottle doll from Peru, American Kachina doll, clay Day of the Dead figures from Mexico, bisque german doll dressed as bride from Bethlehem of the early 20th century, felt over wire warrior chief from South Africa. The tiny bear and witch are clay Halloween figures, while the blue and brown figure is a lathe-turned Kachina of the American Southwest.
(Author's Collection).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spooky Dolls

Once again, we have studied Halloween, El Dia de Muertos, All Souls and All Saints Day, The Samhain, and Thanksgiving. I always bring a few calaveras, and skeleton dolls, and of course, my "spooky things," the broom, locally made that is the official broom of the Salem Witches, the Living Dead Dolls, also a game, sometimes Erzebet Bathory and her bathtub shadow box, all those good things. I have vampires of all types, from Elvira, to the little holiday candles. My newest candle is a soy candle witch, black as ebony, and well-detailed. She is locally made by a friend of a friend. I bring the Frankenstein's monsters, and lanterns, and Jack o' lanterns, my little man in the Electric chair, the toy guillotine, handmade with a a real blade, the skeleton that walks the gallows and says funny things, the pumpkin that plays the Italian funeral march, all in good fun. We have cornhusk dolls, and corn cob dolls, and corn dollies and wheat dolls, a few of broom straw, and these must surely harken to grim Celtic and Druidic rituals described by Anne Rice and by many, many Celtic scholars.

We always watch The Halloween Tree in these classes, and sometimes I make sugar skulls for them to eat. I actually have a sugar pig, preserved these 23 years, a friend brought from El Dia de Muertos in Mexico. This is a solemn, dark time, but a perfect time to tricksters, for history, for being grateful for the harvest, for full moons, and cool days and nights.

It is now that I feel my childhood, when all the traditions come back, when I feel my mother near. We loved going to the fall dolls shows; my first Schoenhut came from one, and my puppy, Killer, went to a doll show road trip the second day we had him. He was so small, he rode in a shoebox and was nearly blown away at what later became his favorite rest stop on other trips. My mother started me on decorating the windows with Halloween cutouts, and we made many. There is a witch out of construction paper I still have from third grade, and an Anne Boleyn paper doll holding a tray out in front of her, with her head. I made her in the 4th grade. Had I been a better artist, I might have been in serious trouble at school! As it was, I got in trouble in second grade for making a kite with a doll on it that represented a Geisha. The teacher was scandalized. I'm not sure now, as I wasn't then, what she was thinking.

Now is when I want to curl up on the porch, scary book, doll magazine, or needlepoint in hand, hot coffee, or sipping chocolate, at hand, to get lost in my dreams and my memories.

The papers for our Articles of Incorporation are in the hands of my lawyer. Oh, for a builidng! But, the web museum will be next.

New additions to the museum, not too many, but a few choice dolls from the 40s and 50s, some nice penny dolls, a vintage Mme. Alexander, and some other ancient Hungarian and Italian dolls, the latter of carved wood.

More from the metal doll book, soon, and from The History of Dolls.

Happy dolling, and make an apple doll to celebrate the harvest.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gurley Halloween Candles

See the Link for a great site and web museum of these wonderful candles.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Welcome to Fretta and All That's Vintage; what wonderful blogs and sites. I will follow you, soon, as soon as I catch up with work.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Anne Rice's Collections

A link to, and photos of her dolls, Santos, and St. Elizabeth's, to name a few. A look at what was:

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Look left; here are a few video clips from a Toy Museum in Europe. I hope to add more from YouTube. Enjoy.


As promised, I'm putting in some of my favorite doll videos; most are museums. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Good Year

No pun intended, one of my favorite dolls. More blogs here and on the green blog. I'm working a lot and also taking a class. I'm really burning the midnight oil, but I have good tips and recipes for the green blog, and all kinds of ideas for Dr. E's I want to share. Hope everyone else is well, and hello and peace to all readers and followers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dolls on YouTube

Good afternoon and Happy August; I would like to create a list of favorite doll films on YouTube. Please submit your favorite links in
"Comments" and I'll compile a list from them. Thanks, and Happy Dolling!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Metal Dolls and other Fine Things

We finally have a beautiful, sunny day where we are not being steamed like dumplings! I have been participating in plannning craft get-to-gethers, and will, of course, find ways to incorporate dolls and miniatures. I was eyeing my snapdragons and remembering a Kimport article promotoing dolls made from the dried seed pods of these flowers. I am still fighting the squirrels for my outdoor miniature terrariums, too. I recently renewed my library card, and find it helps with stress to visit our closest branch to look for my favorite mystery writers. This week, I found Barbara Collins and Joanne Fluke. I love reading the so-called "hobby" and antiques series which include Deb Baker, Laura Childs, Monica Ferris, Margaret Grace, Sharon Fiffer, Tamar Myers, and several others. I am also enamored of Mary Kay Andrews, and the "darker" stories of Elizabeth George, Patrica Cornwell, Tami Hoag, Minette Walters, Colin Dexter, and R.D. Wingfield. These, of course, are merely the tip of the ice berg. Below, another excerpt from the Metal Doll Book. I hope you enjoy it, and that you find a time to find me on Twitter and Facebook. Till next time:

Conclusion: What Next?

I love history! Dolls are history. They have had an impact on life throughout time, from emotional youngsters
getting one as a gift to impacting whole economies . . .

Jim and Joan Radke, JnJ Dolls

In an allusion to the legendary statue of Memnon and the theory that Ancient Egyptian statues had souls, Rilke has written that dolls were fed and made alive through children's imagination like the "Ka" of the Egyptians is fed on imaginary food.
Some doll makers, however, were not content with inanimate dolls that only lived through the power of a child's imagination. They strove to make dolls so lifelike that they could actually imitate human movement and sound. Formanek-Brunell and Kuznets would have us believe that there were serious gender differences among doll makers, and that male toy makers saw the dolls they made as extensions of both themselves and the machines that they created. Thus, even female dolls had male anatomy and characteristics, and like their creators, they were made of hard, efficient substances. These tiny human impostors were not meant so much for love, as durability.
In any case, the doll, as cultural artifact, is our "double," the other which both repels and attracts us. It perplexes us that something so "dead," can also be so alive, and that something the modern world has relegated to the toy box can have such a rich and complicated history.
Dolls will continue to be made as long as there are human beings to conceive of new designs for them. They will continue to reign predominantly in the children's realm, though individual adults and museums will still collect them as tangible artifacts of human history, miniature representations of humanity for their respective ages.
Metal dolls, while still not prized in most important collections, may have the richest history of all. From the golden idols of the Inca and Aztecs, to the toy soldiers of lead and silver and the Minerva and Juno heads of the last century, metal dolls could form a fascinating collection in themselves. It is hoped that this book will inspire others to take up the "iron" gauntlet and add to the dialog that I hope this research has created. Until then, to all who are interested in doll history and doll collecting, Happy "Dolling," with love from Tin Lizzie.
November 1999, The Eve of the Millennium

Monday, July 26, 2010

Visiting Mr. McGregor's Iowa

Took a rare trip today with my dad. We used to travel all the time when my mom was with us. It was bittersweet, and nostalgic. We visited McGregor, Iowa, to see the antique mall with 6000 dolls. It was worth the trip, and the river towns on the Mississippi bluffs are breath taking. I'd like to go again and visit the mounds and other attractions. McGregor is all antiques. Then, on do Dyersville, where I was glad to see Plaza Antiques is still around. My only glitches; I was charged regular price for a vintage Kewpie after the sign said it was half price at 100 years Past. I left a message for the owner, and I'm sure we can work it out. And, no one in business wants to use debit cards or credit cards. If an item is discounted in the store, you lose the discount if you use plastic. In one mall, they charged fifty cents to use their restroom if you didn't buy anything. They had signs up all over thanking people for "putting up with them." I see their point, but this is not the way to attract people to your shop. Also, it was very dark in most of the booths. There was also no one around to open cases, so I jettisoned serously considering anything locked up. But, the selection was good, and over all the people I did find were friendly. I looked for the old fashioned candy store advertised, but I couldn't find it.

I found Schoenhut in need of some TLC, and some nice doll pins and small dolls. Also, found a nice Shoenhut bisque clown head, and a Campble Kid ornament, and the Kewpie mentioned earlier. I also bought two carved fetish or idol dolls. One Japanese,one polynesian. Both were very unusual. I recommend the trip, and would like to take it again. It would have helped if my glasses hadn't snapped right before I had to leave. My old glasses didn't cut it, so not only was it dark, I couldn't see much of the time! Still, we had a good time. The river itself this time of year is quite an attraction. Happy Dolling and Antiquing! Till Next Time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

British Museum II

Here are some of the graphics from the museum which as acceptable to print and use for nonprofit purposes. They are excellent examples of ethnic and ancient dolls, many won't be seen anywhere else.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

British Museum

This is a wonderful cyber place for collectors. Great online galleries and exhibits, and copy free photos which are usable for nonprofit, non commercial purposes. Each object has a history and a place to comment. It's terrific!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

More collections I don't collect!

I left out some more, so here they are:

Books - I never set out to collect them. The only books I sought out to keep had to do with dolls or paper dolls. My mother's love of books rubbed off on me. She never threw out a book; I rescued one about GWTW that was badly burned. I have given my share a way, and sold a few, but I make sure they go to good homes. My mom introduced me to library sales; she was great at picking out reference books on eclectic subjects. She might mention I had too much of other things, but she never complained about books.

Hankies: Again, my mom, and grandma who crocheted the edges,taught me to love good hankies. They are hard to find now, though one antique shop and a hardware store have them here. I even miss their boxes.I actually used them and washed them well, ironed them, etc., when I was younger. I have favorite sunbonnet patterns and printed examples, tattled examples, silk, men's, lace, miniature. I dress tiny dolls in them and use them as dollhouse bedspreads. Some are even turned into dolls. A few have found their way on quilts.

Quilting, weaving, sewing kits and supplies. These are collected inadvertently, to be used. But, many kits and patterns in themselve are interesting and speak of a certain time.

Albums and boxes; These are of all types, and they hold other treasures. They are collections by necessity. Also, glass jars and cannisters of all types, because they can hold different treasures.

Socks and stockings; the wilder the better, since they are my favorite fashion accessory. Ditto shoes, my second favorite fashion accessory.

Purses and handbags, especially Gucci. I started out with a few miniatures, and my grandmother's reticule. I was always exposed to them, and have a couple old Greek bags, and some ancient wicker hand totes. I love to carry different ones. They became a default collection. Would love to stumble on a Birken, as I once snagged a Chanel at a yard sale.

Next time, new photos and lists of things I do collect! More from The History of Metal Dolls.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Scary Stuff and Collections of Things I don't Collect!

It's been one of those weeks, mornings, days. Let the stress begin in waves and tsunamis. So, now a pause to blog, inspired after reading the wonderful Sharon Fiffer's, Scary Stuff, featuring antique Halloween decorations! Ms. Fiffer has an amazing website and blog for mystery lovers, pickers, and collectors, alike. Below is my list of collections of things I don't collect, a private joke between me and one of my friends:

1. Guitar picks [accumulated, then diversified, out of necessity]
2. Sheet music and music books [ditto]
3. Small kitchen gadgets [often gifts too interesting or bizarre to toss]
4. Key chains [except when theme or doll related] I bought the entire collection, fits in two boxes, of a neighbor's deceased son. The whole thing was very poignant, and I felt it could be used to decorate a tree for The Festival of Trees, locally.
5. Rocks, inherited
6. Teacups, also inherited
7. Vintage greeting cards, inherited
8. Family memorabilia; I've been unofficially designated the curator for several family histories
9. Pencils and pens, many souvenirs, all used
10. Jewelry, hated it at first, then inherited, now, well, OK, it's no longer an "involuntary" collection.
11. Tupperware
12. Mixing bowls
13. Copper
14. Cameras and photmemorabilia
15. Orchids [only fake and information about live one's; I'm too scared to grow them]
16. "Garden junk" - Necessity, my neighbor's enthusiasm, desire to decorate and grow things.
17. Stickers
18. True crime and books about murders [occupational hazard]
19. Antique, once valuable, beat-up books without homes; this one is emotional.
20. Beads/art supplies; another occupational hazard
21. Newspaper clippings, unless on dolls or relevant themes. My aunt got me started. Became valuable teaching tools. Will organize my ephemera collection when I retire.
22. Wine corks and labels; former as souvenirs, latter because my uncle was a commercial artist who designed them.
23. Quilt squares and vintage materials; inherited and occupational hazard. Also, tribute to my grandmother and my mother.
24. Auto and trip memorabilia, assorted cartography; many trips of days gone by, same for airline, cruise line, and a few train pieces.

Well, that pretty much covers it. There are, of course, the "conscious" collections of which I'm very fond, and the 'side' or derivative collections, but more of them later.

Happy dolling, collecting, and weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dolls by Bettina

I was browsing the web today for articles on toys and The Holocaust,and stumbled on a blog that was denigrating one of my favorite doll books, a miniature, doll-sized volume called Dolls by an artist, Bettina. The book is a story told to a small girl who is asking for a doll. The person who answers talks about all types of dolls, famous antiques, foreign dolls, home made dolls and clowns. She is teaching the little girl about dolls, and the child finally says she just wants "dolls, just dolls to love." The book is illustrated in charming watercolors and is very sweet. Well, the blog today knew nothing about dolls. He made fun of the authors name, and insinuated that the French fashion doll illustrated was promoting prostitution. He called other dolls racist and accused the author of perpetuating racists and negative stereotypes. He doesnt'know dolls or collectors. Dolls is a child's book, written in the early 60s. It is meant to introduce young children to antique and collectible dolls. The sheer diversity is entrancing. My copy came from a great department and stationery store we used to have here. They had doll books,and wonderful dolls on display upstairs. I loved it. This nasty blog showed what a little ignorance can do to someone's innocent hobby. My comment, educate yourself and get a life, and don't insult someone else's ethnic art.

My rant for tonight. Inspite of the Scrooges and missions organizaion and reducation out there,happy dolling!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fennimore Museum 2

I would like to thank my friends at the Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum who have listed my name on a plaque and in their Recognition Book as a Friend of the Museum. This is a wonderful place, with an excellent collection of over 3000 dolls. They have moved to a new location across from the Railroad Museum, and the two museums make a wonderful family trip destination. They are near other attractions, including The Dickleyville Grotto and The House on the Rock. A visit including The Wisconsin Dells makes a lovely weekend trip.

But, the Doll and Toy Museum, my sister attraction, is a worthy place all its own. The director and officers are very generous with their time. They are eager to share the 700+ custom dressed Barbie Collection, and the toy collection donated by Pixar animator, Jeff Pidgeon. There are fantastic dolls and toys donated from local collectors, and a Fisher Price Popeye toy that represents the first toy patented by the popular company. The good thing about this museum is its diversity; there is something for everyone. There are even board games and other tops that children can play with hands on. Currently, there is a themed exhibit involving The Beatles. Baby Boomers will have a field day as they remember their favorite toys. Adults will awe over the beatiful dolls and accessories in the gift shop, as well as the nice selection of books.

The Friends of the Museum also thank Subway for its generosity and kindness in helping with providing a building for the new facility. We hope the Museum is open for many long and happy years. Look for more posts about this and other museums in Wisconsin.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fennimore Doll Museum, Fennimore, WI

Happy 4th of July, one day removed! Coming attractions; photo from Dr.E's trip to the wonderful Fennimore Doll Museum, in Fennimore, WI. This is one of the friendliest, happiest, most attractive doll museums I've visited. Check out their site and Gumby Blog. More information to come. Happy Fireworks!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

See Below; Linda's Dollie Storage Blog

After Midsummer and Anne Rice Auction

Even though I can't attend or buy anything, I am eagerly awaiting the commemorative catalog of the auction by Theriault's this July 18th that contains dolls from the Anne Rice collection and from the "collection" of Victor Hugo's granddaughter. I suppose if there is such a thing as an English major's doll auction, this is it! Rice's dolls have been included in so many of her books that I feel as if they are family and part of my album.

Other news: Dr. E's is now on Facebook, and we are picking up Twitter followers.

Lydia, the dream china head arrived. Even my husband was impressed. Her face is a creamy pink luster finish, and the vertical curls are fantastic. Her maker did everything right, down to the flat period boots. I can't wait to set up a web and real exhibit of all the china heads in Dr. E's. They have always been the quintessential antique doll for me.

Now that it is truly summer, many of us will be on the yardsale, rummage sale, garage sale trek. Just last week, I wasn't looking, and I found Boot Camp Barbie, very unique, a lovely 2' hand carved pre-Columbian figure, three bronze models of famous Parisian buildings on a marble base, and assorted tiny items for shadowboxes. I left other things, including a very nice sword with a bone handle. Too dangerous to have around my eleven year old, and difficult to store at this point. But, My Point [no pun intended!] is that I've always had a good eye. For those who are interested in these adventures, read Evelyn Chisman's Small Dolls and Other Collectibles. Though she wrote the book some thirty years ago, Chisman's idea and advice is still sound. She talks about the possibility of using her hobby to create a little income, though I confess, I don't sell my finds. I donate them to my silent auction gift baskets, and look for my friends' collections. Yet, she is right, that at any given sale, there are dolls, doll related items, craft items, small porcelain items, records, ephemera, books, and other collectibles that could be turne into cash on eBay, Etsy, Yahoo auctions, Amazon, etc. They could be incorporated into items sold at craft stores, or consigned for a little extra cash. I see lots of Barbie items, and Strawberry Shortcake memorabilia. These could be added to a retrospect of the different dolls that have been available. Even clothes and shoes have doll logos and character logos like the afore mentioned dolls, and also G.I. Joe, He-man and She-ra, Bugs Bunny, Precious Moments, Flintstones, etc.

Sales like this are also great places for holiday items and vintage Christmas ornaments. I found a whole stash of the Hallmark little houses in a handmade basket for $1.00 two years ago. These are great collectibles to pair with dolls, or terrific office gifts. They will be unique and appreciated. There is also a market for these items online, so again, you can make some spare change.

Hope all is well and remains so. Till next time, Happy Dolling.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Midsummer Night's Eve

"if these shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended . . . "

Such wonderful words, that have inspired such art. Ilove Midsummer, and remember many happy trips out west with my mom and dad,where we looked at fossil shops, and reconstructed forts. I loved Wyoming with its Jackalopes and Little America, and the mainstay of my Native American doll and silver jewelry collection came from those trips. There was a store we visited called The Boardwalk in Wyoming every year. The dolls there were real works of art, and I also used to find old comp dolls and old store stock, including tiny ethnic bisque babies from Germany and occuped Japan. We were nervous to get there on time; the elderly owner used to let us in, but the younger workers closed at five on the dot. Sometimes, we couldn't make it. We loved the rock tumbling places, and there was a great little craftstore loaded with old store stock one year near Billings that had all kinds of folk dolls. My first peanut doll, a cowby mounted on a tiny peace of driftwood was from there.

We visited the inn at The Grand Canyon, The Petrfied Forest, Old Spanish Town in Albuquerque, Old London Bridge in Lake Havasu, and the memories are as vivid as anything I see on a daily basis. One year we went to Colorado Springs and Yellow Stone, and we stayed in a cabin. A bear came right up my mom's window and looked her in the eye. Dad said it was professional courtesy. Very funny, sort of our totem of the cave bear moment. The dolls and souvenirs from these trips form the heart of the museum collection. I can't wait to display them all with their stories.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Birthdays and other small tragedies

Ah, another birthday, and always near Father's Day. My dad no longer allows holidays of any kind, and I recieved an envelope with "Happy Whatever" written on it and a Snoopy sticker. Oh well. My husband took me galavanting around our local university town, where we hit the most amazing thrift shops in the world. I found wonderful metal dolls, and a Medieval cookie doll made from an old ginberbread mold.It is very similar to the baptismal dolls of clay my late friend Mary Hillier portrayed in Dolls and Doll Makers. There were wonderful foreign costume dolls that came home with us, and a German mechanical cyclist for our eleven year old. My husband who is great about these things picked out some very old bisque dolls for me, icnluding a very sweet black bisque boy in miniature wearing overalls. I have also done well eBay and etsy. One metal head girl arrived with her own wardrobe of homespun and cotton petticoats. Her shoes are homemade knitted slippers with soles. All are put away safely, and we managed to clean today and make the house look liveable. I am trying to post a picture of the Lyhdia style vintage china head I just won. When I was little, I lusted after those long banana curls that spilled vertically down each side of the doll's face. It is the third birhtday without my mother, and it is very hard to take. When I look for the dolls, or browse for them, I can hear her whisper, "better get that one, too!" I took her passion flowers and lilies today, in honor of the flowers we used to plant.

One gallery in the museum will be the dolls she dressed and knitted for. Till later, to all,Happy Dolling!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Welcome to Uneek Musings! He most beautiful historical dolls, and in miniature,no less, that I have ever found are on this site. I am inspired to create miniature historical venues for them and am tempted to focus on tiny dolls forever!

Tomorrow is my birthday, and a landmark one at that, but it is hardly going by, not even with a bubble and squeak. I have been finiding metal dolls on ebay and etsy that are very good and also interesting. It has taken me about ten years, but I think I'm getting the hang of if! Dr. E's is also picking up some Twitter followers and considering facebook!

We have had rain and more rain, and terrible, windy storms where the streets flood, then recede. After the disasters re floods of the last two years, I am very thankful nothing has happened. It is not fun being in the middle of the remodeling mess, but it is better than the alternative.

Happy Midsummer, especially to those who love and collect fairy dolls! Remember Cindy McClure? Till later.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Metal Heads

Typcial Monday; it's pouring rain, and I was sniped on these heads for $1.00 on eBay! Lovely metal heads, which look like they are flapper heads from the twenties, possibly meant for boudoir dolls. Well, it happnes, but my motto is there is always another doll. Are there any more like these out there?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shirley Jackson and Clothespin Dolls

I just finished Private Demons, The Life of Shirley Jackson. This was a poignan and thoughtful study of an intense and gifted writer's life. She had a lot in common with me, or I with her. When she was little, she and a friend became hooked on making clothespin dolls, especially of historical people. They made over 450, and Shirley's mother, a fastidious Debutante/Mrs. Cleaver-type, put an end to their production. Each girl could only keep a shoebox full of her favorites. Myh mother wouldn't have dared to issue that kind of an ultimatum! She, and I, were more likely to track down where the dolls had been donatedand buy them all! Like me, Jackson had family ties in California, and she was drawn to Anne Boleyn, the Salem Witch Trials,and Christmas. She and her husband were bibliophiles, with a library estimated at over 100,000 books, and collections of all kinds of things. I listed her in my doll book bibliography. I wonder if Anne Rice read her often; the Blackwoods of Blackwood Farm could be named after one of Jackson's characters. Such a brilliant, brilliant woman was Shirley Jackson, and such a short, short life.

Today was bad for asthma and allergies, two other Jackson [and Syliva Plath] maladies I have. In fact, every time I have a bad allergy attack or bout with sinusitis, I call it Sylvia Plath's Disease. Still, I got up very early to revisit a box of Nancy Anns and composition dolls I saw at an upscale rummage sale. I braved rain, and road construction, and found the box! In it, the dolls needed some help, but were overall original and pristine. Also, there was an early composition Alexander foll with them in original clothes. I als found wonderful foreign dolls, many Polish, a Cissy type fashion doll, 21" or so, with jointed knees, a 50s HP Halloween witdch, a handmade foll from Okinawa, some holiday items, some jewelry. I hit a couple other church sales that I had not visited for over five years, and found 70s Barbies with Barbie shoes and handmade outfits, and near mint CPK 80s dolls, as well as more miniatures, a carved witch standng on the moon, a vintage bellows camera for my husband, some books for my students, an unusual Holiday pin, and some fossil rocks for my garden.

Another fun thing for doll colelctors are the sample wallpaper books companies made in the 60s to 70s with toys and dolls printed on the paper. What a fun record of the popular toys of the time!

I always pick up vintage ornaments at these sales. Another love of my mother's. Well, if Mrs. Johnson can have one million ornamnets, I can have one million dolls! To all,Happy Dolling!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Huret Metal Head

Once the beloved possession of Dorothy Dixon, and written up by Marshall Martin and Maureen Popp, who has this beauty now? Dr. E's is interested! She would like to talk, and would like to use a photo for her book on metal heads? Any takers?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

paper dolls

I am writing from my new pink net book, a birthday present! Never mind which birthday. I have been thinking a lot about paper dolls lately, all types of them. I confess sitting during many a boring event and doodling entire families of them in ball point, then coloring them and cutting them out to populate doll houses and shadow boxes. I've always loved making them by cutting out magazine pictures and making collages, too.

I read in Helen and Teacher that Annie Sullivan used to cut pictures out of Godeys to make paper dolls, and that she and her little brother made homemade flour paste and glued them to the walls of the morgue where she and her little brother played when they were incarcerated in the Tewksbury Almshouse. Children will play in any situation, if only to divert and comfort themselves.

My other paper dolls came from books, or craft kits. Dozens were from magazines. I loved Betsy McCall, and the earlier Dolly Dingles and Lettie Lanes. My first antique examples came from flea markets, and a few from antique stores. I have some very large examples,and one that was a Shackman reproduction of a doll representing Ellen Terry. She well-loved, and came from the gift shop of the Museum of the City of New York. Mom dressed her in green hued tissue paper.

I made dolls out of Kleenex, raffia and tissue that resembled cornhusk dolls, and often dressed dolls in tissue paper. I have one home made antique Mom found with gorgeous layered tissue paper dresses, and 3D tissue and crepe paper dolls. I love to collect these, and had a trauma in kindergarten when my teacher made me toss one when we were cleaning. Since then, I have a need to save every doll I can, no matter what!

When we got Apple IIGS at school, I made paper dolls and used cross stitch patterns in the old fat bits function. I soon found Swedish and Japanese 3D examples, and even have an old bisque doll dressed in crepe paper.

Paper dolls inspire me, as they did Ruth Handler when she created Barbie. I spent many happy hours in Holiday Inns and Best Westerns with my folks travelling the West when I was growing up, and drawing historical paper dolls, most of Anne Boelyn and Marie Antoinette, on motel note pads. They still exist in my albums.

I made a paper Greek Temple of Mt.Olympus in 10th grade, and populated it with my paper doll versions of the Gods. In sixth grade, I did small paper finger puppets to illustrate plays we wrote in literature. I have made them into pins, and posters, and have done a whole book with paper doll and doll collage illustrations.

The greatest thing about them is that you can have a collection of thousands and make them an album paperhouse or a box where they can all live. Sylvia Plath and Laura Ingalls loved them. The Japanese and other cultures have religious rituals involving them. The French have their pantins. I love them all. Happy Dolling.

Friday, June 4, 2010


We wandered through a local Pioneer Days celebration this past Memorial Day Weekend. The town was actually called Walnut Grove, and had General Store, ongoing "bank robbery," Apothecary, Black Smith Shop, etc. There was an ice cream parlor, and lots of handmade crafts, candies, and soaps. Many people were selling jewelry and souvenirs relevant to the time period or to the Old West. Not many folks were buying. [Of course, I did. this, though, is now besides the point!].I noticed this non-buying attitude before; recently, I chalked it up to the economy. Sometimes, I thought maybe the places were just too expensive. The old fifty cent souvenir stands of my youth are long gone, and the souvenirs themselves are now expensive collectors items.

But, when I think on it, no matter where I go, fewer and fewer people are holding shopping bags emblazoned with the name of a tourist attraction or destination point. Lots of people take photos with digital cameras, but even my friends who frequent Europe regularly come back with hundreds of shots for their digital albums and frames, most temporary to be replaced by the next batch. Few even buy or send postcards. Hardly anyone keeps a handful of foreign money or stamps, either for collectors in the family or for themselves. These last items were hot show and tell topics when I was in school. Even a lowly centavo was a treasured find, and often the beginning of a life-long passion for numismatics.

Even in expensive venues like Disney Land, I saw people with Mouse ears,fancy hats, Disney shopping bags, trinkets, lots of stuffed animals, and T-Shirt collections were famous when I was an undergraduate. My mom had a great collecton of decals from National Parks and other attactions dating from the fifties. These, along with her classic postcards, are immortalized in family albums and files. William Randolph Hearst got started with postcards of fine art, and postcards are still sold everwhere in great number. Why is no one buying them?

Then, there are the foreign dolls and tourist dolls. I love them, and they with my antiques are the focus of the museum collection. Yet, little girls don't have these travel dolls anymore as part of their childhood. There are no more storybook dolls, of any kind. Those who collect for investment are not fond of travel or tourist dolls at all. I sometimes have a field day at Goodwill or The Salvation Army. So, what is the problem?

Travelers have brought home souveniers as mementos and trophies of their travels for centuries, if not milennia. They are part of the reason world trade was born. My parents and grandparents had fantastic collections of souvenirs, and snapshots for that matter, from all over the globe. Have we become so cybertechnic, so obsessed with "simplifying" and outing hoarders that we've lost interest in everthing else?

I honestly don't know, and would invite comments and opinions from all sides!

Have a great day. Here are some favorite links of mine relating to this topic, to dolls, and to collecting:

The Shelter for Misfit Dolls.

American Junk

Yokohama Doll Museum

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Anne Rice to sell Doll Collection

It is the fourth anniversary today of the civil ceremony that made us husband and wife. There were wedding dolls, including the Bride of Frankenstein's Monster, decorating the house. It was an auspicious day for dolls, cats, and humans alike. I read today on the newsletter that Anne Rice was selling her doll collection at auction next month. I am fortunate enough to own one of the dolls she sold from the collection formerly at St. Elizabeth's several year's ago. Ms. Rice is one of my inspirations for wanting a museum for my dolls in the first place. She has done a lot to incorporate dolls into her writing and into the realm of literature in general, and she holds an honored place in my Bibliography. I would have loved to tour St. Elizabeth's in its heyday. She has the spirit of the true collector and when interviewed about her collection she stated that she did not collect dolls for profit, but because of the chord they struck for her. She collected what she liked and what was significant to her. She managed to put together a world class collection that became famous in itself.

I clipped every article I could about her dolls, and at one point, an editor promised me I could write one about them, then gave the story elsewhere. C'est la guerre, but I've enjoyed the research very much.

Ms. Rice stated that one reason she was selling the dolls is that she no longer had room for them in her new home, and that they were all over the house. I am humble enough to say that I felt ashamed at that point, since mine are not merely all over one house, but in every nook and cranny!

If this be madness, then it is a gentle madness, and one with a method. I suppose it is bittersweet when one reaches that junction; I am not there, yet, though I have thought of handing all of them over to The House on the Rock, one of my all-time favorite places. Nothing personal, but I'd like to give the producers of Hoarders a shot at the H.O.T.R, just for the fun of it.

On other fronts, I have finished my Articles of Incorporation, and the Bibliography is virtually ready for print. As part of our own personal stimulus plan, I have given up opportunities this year to attend expensive shows and conventions to care for the dolls I have and to write and publish.

I think my dream job would be to write full time about dolls, collecting, collectors, their history, and museums, in all genres!

Welcome to our new Twitter follower, and to all who read and follow this and my other blog, I bid you good night.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nan's novel and "we ran a river through it!"

I did some traveling yesterday along the Illinois River. Road Trips help me to think; my husband, and two of our closest friends came along. There we were, two women, and two men “of a certain age” having more fun than little kids. We hit an old fashioned candy store where Lincoln once shopped, and ate at a historic restaurant that was once a bank. We went rock hounding and came back with boxes of petrified wood and agate, and all sorts of knick knacks, and some lovely small sculptures from the Sandra McKenzie Sculpture studio. There were 32 artists represented, and apparently, many of the sculptures were made by gifted high school kids. Others were made of river clay. Many were figural, and glazed in different colors. There were also Noah’s Arks, and many nativities. The faces were charming and doll like, and some were life-sized. We fell in love with an oversized head sitting in the garden; it was strategically cracked, but we were told this was an accident, and thus the head was not for sale. We want to track down the artist to see if she would sell her! I think all of us wanted her head!

Friday, I went to a quick sale of Native American Art, and came away with a tiny storyteller sculpture variation in white, and two good Kachina books. Thursday, I went to an estate sale by my friend, Dick, and found a great Victoria by Mme. Alexander for $1.00, and some doll house/doll mouse boxes by F.A.O. Schwarz, along with various other figurines and ethnic artifacts. There were some Shirleys and bisque dolls as well, some very old.

Below is a brief excerpt from the Anne Boleyn novel for those who are fans, or who like Renaissance history, dolls, women, you name it. Enjoy:

From: Anne’s Journey Through Time, Copyright Ellen Tsagaris, 2010.

….Her blonde hair peaked out from under the scarf, her one luxury thus far on her English sabbatical. She paused in front of the flotsam and jetsam that made up the various stalls, pitying more than desiring the merchandise, optimistically labeled “collectible” and “antique.” Really, though, they were the detritus of past generations, the memorabilia no one wanted to remember, the doll without eyes, the teddy bear with its plush worn off, the punch bowl set short one cup. She liked to wander among the once wanted, no longer loved objects and liked to think about who might have owned them.

Prudence stopped in front of a costume or paste jewelry stall. The rhinestones and pot metal jewels picked up the cold sunlight and shone. Her eyes were as dazzled as if they were the eyes of a starving child in front of a candy shop. She held one piece of Rhinestone finery after another against her navy coat. There were pieces of Victorian coral, cameos featuring enigmatic, Mona Lisa-like profiles of enigmatic ladies, the occasional gold plated leaf, complete with enamel ladybug, and then her eyes rested on a ring. It was older, and very tarnished, she was aware of the elderly woman who kept the stall urging her to “take in the patina.” “It’s just more dirt, “ thought Prudence, and her mind briefly drifted to the clowns in Hamlet and their musing that the dust at their feet might be the dust of Alexander.
“Could I see that please,” Prudence asked.
The stall keeper handed her the ring. “It’s a locket, madam, as you can tell.” There is a small spring underneath, you can flip it with your thumbnail.”
Prudence dutifully flipped the tiny lever, rearing she might disturb the encrusted patina and utterly destroy the piece of ancient junk in her hand. She hadn’t even asked about the price, and she wondered if she had remembered to tuck her credit card in her jeans’ pocket. The various “you break, you buy” signs around her were spooking her.
She didn’t have to worry, though. The lever gave easily, and the two haves of engraved metal, which appeared to have designs of some type of bird of prey, maybe a falcon, opened in her hands. Inside were two miniature paintings, both of women. One, Prudence was sure was Queen Elizabeth, the other, she was familiar, “Let me see, she thought, it’s, It’s Anne Boleyn, it’s Elizabeth I’s mother, What an extraordinary reproduction “ she was about to exclaim to the shopkeeper, but when she looked up, an entirely different scene met her eyes.
She was no longer in Portobello. She was standing on some type of grassy hill, and an ancient home stood behind her. She could tell it was a manor house, maybe a small castle. Directly in front of her was a pebbled walkway. The oak trees surrounding the stone path were large, a little crooked, and very old.
A woman stood before her. Prudence knew her. Or rather, she knew of her. The woman was tiny, not much taller than a fourteen-year-old girl, and looked as if she weighed under 100 pounds. She bore herself regally, but carefully. She wore a dark silk dress, pearls around her neck, and the old French Hood headdress surrounded her face. What she could see of her hair was dark, almost black, but with reddish highlights that glinted in the sun. The woman’s eyes were laughing.
At first Prudence thought she had seen a ghost, but the apparition was looking straight at her.
“Welcome to Hever. My name is Mistress Anne Boleyn, but most call me Nan.”
Prudence looked at the locket ring in her hand and nearly fainted. It was the sick feeling in her stomach and slight nausea that made her realize she was not dreaming, that and the cold, damp air. Also, the woman was near her, so close that her skirts rustled.
Prudence didn’t know if she should curtsy or not, so she gave a slight bow.
“My name is Prudence, Your Grace, and I don’t wish to intrude, I believe I have something that belongs to you.”
With that, Prudence held out the ring, the two halves open. As Anne reached for it, their hands touched. Absentmindedly, Prudence looked at Anne’s hand and thought, “Why she doesn’t have six fingers at all!” and felt the cool, but very solid and human touch of the other woman’s fingers brushing hers. The sunlight then disappeared, Prudence closed her eyes, sure she was having a stroke of some kind, and then opened them.
She and Anne were now standing together at the stall in Portobello. Anne wore a dark cloak wrapped around her, but the headdress and period silk dress were gone. They looked at each other, both in disbelief, but sensing the urgency and importance of the moment. Silent understanding passed between them.
“How much for the Ring” both of them said together.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 19, 1536; In Memoriam Anne Boleyn and Portrait Dolls

I was late with this, I know. Yesterday was so bad, I was willing to hire an expert swordsman from Calais for myself! As anyone who really knows me understands, I am a big Anne Boleyn fan, and have a lot of books and memorabilia about her. I have done a lot of writing on her and on The Six Wives of Henry VIII, as well, and am currently working on a novel about Anne. I also have several dolls representing her and the other wives. There is a set of Peggy Nisbet dolls, with two representing Anne, and the beautiful ball-jointed Alexander model. While I don't have their Anne Boleyn model, I do have the Headless Historicals model of Catherine Howard, Anne's hapless cousin and Henry's fifth queen. I have made my own versions of Anne over the years, including a small doll-house sized porcelain doll, and several paper dolls, and I have sets of lovely Internet dolls and Dover paper doll books. We study her in school, especially in Family Law and some of my other courses, and I hope there are others out there who are inspired to write about her and to keep her story alive. I recommend Alison Weir's latest book, The Lady in the Tower, and Retha Warnicke's, The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn. All the wives make fascinating dolls, and fascinating reading. More later, and happy doll hunting.

Museum Categories

Enjoy! Below are the categories I would like to set up for the museum. Happy Weekend!

Museum Categories of Dolls and Collections

*Denotes cross-reference

Antique China

Mini pink luster
Brown-eyed bonnet
Moustache man
Earth quake
Rare heads
Japanese swivel
Effanbee repro
Hong Kong Brit-
Plates and – paper-
Violet’s big head w/ braids
All repros incl 1840s-
w/ banana curls
wigged Patti Jean
Rohmer photos
China clowns
Doll house

Ushabti real & repro
Phoenician –real
Celtic ring money
Arrowheads and artifacts
Real axes
Repro arrowheads
Pre-Columbian Mojave
Pre-columb repro
Paddle doll repros
Other Egyptian dolls
Ancient, Cont’d.
Ancient Greek Shards
Ancient Greek and Cycladic Replicas
Kore figures
Mycenae figures
Venus/Goddess figures
Doctors ladies; various, also mine and pregnant version
Photo of pregnant doll
Chinese han soldier
Easter island head
Greek statues/theater masks
Mummy repros.
Jewelry dolls
Egypt 1930s doll

Medieval Replicas
16th c. bible leaf
Madrigal ornaments
My clay Nuremburg dolls
Mini Iron Maiden of
Nuremburg doll

Crèche Dolls
St. Francis
Infant Prague
All nativities
Santos-real and replica
Russian saints wood
Spanish crèche with glass eyes
Chinese ancestor “Santos”
Indian Crèche
Italian Crèche-very old
200 yr old gesso covered with glass eyes
Wax Madonna
Wax antique baby
Wax devotion doll from Mary Merritt museum

Miniature Books

Antique wax and soap
Unknown poured wax
Pumpkin heads
*18th c. baby
*Marry Merritt crèche
Candle dolls
My homemade dolls
Carved soaps, also
McKinley soap dolls
Bobbi Langkau
Beeswax Ornaments
*Beeswax German Madonna
Mexican wax
Vargas; six wax heads
Antique Wax Angels
German Wax Angels
Patent Washable, cf Papier Mache
1840s doll from Nancy
Molded bonnet wax from Nancy

Papier Mache
M & S Superior
Greiner Stamp doll
Greiner type repro
French bamboo teeth
Patent washable squeaks
Black doll with ventriloquist mouth
German, like Huret

Papier Mache, cont’d.
Big doll from Iowa City-
Smaller Mexican
Holz Masse
SFBJ soldier
70s libber, some damage
*Xmas ornaments and Byers
1904 Bullfighter
*Antique Asian
Chinese, Japanese and Puppets
My homemade dolls and puppets
Black nun
German Chinese
German African
Queue San
My Leo Moss mini repl
Milliner’s models-
Real and Repl

German Bisque
K * R
K & K
Ernst Heubach
Heubach Koppelsdorf
Closed mouth
Repro – black
German Bisque cont’d.
Mildred Prize Baby
Flora Dora
Gibson Girl
Gebruder Knoch
All bisque
Char babies
Dream babies
R mme. Hendren
*Frozen Charlotte
*Artist/N. Rockwell

French Bisque:
Portrait Jumeau
Bru-open mouth
Bru replicas
Marque – replica
Steiner replica [petit parisienne and bourgoin
Laughing Jumeau 236
Cody Jumeau replica
SFBJ Bleuette look
Unis black
Lanternier Jumeau and
*PM Jumeau
*celluloid Jumeax
Huret head
Huret replica
My Rohmer replica
Barrois Fashion
Louis Nicole replicas
Fr. Fashion Replicas and head, incl Black 1965
Mini Jumeau replica
Jumeau marked fashion fragment
Accessories and clothes
Doll trunks
My paper French fashions
*paper dolls
French al bisque
Jumeau replicas including Mundia and
Black Pat Loveless
5’ French Mannequin
AT replica and local connection festival
Of trees
Repl Rochard with inset stones [Monaco]
Modern French doll from tom thurlow
Verlingue – 2
French bisque in doll box, modern
Limoges miniatures and box

Local Interest:
Sincerely Licorice Co. doll made of licorice with original clothes, very rare and local interest
Moline Strombecker Doll Furniture
East Moline Buddy-L
Doll Lain Dolls
Old Dutch Inn Dolls
Mrs. Brandemeyer’s doll hospital
Sherman Smith doll and Ruth Gibbs from Dolly Dear Clinic in Davenport
Local Artists
Isabel Bloom Collection and artifacts from her home
Tish Hewitt dolls
Miss. Bolin
Drusilla McCormick’s doll
Miss Ely’s dolls from
Audubon and surprise balls

Queen Anne Williamsburg
Chinese sexed puppet
Peg wooden
Schoenhut and replicas
Schoenhut toys and pianos
Pitcairn islands
2nd place ribbon
Joel Ellis plaque
Joel Ellis wooden doll
Folk and primitive
Lay figures
German minis
Wooden mannequin cage skirts, cf Medieval
Bebe tout en bois
Joel Ellis
Antique wooden body
House of Seven Gables Doll
*nesting dolls
*carved Buddhist monk

Huret picture
Black head
Thai head
Giebler falk
Mech. Santa
English Walking
Mexican tin and masks
Peruvian Replica
Metal, cont’d.
Indian musician
lead soldiers
Toy soldiers
Lead cupid
St. Francis
Oscar statue
Fairly girl, old
Little mermaid
Cast iron head
Cast iron Amish
Tootsie toy minis
Mammy Yoakum
Litho toys and dolls
Baker choc girl
Brides cup nutcracker molds candy molds
Gingerbread molds
Figures, real and otherwise
Bucherer pair

Mechanical figures

holiday figures
McD toys
Bisque automatons
Vichy old man clockwork
Musical dolls/animals
Bobble heads
Teddy Ruxpin
Chatty Cathy family
Pull string dolls
Phonograph doll
Mechanical Figures

2-face Halloween
Ophelia Skeleton dolls
Singing birds
Music boxes with ballerinas
Scotch bottle with ballerina
Cf nutcracker
Mini dentist pulling tooth
Walking dolls all types
Singing bear
ET dolls robots
Bus Life
Disney small world
RC car
2-face dolls, various
*Barbie that hooks up to computer
MP3 player doll covers
*ventriloquist dummies
Baby First Step
Real Live Lucy

Disaster Dolls
Chicago fire wooden
Earthquake china
GWTW burned book
Burned heads
Privy doll
Mary’s buried doll
River doll

Raggedy Anns
Velvet with squeak
Arnold print
Izannah Walker replicas
Dena’s black dolls
Old sock
Norah Wellings
Chad Valley type
Old Chinese
Topsy turvy
Knitted Worsted
Old Crocheted
Old Plush
Old Bears
Antique Indian-Parson’s trading post
Paula’s felt doll
Annalee Mobiltee
Other foreign
Charlotte Weibull
Beanies and Webkins
Lenci type

Mamma dolls
Sonja Henie
Deanna Durbin
Dress me type
Replica Dewees Cochran
Patsies and Replicas
Chalk figures
Replica Ella Cinders
Buster Brown Old PM/compo clowns
*Shirley Temple
Kaiser babies
Jane Wither

Turtle mark
Petit Colin
French costume
Tanzen Puppe
Parsons Jackson
American Babies

*Shirley Temple
Action Figures
*Living Dead Dolls
Celebrity, cont’d.
Michael Jackson
OJ Simpson
Jesse Ventura
Marcia Brady
Get Smart
Archie McFee Figures
Dionne babies
Baby Peggy type with wig
Jackie Kennedy
All Popeye
*Universal Monsters
Peggy Nisbet
Paper Dolls
Cartoon chars.
Betty Boop and Felix
Sports figures
Old movies

All bisque
*Frozen Charlotte
Penny dolls



Adult and Horror
Tallulah life-sized
Corpse bride
Adult and horror cont’d
Voodoo dolls
Murder with knife
Electric chair
Toy guillotines
Apple doll in coffin
Other dolls in coffins
*living dead dolls
Street Walker doll figurine
Playboy model
Mini inflatable doll
Bathory doll
Black Dahlia doll
Apple doll
Goth dolls
Krypt Kiddies
Crypt Keeper
Leather face dolls
Chucky and Tiffany
Dolls film DVD
Silence DVD
Titus DVD
Books with Hans Bellmer dolls

Stuffed Animals
Old Plush
Mickey Mouse
North American Bear

Scarlett and GWTW

More Mickey Mouse

Madame Alexander, all materials

Hard Plastic
40s and 50s
Vogue Jill and
Barbie’s, Lilli,
Tammy, Tressy, Barbie
GI Joe type
CF Barbie

Barbie fashion dolls and friends

Josef Original
Occupied Japan
Willow Tree
*Santons de Provence
Russian Formalist Art doll
Various companies
Royal Dux
Mabel Lucie Atwell
Figurines, cont’d.
Cherished Teddies
Precious Moments
Capo de Monte
Royal Doulton

Isabel Bloom

All types
Ships figureheads
Other materials
Cigar store Indian
Lobster claw
African carvings
Yoruba beaded crown
Kleenex dolls

Annette Himstedt

Lady Anne Dolls, Williamsburg Doll Factory

Seymour Mann [parents of Erica Jong]

Other Artist:

Suzanne Gibson
Susan Wakeen
Judith Turner
Artist, Cont’d.

Gladys McDowell
Wee Paulson
*Bobbi Langkau
Berdine Wyffels
Emma Clear
Magge Head
Madonna Hardy
Faith Wick
Elke Hutchens
*Joseph Kallus
Mark Farmer
*Claire and Evie Kidman
Violet Page
Rose Mustacchio
My creations
Sherman Smith
*Rose O’Neill
*Grace Storey Putnam
*Grace Drayton
Shackman and Sundry Bisque
Virgina Luszko Ali Rashaad Boy, one of a kind

Modern Companies
Mattel [barbies]
Deluxe Topper
Vogue [Ginny and Baby Dear]
Citti Toy
Modern Companies, Cont’d.
Franklin Mint
Ashton Drake
Heritage Mint
American Character
*Mezco, Living Dolls
Russ Barrie
Dam Things trolls
Hong Kong
Lissi Baitz
*Seymour Mann
Duck House
American Greetings
August Moon
Sailor Moon
Jim Shore
Dept. 56
Worlds of Wonder
Tiger Electronics
Fisher Price
Plastic Moulded Arts
Modern Cos. Cont’d.
A & E

Cabbage Patch

Daisy Kingdom

P. Buckley Moss

Native American &
Stone Inuit, all types



*Black Dolls

Asia and Japan
Door of Hope type
Japanese Takara Barbie

*Emma Clear
Queen Louise
Antique man
Snood girl
Iowa Clay
Dolly Madison
Shackman dolls
Mary Meritt

Dolls Mom Dressed and knitted for or made

Wizard of Oz and signed Toto basket

Harry Potter

Star Wars and Space

Doll and Childrens Dishes w/ mini tables and hutches

Dolls houses

Shadow boxes
Mini houses and buildings
David w
Winter, signed
Haunted towns
Dept. 56
Various doll houses and
Doll house for big dolls/Tasha Tudor

Dolls and wardrobes

Seasonal changing exhibits

Vintage clothes, shoes, and hats, costume jewelry, textiles, fans

Clowns and Trolls

Dolls of the Future
Cf Space
90s to present
Virtual dolls
DVDs, video,
Computer games

Other Toys and Mitchie’s Car/Toy room, Trains

Toy guns
Wilson football helmet
Doll carriages
Computer games and software
Balls and marbles
Folk toys

Library and Files:
Doll books
Doll related
Alice in Wonderland
*Tasha Tudor
My writings and publications
Studio and office for me
Copy machine
Office machines
Color printer/copier
Coffee machines
Small kiln
Art supplies
Unit for craft supplies as in Somerset Studios

Coffee Bar

Rooms to Rent
Meetings [ELMO, slides]

Gift shop
Sell online
My books and publications
My presentations
“fabulous fragments” old dishes and china
License with doll companies to sell
Shadow boxes
Cousin chuck’s things and toy soldiers
Licensed merchandise with museum logo
Dino’s Photographs and children’s books

Dealers Room with consignment

Big storage rooms

Children’s room-stock with old Happy Meal Toys, old books, can take one thing; hands on toys they can play with

“The Shelter for Misfit Dolls,” make agreement with Little Dead Gyrl on web

Sell adds for sponsors

Gardens with mini terrariums and garden sculptures, gnomes

A traveling doll or gnome? Can go to another museum?

Give some of money made to other charities, too

Have friends of museum, tax deductions for dolls or money/other donations

Classes in doll making for kids, collecting, history of dolls, dolls in literature, etc. lesson plans for teachers/one meeting room is a classroom

Traveling exhibits

Museum Festival of Trees

Exhibits in connection with other museums in the area

Meeting area for scout troops