Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

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

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Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

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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

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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

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Cloth Clown

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Native American Art

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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

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

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Judge Peep

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Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

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Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
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Etienne
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Happy Heart Day

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Jenny Wren
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Dr. E's on Display with sign

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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

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One of Dr. E's Rescued Residents

Dolls on Display

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

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

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

An Experience from the 80s when I bought my first Compo Bye-Lo

CHAPTER ____
THE DOLL MAN OF PEORIA


The crowds were even larger than anyone had expected that day. The weather must have had a lot to do with it. Rain seemed to dampen people's enthusiasm, while sunshine, like that day's bright sky and warm glow, seemed to call people outside from their homes.

I was looking forward to this particular doll show. I had only been to one like it once before, three years earlier, but I remembered the large variety of dolls available, and the wide-open display areas that allowed everyone to browse in comfort. I had had fantastic luck before at large shows like this, finding dolls in either mint or near-mint condition for veyr low prices, or antiques bargain-pricedd because they needed repairs.

Men at doll shows were nothing new to me. I had gotten used to seeing them as both dealers and collectors. In self-defense, when some Barbarain would accuse me of having a babyish hobby, I sued to rattle off a list of famous men who collected dolls. Still, I wasn't quite prepared for the man who sold me my first Bye-Lo baby.

Before I get too much into the story, I should state that the Bye-Lo was designed by an American atist named Grace Storey Putnam. She was a sculptor who had made and designed other dolls, including "Peter Pan" and "Helen Pan" (Young 113). After looking for a model for some time, she found her inspiration in a three day old infant at the Salvation Army. She modeled a clay head, then made plaster mold (113). From this, she made a live-sized wax copy, and these wax Bye-Los are the rarest of all. When she was ready to market the dolll, she came into contact with George Borgfeldt, who distributed other popular dolls by the German firm of J. D. Kestner. In fact, Kestner contracted to make Rose O' Neill's kewpies. Putnam and Borgfeldt entered into a ten year contract (113). As the say, the rest is history. The doll was made in ten sizes, seven inches to life sized, and was very popular, so much so that it was called "The Million Dollar Baby." Borgfeldt promtoed composition babies in around 1934 becaues it became too expensive to make the doll of bisque (114). In the early 1970's, Shackman reproduced the doll in various sizes and materials, and Horseman put out a vinyl doll called by the same name, though it does not resemble the original Bye-Lo very much.

12'' Head Circumference Antique My Dream Baby Doll.
Solid dome bisque head, painted hair, set brown glass eyes, cloth body, original rubber hands (little finger gone on left hand). Doll nicely dressed. Mark #341 Armand Marseille, Germany 1924
Antique , contemporary with the Bye-Low, The Dream Baby was one of its biggest competitors.
Courtesy, Milton and Marilyn Shaw, Treasures and Dolls, Bellair Bluffs, FL.

Now that we've had our history lesson, it's time to return to the Peoria doll show. I made three or four trips to the display table where I first found the Bye-Lo. The display consisted of three tables covered with all kinds of dolls, some in various stages of disrepairm others just dirty and forlor from spending too much time in forgotten attics and boxes. My arms were already full of packages and bags by the time I noticed the baby doll. She was lying on a table in a very old, torn, almost gray baby gown. She was a later Bye-lo, with composition head and painted bisque hands. She had the typical frog body, now gray and stained with age. The price taped to her clothes was $20.00. I had noticed the doll on my first trip around, and kept looking at her. Twenty-dollars certainly wasnt' a fortune, and it was a steal for a Bye-Lo; still I had spent at least five times that already. My full shopping bags were testament to that!l My other proplbem was that I needed reassurance that the dolls was soemwhat genuine. The two girls working the display table knew nothing about dolls. I got permission to take the doll to several other dealers to as their opinions, but they knew nothing. the last woman I asked finally tookt he time to give my baby, for I had already come to think of the doll as mine, a close scrutiny. She convinced me that I should buy the doll. By then, the owner of the doll appeared. He was a typical, middle-aged man, graying hair, jeans, green and white plaid shirt. "This one's from my shelf," he said, and added, "We both have very good taste." He wrapped the doll and took my money. His last words as he handed me the bundle were to the doll, "don't worry; you're going ot a good home."

And, he was right. Baby has gone to a good home. Her once dingy gown is white and carefully lmended. Shw wears a hand-knit pink, baby sweater with matching booties and shares a place wtih several antique bisque dolls and china heads. As my price guides indicate, she is well worth the $20.00.

I always knew Grace Storey Putnam was the mother of the Bye-Lo Baby, but I never realized its father was a Peoria man in a a green and white shirt with salt and pepper hair.

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