Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Google+ Followers

Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on 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

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

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Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken


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Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
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Ultimate Doll Restorer

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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

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A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

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The Cody Jumeau

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Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

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GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

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Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death

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A lovely dress

A lovely dress

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A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

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

Little PM sisters

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Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tonner Happy New Year

For those who love Tonner; enjoy!

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December 30, 2011

Hi Collectors!

Start the new year right with our BRAND NEW site! The countdown to our new site
has begun: Only 4 more days to go until January 3rd, 2012!!

We've compiled some very important Tonner Tidbits for you, so print this out
hang it on your fridge (no seriously!):

* The new site will live here: []
* You will get to choose a new password on our new site, even if you're already
registered on our current site. It's super-duper easy! Follow these

* Go to our new site: []
(on or after the Launch Day, of course!)
* In the upper right hand corner near the TD shopping bag, click LOG ON.
* Enter the email that you use to sign on to the old site.
* Click I FORGOT MY PASSWORD. Now, an email will be sent to you with a link
you must click. Clicking this link will take you back to,
where you'll get to reset your password! Easy as 123!
* Now, peruse the new site, enjoy the brand NEW hub for all things Tonner, and
your little vinyl heart out!

* Please note that any bookmarks you have saved on your web browser will not be
valid, as the data will no longer live at that spot on the internet! Don't
it has a much better home...
* The first time you visit our NEW website, please allow it a few moments to
on your screen. You see, your web browser will be so ecstatic to show you our
site that in it's excitement, there may be a slight delay before it gets itself
together and displays the page. We blame the machine.
Tune into Facebook and our blog to join in the countdown fun!


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Victoria and Albert

Haga Dockan

Looking for information about a 15 in. Swedish celluloid doll in her original box. This is the informaton on her box. Here are some photos of other dolls of this type. The first is of the doll and her box:

Repair tips

From an online newsletter with a link for the rest of the article:

Restoration tips:

Doll Restoration and Conservation
What you need to know
"Conservation differs from restoration by aiming to preserve and clarify what survives, rather than replace what is missing."

"Conservation is a race against time"

"Do nothing that cannot be undone" (Bettyanne Twigg, UFDC President)

There is an epidemic in doll collecting--an epidemic of doll restoration. This epidemic has been fostered by the easy, open market of eBay and other online auction houses, which has allowed collectors to easily sell items from their collections (as well as their garage sale and estate sale finds). Naturally, a vintage or antique doll that is photo-ready with a perky dress, bright painted features and a neat hairdo is going to sell quicker than a doll with aged-looking clothing, faded paint and flaws. So, collectors by the thousands are taking their vintage and antique dolls that are not in mint condition, and they are doing everything in their power to make the doll and its outfit more perfect--they curl and style the hair, they wash, bleach and starch the doll costume (or replace it entirely, whether it is original to the doll or not), and they repair tears and repaint facial features.

Now, I am not NECESSARILY saying there is anything wrong with this....what I AM saying is that there is a right way to restore a doll that preserves its originality, historical value, and that does not damage a doll. On the other hand, careless restoration can actually damage the value of the doll, and also destroy any historical value it might have. I agree strongly with, and cannot emphasize enough, the importance of the UFDC motto on doll conservation and restoration: "Do nothing that cannot be undone."

Additionally, a vital aspect of doll collecting is often overlooked by eager doll collectors--conservation of their dolls. To conserve dolls is to preserve them--to fight against the damaging forces of temperature, light, insects, dirt, dust and time. Conservation, properly done and understood, will help your treasures last your lifetime, and hopefully to also last for generations to come.

This multi-part article will help you navigate the topics of doll restoration and conservation. There are sections on conservation/restoration of bisque dolls, vinyl dolls, doll costumes, doll wigs and paper preservation. There is also an extensive bibliography, and links to sites with further information on these topics. I have taken the information in this article from many sources--my own experience, the experience of my husband who has taken an in-depth course in porcelain and composition repair, and courses on restoration and conservation taken at UFDC conventions given by well-known doll conservationist (and UFDC president!) Bettyanne Twigg, and also given by the conservator at the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY.


The following definitions are not necessarily the ONLY ones--some people would call preservation and conservation the same process. I will use preservation and conservation interchangeably here.

Preservation: Protect a doll from destructive forces--heat, light, insects, dust and dirt.

Conservation: Treat something which already happened and HALT the problem (string a doll, treat an insect infestation, re-set eyes that have fallen out, stop further melting of silks, etc.)

Restoration: Replace or fix something NOT on a doll, or improve something on a doll. Cleaning dirty outfits, add a new finger, restyle/add a wig, repaint a doll.

General Principles of Doll Restoration

How Severe Should The Restoration Be?: I've mentioned it in the introduction, and I'll mention it here again--do NOTHING that cannot be undone--at least to any vintage or antique doll with historical value--most antique dolls, vintage dolls with original clothing an presentation, etc. Now, obviously if you have a vintage Barbie that is a basket case--no face paint, vinyl splits, hair a mess, no original clothing--the doll has little or NO historical (or other!) value, and that is a perfect candidate for no-holds barred restoration including perhaps treatments and repainting that cannot be undone! The only caveat I have here is if you DO restore a doll that is a total basket case, PLEASE employ the proper ethics and make sure that all such restoration is disclosed upon the sale of the doll.

Wash Your Hands! Wash your hands quite a bit while you are working with vintage or antique dolls-or wear gloves. Oils from your hands transfer to dolls and doll clothing. You don't SEE the oils, but the oils attract bugs, mold, and dirt. Some people use baby wipes to clean their hands--I use plain soap (such as ivory) and water only since I am worried about types of residue that baby wipes may leave on dolls and their clothes. Another reason to use gloves when working with dolls is to protect yourself from substances that can be ON new, unfamiliar your dolls--You should use gloves to protect yourself when working with unfamiliar dolls (you don't know if pesticides have been used, etc.) I will admit that I have a hard time following this advice, as I hate to wear gloves when I am working.

SEE What You are Doing: Use white cloths to clean dolls so you can SEE what the effect is--are you lifting just dirt from the doll, or also paints, too? And, only work in a very well lighted area; if you have daylight corrected bulbs, that is ideal.

Be Prepared: Have everything before you (tools, materials, etc). set out before you start. Don't eat/drink while you are working (bad things from the doll can get in your food and drink--bugs, chemicals, even pesticide residues--you DON'T know what treatments/problems a doll ahs before you get it!) AND, trust me, coffee spilled all over a composition doll or body you are working on WILL damage it.

Ventilation!: Only repair dolls with proper ventilation--some of the items that are used for cleaning and restoring dolls can give off harmful fumes.

Keep a Trail....If you take a doll completely apart, sketch things before you do this so you can get them back together again (this is particularly important for dolls with complicated bodies that need restringing).

Ethics of Selling a Restored Doll: If you sell a doll, you MUST disclose any changes made to the doll--any repainting, repairs, added materials (new eyes, wig). For certain vintage dolls such as vintage Barbie, even restyling the hair effects the value and should be disclosed; so does washing the clothing. However, you do not have to disclose basic conservation measures such as cleaning dolls. For antique dolls, washing of clothing and restyling of wigs is generally not required to be disclosed.

Don't miss the rest of the articles (below!) in this series--find out everything from how to clean a composition doll, to how to repair a split in a vinyl Barbie doll, to how to clean doll clothes safely, and also where to find LOTS of additional information!

Second Page > General Principles of Doll Conservation: How To Make Your Treasures Last! > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Third Page > Tips For Successful Doll Restoration > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

New Newsletter

From Denise Van Patten, your Guide to Doll Collecting
Happy New Year to all! Hard to believe that this is 2012, and will be my 14th year at Doll Collecting at! This week, we take a look at New Year Resolutions for doll collectors, and also our series on doll repair and display. Until next year! Denise

New Year Resolutions for Doll Collectors

Its the start of a new year, which means its time to review everything in your life--including your doll collection. Here are my New Year Resolutions that every doll collector should make. ... Read more
See More About: doll insurance doll display doll shows

Doll Repair - Everything You Need To Know

If you take stock of your doll collection when taking down your decorations and makking your New Year resolutions, you may glance over at a stack of dolls needing repair, If so, you'll need to read this series on doll repair and conservation... Read more
See More About: doll conservation doll restoration doll repair

Doll Stands for Display

If you collect stamps, they sit in a stamp album. If you collect cars, they stand on their own four wheels. If you collect quilts, they hang on a wall. But, what about dolls? Dolls need to be displayed...and generally, that means that they need to be standing in a doll cabinet. Sure, you might... Read more
See More About: doll display doll cabinets doll accessories

New Series of Barbie Dolls of The World Just Released!

The Barbie Dolls of the World is one of the longest-running and best-selling Barbie doll series ever! The newest Barbie Dolls of The World series has just been released! Highlights... Read more

Friday, December 23, 2011

For Quilters

Something I love but don't get to do much of due to time contstraints; I am sharing my latest quilters newsletter. Enjoy! PS: The local quilters guild features a show where I've bought handmade cloth dolls, art dolls, and supplies, as well as quilting materials. Just another place to find dolls!

I recently attended Fall Quilt Market in Houston and saw previews of new and exciting products in the world of sewing and quilting notions. There are a few items coming out soon that will be of interest to you, and some current products that are so great, they deserve a second look. I have found that a great product is sometimes overlooked for a few markets before it is "discovered." Here are a few products I feel are worth checking out ...

In the Quilting World
Notions for Quilting

Quilt Market can be overwhelming. I usually have to walk the whole floor first, before I can actually see what's there. I am first and foremost, looking at the color trends of textiles so that I can bring you, our reader, the newest in quilting fabrics and design. I look for great designers I feel will be of interest to you, and I try to be ahead of the pack. My mission is to keep you inspired and to keep you quilting. Read more »

Tips & Tricks
Letters From Our Readers

It seems that our Tips & Tricks section has become the most popular part of our newsletter. If you have something you would like to share with your fellow quilters, please do. We will try to publish as many as we can. Read more »

Free Pattern
True Lover's Knot

True Lover's Knot is the perfect traditional pattern to explore a two-fabric quilt design. Working with two fabrics can be a lot of fun if you have the right contrast. Contrast is what makes the design "pop." Light and dark can be a striking combination. Read more »

Let's Bind It!
I hope you find the information from our readers helpful, and I hope you give some thought to some of the notions and sewing products we have mentioned in this newsletter. Some of the products may make your quilting much more enjoyable ... Read more »

Table of Contents
In the Quilting World
• Notions for Quilting
Tips & Tricks
Free Pattern
Let's Bind It!

Click here to browse through every page of the Clotilde catalog!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Things we Like for the Holidays

1. Lights and displays of all types
1a. Oyster Dressing
2. Buying bell bird feeders for the birds
3. Christmas cards, sending and getting
4. Homemade gifts
5. Cookie Walk
6. Delivering presents

7. Department store windows, past and present, and books about them
8. Yes, fruitcake and plum pudding
9. Xmas mysteries and books
10. Decorating trees
11. Rotating ornaments and hanging new ones
12. Shopping all year, especially ornamnents
13. Christmas dinners
14. Baking mom's recipes
15. Decorating the doll houses
16. Remembering my mom and her traditions
17. Carols and Xmas music on the radio
18. Xmas at school for hte kids
19. January Xmas with our friends
20. Scented candles and pine
22. Church memories singing with the choir and making choir books
23. Candy canes, and later, candy canes in hot cocoa
24. Walking dogs on Xmas morning and greeting everyone else on the street with Merry Christmas!
25. Wrapping last minute presents
26. Opening presents, though for me, that was years past. I don't get any now.
27. New toys and dolls on display
28. Xmas historical open houses
29. Xmas walks and hot chocolate
30. Memories of Xmas past at Macys, Dobbs, Famous Barr, Marshall Field and Yule Log
31. Full stockings on Xmas Morning
32. Hiding and hanging small presents to be found through the 12 days of Xmas
33. Mateus at dinner
34. Lobster and shrimp for dinner
35. Trips to see Xmas lights
36. Dropping money in Salvation Army Kettles
37. Making Donations to the Salvation army and Goodwill over the Holidays
38. Hannukah Lights
39. After Xmas ornament sales
40. Kwanzaa ornaments
41. New Years night with our Friends
42. Going out on Christmas Eve for lunch to catch the last minute shoppers
43. Candy Cane pie
44. Holiday Lattes

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Toys Soldiers

Chapter 2
Toy Soldiers

In the First World War soldier dolls and tin
soldiers sometimes served in the chauvinistic and militant training of the young. The spirit of war
entered the nursery.
Manfred Bachman
Dolls the Wide World Over

Millions of children throughout the centuries have enjoyed fighting mock battles with toy soldiers. Little boys and girls have long saved their pennies and pocket money to buy small figures of lead and tin with which to people their dreams of heroism nd glory. In fact, the Brontë children's earliest literary endeavors were stories that they wrote about a set of toy soldiers that belonged to Branwell Brontë. Much has been written about the dangers of war toys, including soldiers. Yet, all the criticism does not seem to quell interest in them. One wonders why this is so; recent films including Apocalypse Now, The Killing Fields, Platoon, and Saving Private Ryan have accurately, perhaps too accurately, portrayed the horrors and senselessness of war. In the same light, many novels like Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage and Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum" have also done much to debunk the romanticism of a soldier's life. Yet, children still adore toy soldiers. Some may claim that playing with war toys is cathartic because such play allows children to act out their aggressions in harmless settings, while others may seek to foster courage and patriotism through soldier play. One need only think of Lovelace's famous poem, "To Lucasta on Going to War" and its famous line, "I could not love thee so, dear, loved I not honor more."
At least one teacher I know who is an expert in children's literature has implied that war games, and even violent play, are an innate part of childhood. She has observed that, even if one takes away all toy guns from a little boy, he will chew a peanut butter sandwich into a gun, point it, and shout, "Bang! Bang!" Whatever the reason for their existence, however, toy soldiers, particularly of metal, are here to stay, and are more popular than ever.
The earliest model soldiers were probably made of wood. They represented Prince Ensah's guard and date to the twelfth Egyptian Dynasty, 2000 B.C. Like other dolls, the early toy soldiers were not meant to be toys. Rather, they accompanied their deceased owners to the underworld. One historian has said that model solders were not really popular in the Ancient world, (Alberini 5), but he then cites a Roman legionary made of tin from the Imperial Epoch (6). Also, a fifteen inch bronze model of an equestrian survives from ancient Greece. Flat lead soldiers existed in Rome in the third century A.D. The most famous model soldiers of recent times are probably the life-sized army of Chinese figures which numbered in the thousands and once adorned an emperor's tomb. These are currently reproduced as clay miniatures and may be purchased in many import and specialty stores.
As toys, model soldiers first appeared in the Middle Ages (Fawcett 215). Of these, Leslie Gordon has said that "[e]xcept for the ancient 'magic' doll, it is possible that the toy soldier, who made his first appearance in Europe in Medieval times, was the first doll to be made of metal" (43). Some of these soldiers may have had model accessories and buildings. For example, there is a four inch wooden model of the Bloody Tower of the Tower of London which may have belonged to the Little Princes murdered there. One author speculates that this model had little figures, perhaps made of metal, to go with it (Garrat 12). Such a concept is not hard to envision; even ancient dolls had tiny dishes and other accessories with them, and companies like Playskool and Lego, manufacturers of educational playthings, make toy castles complete with knights and guards.
Interest in toys that teach is not unique to our centuy. In the fifteenth century, historical model soldiers first appeared. Marie d' Medici is supposed to have had silver toy soldiers made for her son, Louis XIII (Alberini). As an adult, Louis supposedly melted them down to fund his wars (6). Bronze-cast tournament toys existed as early as 1490 and the Kunst Historiches Museum in Vienna has several examples. Also, the toy museum in Salzburg has a large collection of toy soldiers and model figures. One group represents five members of the ski patrol. They are complete to their clubs, rifles and ski poles.
Another group from the Salzburg Museum represents an open carriage with two, well-dressed passengers. The driver and his groom wear plumed helmets and the horse are white. The entire piece is well- painted and appears to be beautifully preserved. Still another interesting arrangement represents a group of jockeys. Part of the display includes dice, coins, and other paraphernalia of gambling. In the background is a flier explaining the steeple chase.
Some of these early soldiers and models were breathtaking in detail. One incredibly intricate lead musketeer is French and dates from about the time of Henry IV. It stands three inches (Garrat 13). At Cluny are two Medieval knights made of tin. Some of the Cluny soldiers were worked in gold and silver decorated with enameled bronze (Harris 8). A similar ship with soldiers in the Victoria and Albert Museum is German in origin. One of these ships represents Charles V and his court moving on deck (8).
By the early sixteenth century, some model and toy soldiers were on rollers and held miniature lances. The eighteenth century discovery of alloys facilitated the manufacture of toy soldiers (Alberini 7). Now, other metals could be mixed with the inexpensive tin to make a variety of goods. Standardized uniforms also came into use. As a result, the figures could be mass produced. Early boxed sets were sold unpainted by military unit in wooden boxes. They came in weights of 1 lb, 1/2 lb and 1/8 lb. Each kit contained from twenty to 150 soldiers (7). It is difficult to determine which manufacturer made these early soldiers because they were made before registration laws existed. Some manufacturers, however, marked their figures with initials (White 58).
Apparently, Frederick the Great inspired the creation of model soldiers in England (Hillier APOT 70). One early version was a "flat soldier," 30 mm in height (70). This height became standard for one maker, Henrichsen of Nuremburg, and was gradually adopted by others (70). Heinrichsen's sets included well-written histories to educate children (70).
In France, Ronde-Bosse created solid, three-dimensional soldiers in the eighteenth century (Alberini 7). Lucotte produced lead soldiers in 1789. Other sets came in elaborate boxes with the trademark CBG for Cuberly, Blondel and Gerbveau. This trademark is still used today. The Napoleonic sets wrapped in cellophane are popular.
Interesting and amusing stories about toy soldiers abound. the most famous is, perhaps, Hans Christian Andersen's "The Brave Tin Solder." Webster's play The Duchess of Malfi mentions toy soldiers as does Ben Jonson's The Devil is an Ass. Furthermore, in her memoirs, Catherine the Great discusses how the Czar Peter played with his model soldiers when he was Grand Duke (Harris 12). Some of these were lead (12). Supposedly, Napoleon used toy soldiers to plan battle strategies (Wenham Museum Collection 81). Some of his soldiers have been exhibited at the Coopers Union in New York. Also, a goldsmith named J.B. Odfiot is said to have made toy soldiers for Napoleon's son in 1812 (811).
Because of their popularity in the nineteenth century, old sets of soldiers were often forged. There is one anecdote of a dishonest shopkeeper who threw new solders made in the Medieval style in the Seine, then fished them out to sell as antique
(Alberini 6).
The historical archives of Barcelona, Spain, have a variety of metal figures and soldiers made from nineteenth century molds. These include dancers and figures in costumed, religious figures, etc. They are platy, painted in bright colors (Galter 498). The Salzburg Toy Museum has a large collection of unpainted, flat figures.
In 1820, William Britain devised hollow metal soldiers. This development was quite an innovation because now, more and cheaper soldiers could be produced, and more could afford them (Alberini 8). The United States contributed to the popularity of hollow soldiers by beginning to sell kits with molds and ready-yo-paint soldiers (Wenham Museum Collection 81). American poet Robert Lowell describes an amusing childhood incident were he convinced a friend with a fantastic collection of model lead soldiers to trade whole battalions of them for his own crude, papier maché models.
A variety of metal soldiers are still made. Several years ago, the television show "Falcon Crest" even had a character with a whole collection of them. A 1965 Hauser catalog shows of variety of soldiers, animals and fairy tale figures done in the style of the older, three-dimensional models. All, however, are plastic. The cover of the catalog shows a smith hammering with a red-hot iron on an anvil. The latest movie to star Robert DeNiro, Ronin, features an enviable collection of Japanese samurai lead soldiers.
Furthermore, Helmet Kranks of Salzburg has created an incredibly detailed model of an armoured general, circa 1580, in papier maché, wood, leather and metal. Every feather in his helmet is in place and his real sword rests properly in its tiny scabbard (Garrat52). The author's favorite model soldier are those of English artist Russel Gammage. His Gauls, Celts and Barbarians are complete with long hair awash in lime, long moustaches, breeches and colorful tunics. The Gauls lean against their long shields, arms crossed in defiance. They look as if they are awaiting further orders. These life-like figures are interesting to compare with the original Celtic bronze idols made centuries before. Gammage is a trained artist who used to design figures for the firm of Graham Farish (89). These lead models have influenced current action figures like the Spawn series by Todd McFarlane. Many of these are also created in cold cast resin, but are painted in the colors and traditions of the old metal soldier. McFarlane Toys also insists on paying great attention to detail, so that figures like Cosmic Angela are near-perfect miniatures with life-like dimensions. These "soldiers," however, recreate in three dimensions characters from old comic strips based on Celtic and Medieval Epics. Hence, the Spawn figures, and other dolls like them, allude to the Celtic Warrior Queens like Cartimandua and Boadicia.
If warrior queens and women soldier figures are popular as collectibles, one has to observe that many of the artists who design and create them are also women. Women also collect toy soldiers. Two are Kathleen Ball Nathaniel and Mme. Fernande Metayel, Paris. Mme. Metayel is an outstanding artist who took-up painting models after the deaths of her husband and father. She has won many honors for her work (Garrat 77). Margaret Cruikshank, who started the Mystery Doll Club, a mail order club where girls received a kit for dressing dolls from foreign countries, collects dolls in military dress. The author, too enjoyed toy soldiers when young and remembers playing nurse to the fallen plastic models of a childhood friend. He relegated her to this position because "she was a girl." A noted collector and doll author, Mary Hillier, has similar memories. Another time, the author rescued and reclaimed a number of tiny, red plastic revolutionary patriots from t he gravel of a friend's drive way where they had been abandoned. Aramis men's cologne offered lead British guards as a Christmas promotion in 1988. Other figures in lead were made by the same companies, but they represented other people besides soldiers. The author has figures dating from the forties which once belonged to her uncle. One is of a tiny farm woman. In her molded left arm, she holds a basket, but her right arm is separately jointed and swings back and forth. The author also has older figures representing comedian Charlie Chaplin and Abraham Lincoln. These remain unpainted. Many painted models from the forties and fifties of this century represent Native Americans of various tribes in different poses, horses, Civil War soldiers, and Arabs and their Steeds, the latter, perhaps, in tribute to Lawrence of Arabia. All these are marked "England" in embossed letters underneath their stands. For awhile, British companies painted the skin tones of their soldiers according in various shades of brown and tan, so that African soldiers were dark brown, but Greek and Turkish soldiers were light brown.
Toy soldiers, then, were among the earliest toy dolls and metal dolls. They are a colorful source of history for everyone and continue to be created to the delight of children everywhere.
Since the days they were made in metal, they have been recreated in many materials. One unusual doll in the author's collection hails from Hong King. He is a china head doll with china limbs, dressed as a British soldier. What makes him interesting is that, while his dress and painted blonde hair and blue eyes are European, his sculpted features are Asian. To the people of Hong Kong who created him, he is their portrait of the British who colonized them. Also, besides the famous G.I. Joe still made today, their are companies making historical soldiers of plastic representing Napolean, Civil War Generals Lee and Grant, George Washington, and others. There is even a set raising the flag at Iwo Jima. G. I. Joe by Hasbro has several series of soldiers, including one representing Generals Patton, Colin Powell, and MacArthur. Another doll fittingly represents Bob Hope, who entertained American Troops so many years overseas. Women are not ignored, either. Israel produces female army soldiers, and the G.I. Joe nurse is among the most desirable Hasbro figures. Recently, the company created a special edition G.I. Jane, after Demi Moore's movie. (Ms. Moore, it will be remembered, is also an avid doll collector). That dolls often echo social and political trends is apparent in the history of G.I. Joe. Betty O. Bennett writes that G.I. Joe's sales suffered during the height of the Vietnam War because of the outry against war toys (78). Before that time, G.I. Joe and his buddies were bringing Hasbro thirty-five to forty million dollars in revenue.
For those with more exotic tastes, there are female warrior figures including Lady Death, Xena Warrior Princess, The Golden Girls by Galoob, and She-Ra from Mattel's Masters of the Universe series. Ironically, many of these soldiers are static; that is, they are not mechanical, though they represent men and women who needed to be agile and in constant motion to survive in battle. The next chapters describe dolls from all "walks of life" that not only portray certain characters, but also move and even speak like them. They are the "uncanny dolls" of which Rilke and Freud wrote, and the muses of both nightmares and dreams. In short, the next two chapters discuss automata and mechanical dolls.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Newsletters of Interest

Museum of Childhood: Delveinto the realms of fantasy, illusion and enchantment with our major new exhibition revealing how magic has been embraced for hundreds of years.

'Dragon', children's poster, Wayne Anderson, England 1974 (click image for larger version)
Enter here for a chance to win bags of Magic Worlds goodies from the Museum shop.

Magicians were and are held in high regard, some as popular entertainers and some as higher beings. From the Indian rope trick to Derren Brown’s modern take on illusion, adults and children alike have always been in awe of magic and its practitioners.

Magic Worlds explores the world of fairy tales and fantasy literature, the history and origins of magic and how themes of magic have influenced many artists and writers. The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey into miniature magical worlds, complete with witches, wizards, fairies and magical creatures. Objects on display include costumes, tricks and illusions, film merchandise, optical toys, paintings and ceramics, otherworldly dolls and puppets and illustrated books, together with interactive hands-on activities.

A world of marvellous tales and exciting adventures. To enter a fantasy world is to step outside reality and expect things to be different. Fairy stories are pure fantasy. These are old tales passed down originally by word of mouth and later collected together by people such as Charles Perrault and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

Fantasy literature started in the mid 19th century. Some of these stories are about completely separate worlds - some that exist in their own right, like Middle Earth, and some, like Narnia, that ordinary people step into. In others, the real and fantasy worlds exist side by side, as in the Harry Potter books, operating for the most part exclusive of each other.

This is a world where you cannot believe your eyes. People have always been fascinated by illusion and trickery. Optical devices, particularly in the 19th century, used scientific principles and were designed to both educate and entertain. They are still as intriguing today.

Magicians and magic have long been associated with Eastern countries. The tricks of Indian street markets were brought back to England during the 19th century and quickly gained a foothold in the world of variety theatre. Magicians became the film stars of their day and performed to the highest in the land. Today magic as spectacle has become commonplace and magicians appear regularly on television.

This is a world of magical creatures and beings. It is above all a place of the imagination.

People can experience wonder in everyday life but still actively seek it out in the worlds of fantasy and magic. Fairies and other magical figures inspire artists to produce work that can be beautiful or sinister, or both, reflecting the different aspects of enchantment.

Fairies, elves and pixies are usually regarded as kind creatures associated with the natural world. Witches and dragons generally belong to the darker side of magic. Other figures, such as wizards, mermaids and unicorns, lie somewhere in between.

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December 13, 2011

Dear Collectors,

Please find the new pics of Jon Wigged Basic - Too below! Thanks for you
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Doll Museum- A Web Museum on the History of Dolls

Here is a link to one of my other blogs which features the history of dolls. We are on religious dolls, Santos, Santons de Provence, and nativities:

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

An Avid Collector; I feel a book Coming On!

See, below!

Recently, the media has been having a field day with the mysteries surrounding the reclusive heiress Huguette Clark, who died at age 104 on May 24, 2011. She was the heiress to a $400 million copper fortune left to her by her father United States Senator William A. Clark, who died when she was only 21. She was married only once, briefly, in 1928 (a marriage that lasted only 2 years, until August 11, 1930 ) and the last known photo of her was taken in 1930. Although having lavish mansions in Connecticut and California plus several appartments on Park Avenue in New York, she spent her last 20 years living in a hospital room (and by some reports, never even once set foot in her Connecticut properties). She seems to have two wills, and there seems there will be an intense estate fight between her relatives and some of her advisors.

Hugette Clark Had A Huge Doll Collection

I found all of this vaguely interesting....but I didn't really sit up and take notice until MSNBC wrote an article that detailed some of Ms. Clark's spending in her last years, and the information clearly showed that Ms. Clark was a major doll collector! According to the very first words of the MSNBC article, Ms. Clark spent "More than $3 million dollars on dolls." The article further goes on to detail her spending on dolls as follows: MS. Clark spent $2.5 million at Au Nain Bleu, a well-known and historic doll shop in Paris, in 110 separate payments from 1997 to 2006. The largest payment was for $82,513 in February 2004. She also spent $729,000 at doll auction house Theriault's (which holds the world record for most expensive doll ever sold at auction), in 21 payments from 1997 to 2009. The largest payment was $232,680 July 2007.

If Hugette Clark Spent That Money on Art or Cars, It Wouldn't Seem Eccentric or Strange

The entire tone of the MSNBC article was a bit snarky about how Hugette Clark spent her money--the title was "The 1 percent of the 1 percent: How Huguette Clark's millions were spent." They also called her $43 million checking account a "magical bottomless checking account." Well, if she had over $400 million, then that is about 1/10 of her wealth. How is that odd if you look at it that way? Sure, we'd all like a magical bottomless checking account with a few ten million in it, but hey, it was her money and her wealth, not ours.

As for the way her spending on dolls was portrayed--you know what? I'm sick of doll collectors being portrayed as strange and eccentric and culturally irrelevant. To me, perhaps Ms. Clark's doll collection was the only thing about her that wasn't eccentric. Ms Clark was a very wealthy woman, and if she collected dolls, the $3 million spent on dolls seems reasonable. Very wealthy people often spend many, many millions more on one impressionist painting for their collection. $3 million would not buy very many cars for a wealthy man's car collection like Jay Leno's. Remember, that $3 million was spent over a period of roughly 10 years, or $300.000 per year. If Ms. Clark's passion was dolls, given her wealth, how was that even of note? The only way that this would be of note is if Ms. Clark herself did not purchase the dolls, or did not get to enjoy them or see them. No information to that effect has yet come to light, in fact the MSNBC article quotes a friend of Ms. Clark's ( was she a recluse if she had a friend?)as saying that "dolls were "her closest companions."

Antique Dolls and Childhood Memories

Obviously, I didn't know Ms. Clark, but I can speculate a bit about her doll collection. At Theriault's, she was probably buying fine antique dolls of historical importance--dolls that can be several hundred years old, scarce and rare. I would love to see that collection! As for the dolls from Au Nain Bleu, it should be noted that Ms. Clark was born in Paris. Au Nain Bleu has been selling fine dolls and toys since 1836. It is not much of a leap to suppose that Ms. Clark's father bought her dolls from Au Nain Bleu when she was a child. If so, like many doll collectors, perhaps buying dolls from Au Nain Bleu was helping Ms. Clark remember her father and what it was like to receive dolls from Au Nain Bleu as a child, much in the way that my collecting vintage Barbie dolls brings me back to happy childhood times.

What Will Happen To Her Dolls Now?

It is unclear what will happen to Ms. Clark's beloved dolls now. I wish that she had made provisions for a doll museum in her will, much the way she made provisions (in at least one of her wills) for an art museum in her Santa Barbara home. One of her wills seems to have left her doll collection to her main private nurse, Hadassah Peri. I hope that Ms. Peri, if she does receive these dolls, can do something with them that would help the late Ms. Clark share her passion with the world.

Rosalie Whyel and Rosie's, Too Sale December 10th

Just A Little Reminder...

Rosie’s Too Sidewalk Sale

SATURDAY December 10th from 11am to 4pm

60% off for Members!

We are always adding new things and refreshing inventory (and will be until the day we close, December 31st)!

Rosie's Too
221 106th Ave NE
Bellevue WA

Shelley Helzer
Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art
Ph 425-455-1116 Fx 425-455-4793

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ROC at the Strong Museum


ROC the Day and
make a difference.

On December 8, the Rochester
community will come together
to ROC the Day and we invite
YOU to join us.

It’s 24 hours of unprecedented
giving. And it’s your chance to
make a real difference right here
in our community.

If The Strong experience matters to you,
please consider a gift to

Choose. Give. Matter.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Of Moby Duck and Rubber Duckies

See, below. This is a wonderful memoir of an English teachers' journey, and is also a book for those who love to live green, collect, care about working conditions, etc. I have started it on Kindle and am fascinated. Sometimes, writing a memoir of a trip or personal journal is far better than writing an entire biography. I loved his chronicle of how people found the types of ducks and beach toys and saved them all over the world. It is the Hunting/Gathering instinct Marilyn Gelfman Karp describes in In Flagrante Collecto coming to live. I give it five stars.

Book Description

Publication Date: March 3, 2011
Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year
A revelatory tale of science, adventure

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Of Dolls and Stamps

I'm thrilled to be at 10.083 views on this blog alone! What a great Xmas gift! Thanks to all. I wanted to touch on a piece of interesting historical information linking dolls and stamps. Col. Max Johl, pioneer in philately and legendary collector, was the husband of Janet Pagter Johl, writer, Christian Science Monitor reporter, and inspirational author and doll historian for many collectors. Her books, Your Dolls and Mine, More about Dolls, Your Dolls and Mine, and The Fascinating Story of Dolls are full of great photos and information, oncluding pre-espionage references to the infamous Velvalee Dickinson.

Rock Hudson even had a copy of one of her books in his private library. Go figure.

See, Below:

Max Johl:

Birth: Oct. 26, 1900
Death: Mar. 31, 1957
Connecticut, USA

Col. Max G. Johl (1900–1957), of Connecticut, was an American philatelist who specialized in the collecting of, and writing philatelic literature on, United States postage stamps. Johl's stamp collecting interests consisted of 20th Century postage stamps of the United States. Along with Beverly Sedgwick King, he co-authored "United States Postage Stamps of the Twentieth Century" (Vol. 1, 1932; Vol. 2, 1934). Co-author Beverly King died in 1935, and Johl continued the work on "United States Postage Stamps of the Twentieth Century" and completed volume 3 in 1935 and volume 4 in 1938. He revised and enlarged volume 1 in 1937. In 1947 he published his work "The United States Commemorative Stamps of the Twentieth Century, 1902-1947" in two volumes. Johl served as an officer at the Collectors Club of New York and was an officer and judge at CIPEX (Centenary International Philatelic Exhibition) in 1947. Johl received numerous awards and honors including the Crawford Medal from the Royal Philatelic Society, London, as well as the Luff Award in 1950 and, in 1957, he signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists. He was named to the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame in 1957.

Col. Max G. Johl
(October 26, 1900 – March 31, 1957) Connecticut

Johl was an expert on the 20th century issues of the United States. He was co-author, with Beverly S. King, of Volume 1 (1932) and Volume 2 (1934) of The United States Postage Stamps of the Twentieth Century and sole author of Volume 3 (1935), Volume 4 (1938), and Volume 1- Revised and Enlarged (1937). Johl also wrote The United States Commemorative Stamps of the Twentieth Century, 1902-1947 (two vols., 1947). He received the Crawford Medal of the Royal Philatelic Society London in 1938 for these works.

Johl also served as officer in the Collectors Club of New York, and was an officer and judge at the 1947 Centenary International Philatelic Exhibition (CIPEX). He received the Luff Award in 1950 for Distinguished Philatelic Research and signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1957.

Elm Grove Cemetery
New London County
Connecticut, USA

Created by: K
Record added: Oct 15, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60139283

Strong National Museum of Play Latest Newsletter

See below. Check out, in particular, the post on fashion dolls and Barbie's ancestors. It's great.

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Actions Flag Clear flag Create a Filter Print Message Show Message Status View Message Source --------- Move to: Old Mail Sent IMs Spam Recently Deleted Saved Mail Go to the previous message control+alt+pagedown Go to the next message control+alt+pageup Close message escape Message ViewDecember Events at the National Museum of Play
From: The National Museum of Play To: etsag1998
Date: Thu, Dec 1, 2011 12:18 pm

December 2011

Thursday, December 1
After-Hours Shopping Event in the Everything for Play! shop
5–8 p.m.

Saturday, December 3
Pirate Toy Fund Drive Celebration

Saturday & Sunday
December 3 & 4
Literature Live: Meet Tacky, the eccentric penguin

Mondays, December 5, 12 & 19
Toddler Book Club: Wintery Stories

Friday, December 9
Eastman School Family Performance

Saturday & Sunday
December 10 & 11
Winter Wonderland Weekend

Monday, December 12
Monday Kicks for Ages 2 to 6:
Winter Wonder

Saturday & Sunday
December 17 & 18
Winter Wonderland Weekend

Saturday, December 24
Museum closes at 4 p.m.

Sunday, December 25
Museum closed for Christmas

Monday, December 26–
Sunday, January 1
School-Break Week

Saturday, December 31
Museum closes at 4 p.m.

Visit the online calendar
for more information
about each event!


That Dress Is
So Last Century!

Discover the fashionistas
who pre-dated Barbie
in the Play Stuff blog!


Rock the High Score, Amadeus.

Learn how classical music takes video games to the next level in the CHEGheads Blog.
The museum will close at 4 p.m. on
Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) and
Saturday, December 31 (New Year's Eve).

The museum will be closed on
Sunday, December 25 (Christmas Day).


Apply for the 2012–2013 Year at
Woodbury Preschool
Families with children who will be three or four years old on or before December 1, 2012 are invited to apply for admission to the 2012–2013 school year via the preschool's lottery system.

Information and applications will be available online beginning Thursday, December 1.

Attention Scout Leaders!
Looking for a way for your Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or Cub Scouts to give back during the holiday season while earning service hours? Register now for Scouts Give Back offered on Saturday, December 10. Call 585-263-2700 for more information.

The museum also offers facilitated workshops, self-guided backpack experiences, and other programs for scouts. Learn more.

Enjoy the Spirit of the Holidays
at Winter Wonderland Weekends
Holiday fun awaits at the museum during Winter Wonderland Weekends on December 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. Join woodland animals in an interactive performance of The Mitten, a Ukrainian tall tale about a boy who loses his mitten in the snow. Performances take place on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., and on Sundays at 1 and 2:30 p.m.

While at the museum, mail a letter to Santa in the North Pole mailbox and check out Miller Manor, a gigantic 19th-century-style dollhouse decorated for the holidays.

You can also drop off new mittens, gloves, scarves, hats, and socks at the museum through December 19 to benefit Hillside Children‘s Center‘s Special Santas Program (part of a collaborative effort with the Monroe County Public Library System).


Great Savings in the Shops in December

December 16–24 ONLY
Earn a FREE
museum shop gift card with purchase!

FREE $20 museum shop gift card with a $100 museum shop purchase.
FREE $15 museum shop gift card with a $75 museum shop purchase.
FREE $10 museum shop gift card with a $50 museum shop purchase.
FREE $5 museum shop gift card with a $25 museum shop purchase.

Offers do not apply to previous purchases and
may not be combined with other discounts and coupons.
Follow the museum!

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National Museum of Play
One Manhattan Square
Rochester, New York 14607

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