Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

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

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Google+ Followers

Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Translate

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

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

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
Bought Athens on the street

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
Among first "Toys?"

ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Popular Posts

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

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

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

Follow by Email

Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

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Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren
Ultimate Doll Restorer

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Baby Boo 1960s

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

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

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

Two More Rescued Dolls

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

Restored Italian Baby Doll

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

Dolls on Display

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

A Few Friends

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

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

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

The Fennimore Doll Museum

The Fennimore Doll Museum

Robert

Robert
A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

The Cody Jumeau
Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

German Princesses
GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

A Little PowerRanger
Halloween 2004

The Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
Doll House murder

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A lovely dress

A lovely dress

Raggedy Ann

Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

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

Little PM sisters

Little PM sisters
Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From Angel's Attic September is Doll Collecting Month

See below; they have some wonderful things for sale if you can get there! I like to promote doll folk, and to broaden our horizons!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lifetime Career Schools

Well, a weekend of foragaing antique shops often turns up unexpected treasures. I picked up a binder of Lifetime Career School Lessons in Doll Repair, lessons 1-60. I would like the rest if anyone knows where I can find them. In an idle moment, I found the group on the web, still. They started in Aledo, IL, with the work of a lady named Ola Finch, at least, the doll course did. I loved reading the material, and I wish someone could send me the tests. I teach blended and online courses, and write them, so I was excited to see them proclaim, "home study is the wave of the future!' Little did we all know.

These are sad dark, days, indeed, when they should be the happy dog days of summer. I didn't get to the pools at all, and I feel that there was no summer, not really. Still, I've pulled out a few dolls that need TLC, in keeping with the themes of one of my conference papers. Today's patient was a Halloween doll, a pumpkin maiden with a styrofoam pumpkin head, papier mached and painted, with a little twig at her crown, and that "O!" surprised look of some Jack O'Lanterns. Her arms and legs are twigs, and her body is cloth, dressed in dyed muslin and calico. She is primitive, and became more so when a fearless mousie got into the storage unit [next to a large field] and proceeded to chew her little face, and it wasn't even edible. I suppose the grunge artist who made her should get kudos. I patched her with play dough, mixed tempera, and painted her to match the shade of her paper pumpkin shell after she dried. Tonight, I will attach her head.

Several other doll orphans received new clothes, or new places on shelves. Then, I write about them. What would we do without hobbies? I don't think I could think at all. Now is the time for cornhusk dolls, and dolls of corn and nuts of all types. I can't see a twig but think of Miss Hickory, or my whisk broom straw families. I found a witch on the flea market trail last week, too. Very large, on a real broom, child sized, with a wire to hang from. I got a lot of pleasant comments carrying her around, but then, I do have the official approved broom of the Salem Witches. I have been grouping pilgrims and Native American dolls, and pumpkins for Thanksgiving, and for some reason, want very badly to decorate for Halloween. It must be in the air.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Literary Doll Tidbits

For dolls in horror; aug. 28; eva simms continued:

Simms writes that the doll is the child’s “primary entry into the world of the imagination” because “the doll, among all the toys, comes closest to imitating the child’s own body: and thus “lends itself to an imaginative representation of the human world” (672). With dolls, Simms goes on to argue, a child can play at any adult rule or in any adult situation, house, school, grocery store, restaurant (672), even jail, prison, and execution. Rilke also rights that “[we] found our orientation through the doll” (Rilke Quoted in Simms 672).

Why dolls are destroyed; simms at 674:

“Without the child’s compassion and imagination, the doll is a corpse” (Simms 675).

Simms explains the aggression towards toys, dolls in particular, Rilke and others write about is explained in the following manner; if the doll, “the representation of the human form, does not fulfill its promise of warmth and companionship, it will be destroyed”(675).

Rilke on the art dolls Lotte Pritzel crated for adult collectors in the 1920s, pictured in von Boehn’s Dolls, at ap._____________________

“. . . there are no children in their lives: this would be, in a certain sense, the condition of their origin, that he world of children was past and over. In these figures the doll has at last outgrown the understanding, the sympathy, the pleasure, and the soul of the child, it has become independent, grown-up, prematurely old, it has entered upon all the unrealities of its own life”(Rilke 1) In the case of the dolls in these horror movies, they have become animated of their own accord, and in many cases, vengeful and destructive.

The dolls of Alcott, Woody and the other toys in Toy story, Miss Hitty, and Holly and other dolls in search of little girls to love them, they wait the next child owner so that they may, indeed, regain “the understanding, they sympathy, the pleasure, and the soul of the child” (Rilke 1).

From a critique of Heinrich von Kleist’s “On the Marionette Theater(1810); He writes that “[t]he joy of these dolls [marionettes] is that they are unselfconscious, free from affectation, and weightless” (quoted in mo-nochrome.livejournal.com 1).

Baudelaire, “A Philosophy of Toys,” “The toy is the child’s earliest initiation into an example of art, and when mature age comes, the perfected examples will not give his mind the same enthusiasms, or the same sense of conviction” (quoted in nytimes.com 2/26/1989, 1).

In 1989, a group of photographers who photographed toy figures and dolls, including David Levinthal, Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons, staged a show at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington called “Surrogate Selves” (1). These photo studies were based on the common theme that a child is a companion for the child, who injects it with imaginary life, that the doll in “scaled-down dimensions and simplified features . . is often designed to look ;so real it’s almost alive’ as well a vehicle for unrestricted fantasy” (1). The artists’ fascinations with this exhibit was with dolls “almost alive but clearly fake” (1).


On Claude Levi-Strauss:

“Children create imaginary world by acting on and through their toys” (Wiseman 1). Uses an example from Levi-Strauss’s childhood where using a box and a Japanese etching, Levi-Strauss created an entire Japanese house. [footnote; did Godden know this anecdote when she wrote Miss Happiness and Miss Flower?”]

Baudelaire, discussed in Wiseman, cheap homemade toys spark the imagination best 91).


There are many kinds of responses to various artifacts, according to Alfred Gell, “terror, desire, awe, fascination, etc”( Gell p. 6 quoted in Wiseman 5).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stone Age Dolls

I used to read that dolls, or figurines, of the earliest Venus or Goddess figures were the oldest human artifact. In fact, Max von Boehn, a museum curator of the 20s and 30s makes a good argument for this point in his seminal work, Dolls, 1927. Now, I'm not that sure. After reading Ardrey and other anthroplogists; I'm beginning to think the first human artifact was a weapon, e.g., a club. He notes that human-like apes may have clubbed to death orangutangs in a pre-Stone Age murder that probably occurred half a million years ago or so. Perhaps the little limestone and ivory Venus figures, usually found in Austria and mentioned in Jean Auel's Earth's Children Series, are the oldest surviving cultural artifacts.


We do know that these figures were not toys, that they had their hair carved in elaborate corn rows, that they are fertility figures, with breasts, hips, and genitals indicated or exaggerated. Most have no faces, giving rise to theory that like many religions after them, the Stone Age people had a taboo against protraying human faces, because they were made in the image of The Goddess.

There are one or two extremely rare male figures, and most date from 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. These were sacred objects, more like santos or votive figures than toys.

Yet, what made humans so long ago want to reproduce themselves, either in cave paintings or in tiny sculptural dolls? Auel invents soft dolls of leather for her Neanderthal children in her books, but we do not know if such toys existed in a frantic hunter/gatherer society. Still, it is not that far fetched an idea to imagine a child picking up a root [mandrake,ginger?] that could resemble a human form, or a rock that seemed to have a human face embossed on it. Perhaps a parent took a stick that was unusual and used it to amuse a child, or a little girl wove her own baskets to play with, so she could pretend she was gathering herbs like her mother.

Scientists are not even sure Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon people lived together, but play is an integral part of many animals and fish. And, children do have a way of taking things that have been discarded, or even attactive to them, no matter how verboden they might be, and making toys of them. I have good replicas from museum shops or made by artists, and New Age religions still revere The Goddess. She also appears as a statue in Hell Boy II.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dolls Antique Group and Doll Museum-Our Annexe and Facebook

Please visit us on Dolls Antique Facebook and Doll Museum, our annexe. I plan to add photos and other information to both. Also, visit us on Facebook at Dr. E's Doll Museum, and our thanks to our good friends Robin and Merna Throne who have helped to set this up.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Welcome to Old and New Friends, Jeff Koons Inspiration, and "Doll Stalker?"

Ah, so much to say! Welcome to my old friend from Campbell, and the legendary Nice Twice Doll Shop. Sometimes the world is small and wonderful. Welcome to Glow and the other good friends who follow this blog, and welcome to my friends from our Facebook group, Dolls Antique, and thanks Pat for setting us up!

I've had some other weird serendipity coming my way these days. About three weeks ago, I was beaten out of a stockinette and wire Japanese doll from the 70s; I must have about 30 of them, but this was a very big size of the Doll of the Seven Umbrellas. I was about to buy her when a very short, rude man cut in and said he was buying the doll. I let it go without a fight. Since then, I see him everywhere, in stores, driving, and today, at Borders, arguing about book shelves with one of the sales associates. I hope they weren't for dolls. He isn't very friendly, or nice, so I don't start conversations, but it's strange.

One wonderful book from borders was a monograph of Jeff Koons, who must have read von Boehn and Carl Fox. For those not familiar, he does forms of giant inflatable toys cast in steel, and he also casts small, kitschy sculpture in steel, Norwegian wooden trools, German bisque figurines, and he uses Fisher price and other toys to make sculpture. Like my hero Joseph Cornell, and their mutual friend Dali, he likes using everyday objects in unusual ways, but he must love toys, and know what they are. He also has a photo of the Venus of Willendorf in the monograph. Would that I were wealthy! Mr. Koons, if you read this by chance, contact us here at the museum!

Ah, how wonderful it would be to have one of those Banality figures, or one of the inflatables, on the lawn of our brick and mortar museum! I feel a second edition of the bibliography coming on! And, he will be mentioned in the second edition of the metal doll book.

If anyone else is having problems leaving comments, please let me know! I'm going to try to leave myself some to test the theory.

Remember that my other blogs have doll informaton, too. I have been finding interesting international dolls, and received a wonderful gift of fifties movie stars paper doll books. Sometimes, a doll or two will just seem to jump out at me, expensive or not. Life is wonderful because you never know where you will get inspiration!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Doll Collecting Newsletter

From Denise Van Patten, your Guide to Doll Collecting
I had a marvelous time at the UFDC Doll Convention last week! This week, I have a full report on the convention for you written in two parts--Part I (which I wrote live from the convention!) and Part II, which I just completed. The convention seemed a bit smaller than in years past, but overall the experience did not lack from that; particularly, the special exhibits, competition rooms, and workshops, events and seminars were spectacular! Until next week... Denise


My Adventures at the UFDC Doll Convention 2011, Part II

Although I was truly exhausted after the Salesroom opening on Monday night, I had decided earlier to take a doll sewing workshop on Tuesday morning...I always find sewing for dolls calming and a nice break from hustle-bustle at doll conventions ... Read more
See More About: doll conventions ufdc antique dolls

My Adventures at the UFDC Doll Convention 2011 - Part I

The UFDC Doll Convention is complete, utter, exciting doll madness to anyone who loves dolls! Due to personal reasons (business, teenagetrs, illness) I haven't been able to attend a UFDC National Doll Convention since the Las Vegas convention in 2008, and that was so disappointing. I really missed going to the conventions--there ... Read more
See More About: ufdc doll conventions doll events

Dolls Price Guide

Our doll price guides have been growing, so if you haven't visited them lately, now is a great time to check them out! With great photography and up to date pricing and identification information, the dolls price guide is a fun place to browse dolls!... Read more
See More About: doll prices dolls price guide doll values

Paper Dolls

Paper dolls are flat, they're ephemeral, and they are as varied in form and history as are three-dimensional dolls. You'll find some of the best free, printable paper dolls here!

Newsletter Update; some photos within; Victoria and Albert




Major autumn exhibition opens next month!
Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990
24 September 2011 - 15 January 2012
Supported by the Friends of the V&A


Our major autumn exhibition will be the first in-depth survey of art, design and architecture of the 1970s and 1980s, examining one of the most controversial phenomena in recent art and design history: postmodernism.

Tickets are available to book online now. Don't miss out - book in advance today.

See the exhibition for free if you join as a V&A Member

With further support from Barclays Wealth




Ettore Sottsass (for Memphis), Casablanca sideboard, 1981 © V&A Image
Review of the month...
London's best museum exhibits
Time Out

"From sabre tooth to cutting edge, London is the greatest city in the world for museums. Explore a world of wonder as some of the capital’s curators pick their favourite exhibits"...

Our very own Glenn Adamson, head of graduate studies and curator of Postmodernism, chose Ettore Sottsass’s Casablanca sideboard: "What struck me when I first saw it in real life was its perfection and the fine craftsmanship. It has a huge amount of power, force, drama. It’s sheathed in plastic laminate and although it looks like it’s mass produced, it’s all handmade".

You can see the Casablanca sideboard in Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990.



© Peter Ashworth
Design a hat for Stephen Jones

"the next must see fashion exhibition" (Vogue.com)

Master milliner Stephen Jones, Vogue.com and Talenthouse are inviting budding milliners and fashion designers to create a one-off, spectacular hat.

The winning design will feature in the V&A exhibition ‘Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones’ which opens at the Bard Graduate Center in New York on 15 September. The maker will also get a two week internship at Stephen Jones Millinery.

Competition closes Thursday 11 August, so get your thinking caps on!

Find out more and apply



John Constable Oil Sketches from the V&A for iPad
John Constable Oil Sketches from the V&A for iPad

This beautiful app created by the apps team at Artfinder gets you closer than ever before to some of the most thrillingly spontaneous landscapes ever painted. Through our unparalleled collection, it explains Constable's working methods through his drawings and sketches, and charts the artist's development from his early works to the paintings that helped to define our idea of the English countryside. You can zoom to show each of the sketches in their incredible painterly detail, and follow Constable's progress from Suffolk, to London and Brighton. The app also explains the history of the oil sketch, and discusses each sketch in detail.

£5.99, download from iTunes Store



Five Truths (Michelle Terry), Katie Mitchell/59 Productions/V&A
Five Truths
Until 29 August


"it's a visceral, immersive experience"(The Guardian Theatre Blog)

"This rewarding project, which reworks Ophelia's mad scene from Hamlet in the styles of five key 20th century European theatre directors, repays careful attention rather than cursory glances" **** (Evening Standard)

This video installation created by a group of contemporary theatre makers, consists of five short films suggesting possible variations of Ophelia in the famous mad scene in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Ten screens of varying sizes simultaneously play films of Ophelia interpreted dramatically through the lens of Constantin Stanislavski, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook

Find out more

Admission free




© V&A Images

Friday Late
With MasterCard
SUMMER CAMP
Until 30 September

This summer three Friday Lates come together for Summer Camp, a special season of events unpicking the design process. From brainstorming to manufacturing, workshop ideas, develop projects and create your own designs.

Coming up...


Design
Friday 26 August, 18.30–22.00 & Saturday 27 August, 13.00–17.00
Explore ideas about open source and collaborative design practice through lively workshops. Create your own prototype models, rework famous failed designs and discover the creative potential of working in a design collective.

Make
Friday 30 September, 18.30–22.00
Engage with new technologies to craft, tinker and hack your own objects. Discover developments in personalised production and witness extraordinary demonstrations of making.

Admission free

Drinks Partner Bombay Sapphire will serve creative cocktails from their specially designed Imagination Bar on the Friday evenings.



Marie Blandin, V&A Creative Art Photography Student, 2011
Learn the art of digital photography

Throughout the year the V&A offers a range of acclaimed digital photography courses, taking inspiration from the Museum's photography collections to show you how to get the best out of your camera.

On Monday 15 August, join our Introduction to Digital Photography course to discover the potential of your digital SLR. Combining theory and practice, the course gives you exclusive access to the V&A's rare photographic prints before tutor Justina Burnett guides you in taking photographs in the galleries. Suitable for beginners, this course will teach you the basic technical knowledge needed to create stunning images, from camera controls and image composition to digital photo editing.

Book online
£320, £256 concessions
DSLR camera required


Kings Cross Hot Club
Back to bal-musette
V&A Café
Friday 19 August
20.00-21.30

Join us for a special concert with the Kings Cross Hot Club playing bal-musette - a style of French music and dance that became popular in Paris in the 1880s through to the 1940s. Kings Cross Hot Club will recreate the ambience of that period and entertain you with a repertoire including classics by Jo Privat, Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.

Admission free



Festival of Britain

Inside Outing: Festival of Britain
Saturday 3 September
11.00-16.00

Discover the story of this landmark exhibition through the V&A archives and a guided visit to the Southbank Centre.

Tickets £50




August Summer Sale
Summer Sale at the V&A Shop

Bag yourself a bargain both in store and online in our August Summer Sale. Gorgeous jewellery, fashion, homewares, ceramic and accessories are on offer. Hurry before stock runs out.

View the Summer Sale at the V&A Shop



Waldemar Januszczak © ZCZ Film
Members' Talk

Waldemar Januszczak: Impressionism
Friday 2 September
19.00-20.45

Two-time winner of the Critic of the Year award and principal arts writer at The Sunday Times, Waldemar Januszczak is also an established filmmaker. In his new landmark BBC series he takes a fresh look at Impressionism, from familiar faces – Monet, Renoir, Degas, Seurat – to the movement’s lesser known players, their materials and techniques. In this talk, Waldemar will show what makes Impressionism so compelling and give an insight into the arts documentary-making process – including an exclusive look at outtakes and behind-the-scenes tales from the series.

£15 (including wine reception with speaker)

Call 020 7942 2277 to book


You might also be interested in...

Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500


Zanobi Strozzi, The Annunciation, about 1440-5 © The National Gallery, London
The National Gallery
Until 2 October

Explore some of the National Gallery’s most beautiful works in their original context. Walk around free-standing altarpieces, view reconstructions of disassembled works and experience the atmosphere of a 15th-century sacred space.

Admission free
Watch Me Move: The Animation Show



Barbican Art Gallery
Until 11 September

Haven't made plans for the summer holidays? Not to worry. Watch Me Move continues throughout August. With over 150 of films on display, there's something for all tastes and it will keep the whole family entertained for hours. Plus under-12’s get in free!


Coming up at the V&A...


Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990
24 September 2011 - 15 January 2012
Supported by the Friends of the V&A

Book online


Buy tickets online for our major autumn exhibition

Power of Making
6 September 2011 - 2 January 2012
A V&A and Crafts Council exhibition

The Porter Gallery
Admission free



Power of Making will be a cabinet of curiosities showing works by both amateurs and leading makers from around the world to present a snapshot of making in our time
The House of Annie Lennox
15 September 2011 – 26 February 2012

Admission free


This exciting display will explore the image and creative vision of the artist


Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Vampyre Doll Collector

Here is a poem published in my chapbook by 918 Studio, Sappo, I Should have Listened:



The Vampyre Doll Collector by Ellen Tsagaris [or, If Jenny Wren Could Have Lived Forever]:


She holds her first patient in her hand,
A limestone mother figure,
Her hair cornrowed, her face blank.


She daintily repairs a tiny break in
One long, sculpted row of braids,
Ancient dust lying on her old
Oak table in primeval miniature
Piles.

The full moon helps light her worktable.
The pale light of Hecate shines on the faces
Of her silent charges, lining the wall,
Silent witnesses to every historical epoch.

Here the stoic Ushabti mingles with the ancient Roman
Rag doll,

The delicate ivory fingers of a Bunraku
Puppet touch the satin robe of a Bartholomew Baby.

Tiny wooden daughters of Queen Anne rub
Microscopic shoulders with wax dolls dressed
In stiff gold lace,

Inhabitants of Baby Houses, once hers in long ago
Immortal childhood, themselves now 400 years gone.

Her milliners’ models, her cornhusks and buckskin babies,
Gifts of the great chiefs of the great tribes,
The Sun Dolls, the Kachinas, the elegant

Lady brought to Roanoke by an Englishman and
Gifted her by a daughter of Powhatan,

The Nutcrackers and Mechanicals,
The Frozen Charlottes, the Noh masks
And African Fertility figures,

The Mlles. Huret, Thullier, Bru, Jumeau,
Mascotte, Eden, and Steiner,

Fräuleins Kestner, Simon, Halbig, Marseilles, Heubach, and the like,

All populate her shelves and nooks and crannies, where she works.


Heads and parts and bodies in this toy morgue reside in jars and boxes,
Glass eyes peer from glass and crystal tubes once part
Of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab,

Wracks of tiny dresses embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots, and
Catherine, late of Aragon, and Nan Bullen, and Lady Jane,
All once her friends and confidantes,

These line her cupboard shelves, and tin headed babies and
Metal young maidens take up space in her pantry where tinned beef
And canned soups were stored in more mundane households.

And all were her toys first; she had seen them new and shiny,
And their boxes and coffins, and trunks, where they had
Survived,
Lay hidden in her cellar and attic, carefully labeled and preserved.

For millennia after millennia she had cared for them, her
Others,
Her Children, these “gentle vampires” crafted as icons
Of humanity,

Presents to her, the child that was made by a spirit,
That could not die,
That lived by night,

There were even a few dolls of the undead,
“Corpses” of living corpses,

Each holding a bit of herself, of her story,
Of her mother that she still remembered,

She who gave her that first doll,
The limestone Goddess she now
Cradled in the palm of her hand.

Each night for centuries she labored for them,
Each twilight she rose from her own doll-box,
Lightly dusting them with the feather duster
Given her by Queen Victoria’s maid, along
With the little dolls loved by Dear Vicky herself.
Now these were her family, her human family long gone,
Her undead descendants scattered to the four corners,
More interested in feeding, and scaring, and dominating.

But she would go on, till time itself retired. She would sit, and look forever
Young, she would Etsy and eBay and surf for more treasures,
She would curate, and organize, and subscribe to journals and
Make repairs, and sew impossibly tiny seams and
Restring limbs too delicate to survive, though they did,

And she, and her charges, would endure, seeking
Refuge in her immortal haven of Misfit dolls.











A Literary Shelter for Misfit Dolls

Fast at work these days on papers about literary dolls and dolls in horror movies. The influence of Jenny Wren is something else; I see her in Alcot, in Burnett, in a 1915 silent film, The Little Dolls' Dress Maker, and everywhere else, even Interview with the Vampire.

Also writing about Maggie and her Fetish in Mill on the Floss; the doll was a large Queen Anne or Georgian Wooden, and reminds me of a description my friend Mary Hillier gave in her Dolls and Doll Makers. Someone was telling her the horror story of a doll burned for kindling. I have a modern Queen Anne from Williamsburg, VA, in my collection, dressed from an adult pattern of the 18th c. that I reduced for the doll. I used some appropriate Laura Ashley print for her, and she turned out well. The dolls are very well made, down to the flax like hair, and mine came from there in 1987. I wish I could go back.

Hope all is well with everyone; there will be more doll trivia, soon, and a new newsletter to post. Thanks to all who read me; we are nearly at the 7000 mark! Have a good evening, and take care.