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

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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

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

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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

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, November 14, 2012

The East Coast and What Doll Collectors Did before Doll Shows and eBay

We would like to send our prayers and best wishes to all our friends on the East Coast hit by Sandy. Special greetings go out to Obscura, The Strong National Museum of Play, The Museum of the City of New York, The Brooklyn Doll and Toy Museum, and the Chili Victorian Doll Museum and Doll Hospital. We also send greetnigs to our friends at Doll Castle News, and want them to know we are sending gifts for holidays to the children of The Sun Valley Indian School.
Please forgive any typos; again, there is no spell check, and my hands are bad.
So, where did we go before Doll Shows, Antique Malls, and eBay/online auctions? How did we collect? Here is my own collectors memoir, which chronicles where the dolls of Dr. E's Doll Museum came from. I have been collecting actively since I was three years old, and reding doll books since age 7, beginning with John Nobles delightful, Dolls, and moving on to Mary Hillier's Dolls and Doll Makers at age 9 and Helen Young's The Complete Book of Doll Collecting at age 8. I also read story books like The Most Wonderful Doll in the World, Dolls by Bettina, The Lonely Doll Books, The Little House Books, Flora McFlimsey and The Dolls' Christmas, as a well as all of Rumer Godden's doll stores [More about Godden and the MMLA papers I did on her and F.H. Burnett later and on my other blogs].
Well, here is where my collecting journey began.
1. Antique Shops, including our own Wagon Wheel Antiques, Ann's Antiques, The Chelsea Shop, The Light House, Old Toll Gate Antiques, Johnny I got for You, and Robert's Trading Post. I was six or seven when I went to my first shop; they were open evenings in our downtowns with the rest of the stores. I began to go with my mother to other shops in California and New Mexico, and we began to look for them on trips. One of my favorites, no longer open, was a store in Colorado called The Fallen Angel. Another was called The Boardwalk Antiques, and was in Wyoming. Indiana Antiques in San Jose was just terrific, and there was, of course, Ralph's Antique Dolls who used to visit our Masonic Temple show from MO. I used to find small all bisques, frozen Charlottes, pincushion dolls, some comp and celluloids, ethnic dolls native to the region of the shop.
2. Through Word of Mouth and by visiting doll hospitals. I asked people; when little, I wasn't shy. We could visit some of the local doll museums, 2 0r 3 operating out of local homes and garages, and some of the doll hospitals. People brought dolls for me, and I saved my own. My grandmother had a collection of foreign dolls, and the those not yet given to me are at her house residing with my aunt and uncle. Once in a while, we read a newspaper ad, and called to visit a home where someone was selling dolls.
3. Department Stores of all types. Everyone locally had fantastic doll and toy departments, some with vintage larger than life blow ups of little girls of the fifties and sixties playing with dolls. There were Madame Alexander dolls and Vogue dolls everywhere. Furga was at Sears, and Lenci and Nancy Ann were still making dolls. Bradley silk-face Korean dolls in gorgeous dresses were at big stores, and even at Walgreens. The old Zayre's, Turnstyle, Arlan's and Thriftown were known for unusual dolls and toys. They had Barbie everythig and Little Kiddle finds were a feast for they eyes. We also had Carson Pierre Scott for awhile, and they displayed miniature rooms once comprable to the Thorne Rooms. There were displays of dolls everywhere as props in furniture stores and in Sears, and as displays in the windows of businesses and travel agents. One store had moving store Holiday Displays at Christmas and Easter that rivaled those of bigger cities. I loved a goat family vignettte, where a baby goat, or I guess, a kid, kicked his little feet under a baby blanket as his little crib rocked. These were unveiled the day after Thanksgiving for years, and it was a huge, huge deal. The Xmas displays of ornaments were also very special and to die for.
4. Gift Shops; those that sold papergoods were the best. They imported dolls and miniatures from everywhere. Hardware stores followed the tradition, and a few locally still have toys, and even Dutch Doll displays in the spring. Also, you could buy Goebel and Limoge figurines, and special items. Museum gift shops had Native American Dolls and artist made creations. One gallery had an annual Xmas fair. Another museum displayed a tree full of dolls.
5. Hobby Stores, real ones, had doll parts and store displays of papier mache dolls that looked like they were inspired by Queen Anne's. There were doll clothes on little hangers, and doll parts, mosly vinyl, but some made of plaster for The Three Wisemen dolls. There were also models, like Aurora's Bride of Frankenstein, which I passed up to my regret even today, and Vampirella. Miniatures of all types for doll houses and trains abounded.
6. Five and Dimes and other Drug Stores; they always had cool miniature plastic dolls and doll dresses, also hanging on their own hangers. Kresges would import Italian dolls in all shapes and sizes, and there were dresses even for PeeWees, and some carried old stock and doll clothes you could cut and sew from a yard of cloth.
7. Trips; we always brought back dolls, from states on the East and West Coast, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, South Africa, even a souvenier pebble from the route The Beagle. The tourist and folk dolls were fine with me, and dolls came from International Museum Shops, the UN, on one occasion, State Parks, The Rastro flea market in Spain, the Monasteraki Flea Market in Greece, airport shops, roadside stops, more antique stores and later on antique malls, a few in out of the way places that were a bit like something from a Flannery O'Connor story. I remember names of places long gone here, too, India Imports, Santa Cruz Imports, Mark Farmer Co., The Chelsea Shop in Ghiradelli Square, The Importer, Whiteway, Pixie Toys, Vann's Craft and Hobby, The Marionette Doll Shop, etc.
8. As souveniers; see above.
9. As gifts from others; I got a lot of great dolls on my birthdays and other occasions, Bisque Nancy Anns, occupied Japan babies, Vogue's Little Imp, Scooter and Skipper, a few family dolls, those that were left after the War when my family got stuck in Europe, childhood dolls of neighbors passedon to me. My Uncle Tony, babysiters husband, who went to auctions and brought dolls, including Patsy and a big, mint A and E bride, also a piano bay, my first, when I was 8, and first started playing the piano. My gradeschool principal, a former superintendent, and my piano teacher all had doll collections; I had lots of inpsiration.
10. There were not many yard sales when I was growing up, and charity thrift shops were not that popular, but I made it to a few, and came back with dolls. After a doll give a way in my house, I did very well.
11. Catlogs and Mail order, including the Doll of the Month club. I did not belong to that, but have dolls that came from there with their boxes and the foreign coin sent with them. Gas stations gave dolls as premiums, and Old Elpaso and others sold dolls for a dollar or a box top or two. There were dolls in cereal boxes, and lots of premiums to send for. My mom did buy some books for me on history and some kids books with doll stories from the doll of the month club.
12. We made them and dressed them. My mom dressed one of my dolls in new clothes, up do the day she died four years ago. It was a family tradition. My grandma helped make them and dress them. I made them from literally everything. Paper dolls were everywhere, and we even made Kleenex dolls similar to cornhusk dolls, apple dolls, more cornhusk dolls, corncob dolls made from a neighbor's field, rag dolls, clay and playdough dolls, wax dolls, cotton ball dolls, dirt dolls, soap shaving dolls, carved soap dolls, the list is endless.
So, maybe we'll get ideas to think outside the box. I got to my first doll show at age 13; to my first antique mall in my twenties. eBay came along much later, along with all other online possibilities. Yet, we had Marshall Fields and the Toys of the Hour catalog, and finding dolls was a fun hunt and challenge. I had and still have a huge collection, but mine started when I was very little.
I guess my friend Mary Hillier was right; Dolls are wher you find them!

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