Sunday, September 30, 2012
We at the museum love unusual dolls best; corn dollies fit into that category. Many are not even of human shape; they are abstract, many circular or triangular, two geometric shapes associate with women's bodies. They play a role in the harvest festival, and often were kept in the home for one year, then burned, and a new doll was displayed. I first read about them in Volume D, "Dolls" of the 1956 World Book Encyclopedia. Among my other collections, I collect Volume D and other doll related volumes of old sets of encyclopedias Von Boehn, Laura Starr, Mary Hillier, and Leslie Gordon also write about them, and they are featured in books on crafts and Wicca. There is a book that comes up on Google images, too. Below is a history from a site in Wales that I was very impressed with. They also sell. Enjoy reading this timely and seasonal piece about a beloved craft.
Monday, September 24, 2012
From Doll Reference.com, a brief guide from their site of all things French. I would also like to recommend the Josie Prescott mysteries about an antique dealer; I am reading one involving a doll collection, Dolled Up for Murder, author Jane K. Cleland. It is available on Kindle.
Probably Emma Clear created, or began to create, the first reproduction porcelain dolls in the 1940s. Others, many individual artists, also flocked to ceramic shops and began to make them. The Repro. market reached its peak, I think, in the 1980s, then began to decline. Companies like B. Shackman of New York made dozens of reroduction dolls; I have many in my museum collection. These were made in Japan, and well made. There were also doll house dolls, a wooden bodied mannikin doll with the head of a famous Goebel pincussion, tiny forzen Charlotte or penny dolls, a large elaborate Parian head with a decorated collar, china heads, a Jenny Lind, and Bye-lo babies and Kewpies. I stopped seeing the dolls in their disctinctive boxes in the 80s. Then, about 1985, a white procelain doll made in China began to appear in Mail Order magazine ads. One collection of these on YouTube calls them 'Wanda.' Soon, many companies including Duck House, Dynasty, Gold Key, and many others unnamed began to make Porcelain dolls with cloth bodies, wigs, often glass eyes. Toys R Us marketed a cheaply done version with open/close eyes. Many were clowns. Schmid and Gorham made higher end examples, and Goebel hired artist Bette Ball and others to crate them. Seymour Mann, a company founded by the parents of novelist Erica Jong, Seymour and Eda Mann, had their own company and made many diverse dolls. Gepettos set up kiosks in them alls. The Victorian Papers carries good examples of these dolls, and they are better made than many of their Asian counterparts. Dollar General, Younkers, Montgomery Wards, Hudson Bay Company K-Mart, Target, Everything's a Dollar and many other chains began to carry examples of the porcelain head and limbed dolls with cloth bodies. They appeared in museums in Canada, and now are plentiful in Goodwill stores. Most are not assigned much value, but I think they become colletible in coming years. They have a place in doll history; they represent a piece of nostalgia longed for by many. I know grown women who have collected the new porcelain dolls to decorate their Victorian bedrooms. I have seen them in prop in shows like "Who's the Boss," "Days of our Lives," and "Search for Tomorrow." More expensive versions appeared as prizes on "Wheel of Fortune" and other game shows. When I was young, I created my own copies of antique dolls of china using clay, playdough, Xeroxed images built up of papier mache, carved soap, carved candles, wax, etc. The porcelain dolls fueled my imaginataion. The Ruth Gibbs dolls of the 40s fit this category, too. Not many people work in porcelain anymore; a few of the Heritage Mint type companies do, and I think Ashton Drake does. The dolls are expensive to make by hand, and the best examples now have values comparable to antiques. The mass produced versions are still inexpensive; I recently bought one of Shirley Temple for $1.60 at a thrift store. Here are some examples my husband recently bought for me from a co-worker. They are about twenty years old or so, and Mint, most MIB. I hope you like the long-promised photos! :)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
On this, the 11th Anniversary of 9/11, may we remember that it is still the land of the free and the home of the brave: The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics By Francis Scott Key 1814 Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Monday, September 10, 2012
Doll Museum: History of Lili and Barbie; Outline of a PowerPoin...: Lili and Barbie A Couple of Gals! A Photo Study The First Dolls: 20-40,00 years ago The Venus of Willendorf History in General The His...
Friday, September 7, 2012
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Tue, Sep 4, 2012 10:17 am
The Stron Museum National Museum of Play
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Wed, Sep 5, 2012 3:42 pm
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Saturday, September 1, 2012
I was musing about all the places you could find dolls, and thinking of my friend Mary Hillier who always said "dolls are where you find them!" The air show is here this weekend, and I remember the last time I went. There were WWI and WWI planes, some biplanes, with big Snoopy dolls, dressed as the WWI flying ace, sitting in the cockpit. Of course, there were souvenier beanies as well, wearing tiny T-shirts, and miniature models of various planes at the show. I think the best part was watching them take off at the end, with Snoopies tucked safely inside. We also go to local carshows; I have a 14 year old who loves cars, knows all about them, has a batttery operated model, and who even designs them. More than one gorgeous vintage car has had dolls of various types enhancing it. Time out kids, stuffed animals, big rag dolls, and even Halloween dolls grace the display and the insides. Of course, there are those who like to keep stuffed animals on their dashboards, and I have a Garfield with suction who used to live on my rear view window, of my Wild Strawbery edition Ford Escort. And, there are doll hood ornaments, and dolls that dangle from the rear view mirror on slender threads. Of course there are also the dolls I buy on my adventures in dolling, and these live in my trunk temproarily. I already mentioned the dolls on the barge, the river doll collection which I hope to post soon. Leslie Gordon wrote early on that Ships Figure heads were doll related, and I have miniature versions in my collection and lots of photos of them. Eleanor St. George writes in The Dolls of Yesterday of a Japanese doll captured on a Japanese Sub after WW II. The dolls was surrendred very reluctantly by the sub commander. Remember that dolls play a big part in Japanese culture. I have found dolls in gun shops, and for sale at tool sales, sometimes very beautiful examples. Occasionally, they also show up at gun shows. It is especially fun when dolls who up in odd places, in restaurants as part of the decor, once, in Sears, a lovely vinyl Hawaiian doll graced a wahing machine for sale. There have been many buildings down town over the years that featured doll collections, once a travel agency, another time the local hardware store featured a large collection of Dutch dolls in costume with their tulip bulbs. Sometimes, the storefront would be used solely for the dolls; there was no business occupying it. I have a doll house that was part of the decor of a local children's shoe store, and our old Leath furntigure used to feature dolls in its display window. Recently, we took a trip to the train museum in Wisconisn. We saw dolls, antique ones, sitting in vintage train compartments with childsized mannikins in Victorian outfits. Dolls turn up at train shows all the time, as figures for the trains, but also doll furniture, figurines, and stuffed animals. Always think outside the box to enhance your collections. You just never know what you might find.