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

Popular Posts

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

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

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

Follow by Email

Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken


A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

Popular Posts

Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren
Ultimate Doll Restorer

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Baby Boo 1960s

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

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

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

Two More Rescued Dolls

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

Restored Italian Baby Doll

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

Dolls on Display

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

A Few Friends

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

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

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

The Fennimore Doll Museum

The Fennimore Doll Museum


A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

The Cody Jumeau
Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

German Princesses
GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

A Little PowerRanger
Halloween 2004

The Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
Doll House murder

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

A lovely dress

A lovely dress

Raggedy Ann

Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

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

Little PM sisters

Little PM sisters
Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Sunday, May 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

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Doll Triage

Ah, Friday. This was quite a week, and quite a day for weird anniversaries. Today, ten years ago, my little dog Smokie passed away, and three years ago, my cousin, who was a well known professor,poet, and a lawyer [!] died suddenly after graduation. He and I got along really well; I think he was the only one in the family who understood me. That same day, one of my wacky neighbors, who wanted my back yard ravine via adverse possession, stuck nasty letters in my door, and it's my mother in-law's birthday. You'd think that would be enough, but, no.

My other wacky neighbor verbally assaulted me, and physically assaulted my car, with me in it, yes, today! Her kids got caught doing things in my yard they shouldn't, and vandalizing my basement windows. It's been a long, neighborhood-wide problem, but tonight I heard about how awful I am for not wanting my house trespassed and everything in my yard destroyed. She would have made desparate housewives proud, and she did it in front of her oldest kid. Her husband is in the same business I'm in, and he's been following me around, at work, at church, in clubs and organizations, for years. But, he doesn't have my experience, or anything else, so she's jealous. I'm still reeling, and sick. I always thought she looked like Barbie on acid, and now she behaved like it. So, it's either get really sick, give in to the headache and insomnia, or, blog!

Back to dolls, our favorite, and happier subject. I confess to escaping over lunch yesterday when it was finally nice, and going to my local Goodwill and Discovery Shops. I like to look around there and buy things when I can because I really think it helps people. I feel the same way about the Salvation Army, and I like to give things to these organizations, too. I found all sorts of neat things, and even left some!
I found a Dancerina in good condition, pink tutu intact. There was a small ethnic doll of turned wood, probably from Poland, and two tiny English toby jugs representing Shakespeare. I found a small Italian doll with her original brown granny dress, and a Bradley silk stockinette doll with its original label. There were some very old figurines and enamels that came home with me, some nice beads made out of rolled paper, and some silk embroidered slip-on shoes for me, never worn. These were brown silk embroidered with beads.

At The Discovery Shop, I found two pioneer style rag dolls made from Sew Sweet patterns in the 70s or 80s in perfect shape. Because they had buttons on them, they were half price. I found a hand made rabbit, all plush with a beautiful dress for $12.00, with its original price tag of $159.00 still attached. I also found a cat mermaid pin, and a vintage trumpet, etched, for my husband and 11 year old to play with. Both men enjoy music and instruments, and this was a good find, with its original case.

There were many lovely items of clothing, and I found two jackets, both embroidered. My favorite is white, with tiny flower fairies embroidered all over it. I have a wonderful book on resale shops, thrift shops, and antiques which reviews stores all over the US, UK, and Australia. It is very nice. I wasn't feeling well one day and stumbled into the book store to find a medical book so I could read symptoms. Never do that! I got so depressed, I turned to the antique books, and found the one on the resale shops. I felt much better reading that!

Doll Castle News had some great articles again, too. They featured Ruth Gibbs dolls and Nancy Ann Storybook dolls, which was great. There were some great dolls to identify as well, and very nice Gibbs paper dolls. This is a family run periodical that is very informative, but somehow homey. When I read the family clips, or the old issues where the founder and mother of the clan was still alive and writing, I fell as if it is my own mother writing. I hope they keep at it for many, many years!

Still recovering and unpacking dolls that had weather related disasters last year. I vowed to save even the most hopeless, even when I had to throw out many other things. Sunlight, woolite, febreze, and even windex with ammonia can still do wonders, as can an old toothbrush that can be washed and used as a scrubbing tool.

I just finished Monster in Miniature as well, and I have to say Margaret Grace has done it again! This time, she combines two of my favorite things, miniatures and Halloween. I can't wait to try her glue ghosts. Till next time, Happy Dolling, and have a good weekend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Modern Metal Dolls and Mechanical Dolls, From Chapter 7

While most modern dolls are made of plastics with a few collector's items made of cloth, bisque, and other materials, there are still some made of metal. In fact, some modern vinyl dolls of the fifties, sixties, and seventies contain metal, which causes their vinyl skin to develop green stains after awhile.
Noted authority Charles Bartholomew writes that many popular mechanical toy trends of the twentieth century really have their origins in the late nineteenth century (127). By the turn of the century, clockwork and friciton driven toys of all types were very popular, and were becoming more and more sophisiticated, with electricity more widely used in toys than ever before. British firms began making all types of mechanical toys of metal before World War I. One of these was the Meccano Company of Frank Hornby, originally called Mechanics Made Easy in its patent papers. Hornby got the idea to make mechanical toys after he made metal toy parts for his children (127). The children were able to construct entire toys from these parts. Other companies soon followed, including Dinky Toys, another of Hornby's lines, and the Louis Marx Company of New York (Bartholomew 128). Marx was able to imitate more expensive toy lines, including the Hornby lines, and could sell cheaper versions in great quantities directly to stores like Woolworth's. This was his one great advantage (129). By the time Marx turned to plastics and other materials, Japan had entered the toy market. Mechanical and tin toy production was halted, according to Bartholomew, during World War II, when many toy manufacturing plants were turned "over to war production" (129).
During the 1930's, German companies like Schuco produced interesting toys that danced, played instruments, or beat drums (135). Another German company made a Charlie Chaplin who could swing his cane.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Web Museum Progress

Well, we are rolling along, about one month behind some deadlines, and ahead of others. Happy Mothers Day to all! My sweet husband began to photograph dolls for the web museum, and the State finally sent out some papers. Now, if I only had the "guts" to fill them out. This is a scary business, all the same. St. John's lecture was great, and I met and re-met some wonderful people. The dolls were a great hit, especially those that brought back childhood memories, including Shirley Temple, the vintage Barbie [TM] and the old bisque dolls. Surprisingly, though, the African carvings and the Venus of Willendorf replica sparked a lot of interest, too. I was very happy to see people bringing their dolls, and that people were so fascinated with the stories behind the dolls. This encourages me in planning this museum.

We have a cover for the bibliography, and my husband will begin shooting metal head dolls for that book next. I recommend a couple sites and blogs, including Lucy's Kitchen Notebook, a cooking and culinary blog set in Lyon, France, which was the home of the Jumeau doll factory. It is truly beautiful and worth a look. Also, for all things doll, go to Linda's Blog, but have couple of free hours to truly enjoy surfing. She has everything on there! Finally, try The Doll Works for shopping, browsing, and identifying very unusual dolls, miniatures, and toys. It is a good place to find out about your own collection, but also to add to it.

I'm currently reading a biography of Shirley Jackson, who, as it turned out, had a passion for making clothespin dolls, and Margaret Grace's Monster in Minature. I recommend both to mystery lovers, author/lit junkies, and doll lovers. Till next time, Happy Dolling!