Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

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

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


A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

Popular Posts

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


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

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

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!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Etrennes

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Etrennes: Etrennes are gifts presented on New Year’s Day in France, and included beautiful French dolls during the Golden age of Bisque dolls.   ...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Dancing with the Dolls, Cotillion, Theriault's and More!

2014 is swiftly coming to an end!  So hard to believe!

Happy Boxing Day, Merry Christmas (It's the 2nd day of Christmas!) and Happy New Year!  When I was a little girl, I used my beautiful doll books by John Noble, Helen Young, Mary Hillier, Janet Pagter Johl,  The Colemans, Eleanor St. George, Dare Wright and others to "fill in" the reare dolls I couldn't find or afford.  I loved opening up the pages  to a color centerfold of French Fashion dolls as a backdrop to the games I played with Barbie, small china heads, and Vogue Ginette's. 

I wanted a collection that told the history of dolls, and as the UFDC, of mankind.  So, if I couln't find or afford a Bru, I bought a book on them.  This way, the Bru had representation in my collection. 

I never lost my love of doll books, and I never understimated their important place in doll collections. I probably won't be bidding on the A.T. or the Marque in the January 9th Cotillion auction, but I value the gorgeous catalog as a historical resources, whether it is in print, or bookmarked as the online version. Below, in their own words, is Theriault's description of the auction:

The lavish 204 page hardbound book features more than 400 of the world’s most rare and beautiful dolls. Of special prominence are French bebes (yes, A.T., H., Bru, Marque and others), all-bisque mignonettes (more than 125 rare examples), and googlies (more than 80 including rarities such as Oscar Hitt, and luxury grand sizes). $75 includes priority postage and after sale prices realized.
Wait! Here’s a better way.
Subscribe now to Theriault’s award winning catalogs for fabulous savings and the assurance that the catalog you want will never be “sold out”. On a ten issue subscription, the individual catalogs are only $29.90 – that’s a whopping 60% savings!

Five issue and twenty issue subscriptions are also available. International prices vary due to shipping costs. Subscriptions include all Theriault catalogs with “opt-out” option on catalogs of specialty dolls.
Click here to order the "Cotillion" catalog.
Click here to begin your subscription.
To receive notice of Theriault's auctions, go to and register to receive email notices. If you are planning on coming to Newport Beach for the January 10-11 auctions or would like more information call Theriault's toll-free at 800-638-0422, internationally at 410-224-3655 or email

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Newsletter

From Ellen Tsagaris, your Guide to Doll Collecting,
This week, we'll look at upcoming auctions, a gallery of Greek dolls, gifts for collections, a beloved Christmas letter, and more.

January 9th Cotillion Auction
Coming up in January, a fantastic auction with legendary French dolls, including another A. Marque!
Search Related Topics:  theriault's  doll auctions  a.marque
Gift Ideas for Doll Collectors
What do you give a doll collector? Keep reading, Santa, take note!
Search Related Topics:  gifts for collectors  christmas ornaments  readers ideas
Keen on Keane: Big Eyes and Moppet Dolls
A 1960's Art Phenom inspires Dolls and Tim Burton
Search Related Topics:  keane  big eyes  royal dolls
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
Reread the timeless classic.  Happy Holidays!
Search Related Topics:  yes virginia  santa claus  christmas
 Related Searches
    Vintage Barbie Dolls
    Doll Collectors
    Holiday Events
    Porcelain Dolls
    Santa Claus Dolls
Featured Articles
 A Bibliography of Doll and Toy Sources
 Madame Alexander Doll Types
 Social Media and Doll Collectors
 Greek Dolls
 Christmas Dolls
 International Costume Dolls

 This newsletter is written by:
Ellen Tsagaris
Doll Collecting Guide
Email Me | My Blog | My Forum

 Sign up for more free newsletters on your favorite topics

Friday, December 19, 2014

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Last Minute Gifts for Antique Doll Collectors

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Last Minute Gifts for Antique Doll Collectors: You still have five days after tonight!  Or, if you are uber-organized, it's never too late to start thinking about next year!  Here are...

Merry Christmas!!

By Mikki Brantley
    VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

    Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

    Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

    You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

    No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

- See more at:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

From our Friends at Theriault's: A Message for Year's end and Upcoming Auctions

Read the latest "Stuart Says:"

Dear Friends,

We did it. Another year. And what a year! Countless landmark auctions and tens of thousands of dolls found their way to new homes amidst world records and the laughter and fun of each unique and diverse auction. And as we prepare to cross over to Theriault's 45th year of business, we look to start you once more in the right way, the best way we know, together as friends and at the world's most spectacular event.

"January" is upon us again.

We know that this is the time that everyone waits to hear the details and learn first-hand what we are putting together for you at our annual grand weekend of auctions and events in Newport Beach, California. For over 25 years this auction weekend is anticipated by doll lovers seeking the best of the best for their collections.

This year we do it once more as we will honor and share in the vision of the great Southern California collector, Susan Whittaker. Don't know her? You soon will through her collection, her legend, and the singular vision she built in dolls.

For the early collectors in Los Angeles, Susan Whittaker is a name that is synonymous with the 1970s and 80s throughout that region's doll circle. Here was one of the first major society doll collectors. From her majestic home that stood at the top of Beverly Hills and was a showcase and famed location in itself, Susan and her husband Bob, both legends in Beverly Hills society (their parties were highly anticipated...friends like Hugh Hefner, Frank Sinatra, James Garner and Kirk Douglas would rarely miss one), began a doll collection that would quietly develop over decades into one of California's most significant.

Susan was a person you never forgot. She was strikingly beautiful, stunning even, and turned an entire room in her direction when she walked in. If you were a collector back in the day and were at auctions or shows you would see and remember her always. Some of you might be nodding your head right now. Yes, Susan was that person that no one ever forgot.

But for some of us we came to know Susan more through her dolls. Here was a woman with a unique love of very distinct and different doll genres. Three areas became a point of focus and would be her primary quest throughout 40 years of collecting: French bebes, French and German mignonettes, and googlies. She would frame this core passion with accessories and the occasional "other" doll to truly build a visionary collection.

First, the French. Ten Bru bebes, six A.T. bebes, two "H" bebes, a stunning Albert Marque doll, and dozens of bebes from Jumeau, Steiner, Schmitt and others. Automata, fashion dolls, fabulous costumes and accessories as well. This could be an auction itself...or two even! But here you will have for the first time in history a chance to make countless choices within a spectrum of the rarest French dolls. There are so many to choose. This could be your chance!

The googlies? This will be the largest collection of googlies ever offered at auction. Over 75 total from Oscar Hitt to Hertel and Schwab, K*R and Kestner. Even the googlies you know, such as the JDK 221 or Hertel and Schwab 165, Susan would work to get examples in virtually every single size. Unprecedented, and if you love googlies, this will most likely be the one event that will never be matched in our lifetimes.

Mignonettes and all-bisques also played a key part of the Whittaker collection. Are you ready? Over 150 all-bisques comprise the entire line of rarities from French to German to, yes...more googlies! It could be a special dedicated auction in itself (we almost thought about doing this!) as you will witness them unfold through the pages of this hardbound commemorative catalog.

Now, don't think that's all, there are others. Susan never passed on a whim of fancy and she also would obtain interesting and rare French and German characters, furniture, accessories and other items that came her way. All in all, this special two-day event and single HUGE hard-bound catalog will comprise more than 500 of the finest pieces all from one collection.

Excited now? We are as well! So, here are the details. For most of you the January format is ingrained into your year...yet you will see now firsthand, how special this weekend really is.

Starting on Friday evening, January 9th, we will, this year, focus on just coming together for a special wine and champagne reception from 7:00 pm-9:00 pm to tour and walk-through with Florence this remarkable collection. It would be impossible to do this collection justice with a single morning exhibit so the evening on Friday will allow you more time, the added attraction of Florence's walk-through of her favorite pieces, an opportunity to meet some of the family of Susan Whittaker, and the joy of greeting your doll friends again after a year.

On Saturday, January 10th, let the auctions begin! All day the excitement will fill the room and the usual energy and joy of "January" will lead us to amazing objects to add to your collection.

The weekend continues with so much more on Sunday, January 11th! Part Two of The Whittaker Collection will excite us once again and lead us into the grand finale...the always popular and something for everyone mid-afternoon Discovery Day auction with another few hundred dolls.

January is the most special doll weekend of the year. Sure, the dolls, especially this time, will be the culmination of greatness. But, what makes this weekend truly wonderful is: You. That is, our reunion of sorts in the doldrums of winter when we can shine together in the California sun. And see our friends that make the joy of collecting so wonderful. This year you will have that and so much more, including an unprecedented opportunity, perhaps not seen since the 2006 Lucy Morgan Collection auction, in which to bid on the rarest of antique dolls. This is your time. This is your chance.

Soon, all the catalogs and more details will emerge (have you ordered yours?). This year we convene at the luxurious five-star Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach that will be a wonderful retreat in itself. We can't wait to host you and we do sincerely hope that you will join us.

Warm regards,

Stuart Holbrook

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Monday Night Rendezvous from Theriault's

Below, courtesy Theriault's.

To see all of the dolls
 in the December 15th auction,  click here.

Theriault's Rendezvous, Monday Night at the Auctions, are conducted at Theriault's headquarters office in Annapolis, Maryland. Due to space restrictions, attendance is limited to 10 guests (please call to reserve a seat). Live online bidding, absentee bidding and live telephone bidding is available. Plan in advance, get registered, and when the auction is set to begin - 7 PM EDT - click the audio/video on button. And get set for an hour of fun. For technical help with bidding live online call Proxibid toll free at Theriault's Premier Line at 855-264-8262.

Join Stuart Holbrook, Luke Theriault and Florence Theriault for a fun and fast and fact-filled one-hour auction of great antique dolls. Watch Luke roll his eyes while Florence cites a doll factoid. Watch Florence grow impatient at Stuart's banter. Just have fun and maybe bring home a doll. The dolls are all available for viewing and bidding online. You can leave pre-bids, you can absentee bid, or you can make a reservation to bid by telephone at the actual time of the auction. Or you can be there online when the fun begins and watch the live audio/video feed.

20 inch Fulper, Courtesy, Theriault's

Re the film collection at Library of Congress; curator says they conserve everything because it is up to future generations to decide what is important.  Here! Here!  This is my point about dolls exactly!

Courtesy, Theriault's

Googleys, Moppets, Big Eyes and Manga

We didn't call them "Big Eyes" when I was little, we called them "Moppets."  I still have the paintings, prints, greeting cards, and dolls that featured the sad, big eyed children.  Other artists made them, too, I know, and some versions of these paintings featuring older children hung at Ben's, our favorite restaurant.

Sunday Morning today feature the story of the Keane's, and the fact that Walter painted nothing; Margaret painted and let him take the credit.  It was the early to mid sixties, and per "The Feminine Mystique" as Betty Friedan penned it, the credit for a woman's work went to her husband.  We call it fraud today, but really, this is more common than we know.

The dolls of Bernard Ravca were allegedly made by his wife, Frances.  She made a few smaller dolls on her own, but she is also supposed to be responsible for the realistic and fantastic needle sculpted and bread-crumb dough creations. Mme. Tolstoy heavily edited Count Leo's work, as told in Edward's "Sophia."  I have to wonder how much she actually wrote.  In the 80s, a California woman took the bar for her husband.  He had threatened her and placed her under terrible duress.  She dressed as a man, beat all the security, suffered because she was in the last stages of a difficult pregnancy, took the test, then had to go to the hospital.  She passed.

I remember writing an article for a magazine I and my then "insignificant" other both wrote for.  He hadn't finished his article, and pressured me into letting him take mine and put his name on it.  That was the begininng of the end.  No money was involved, and we weren't married, so I left.

Shortly after I came back home, before Walter Keane died, My aunt ran into him in hte Bay Area.  She was buying some cards by Keane, and he told her he was the artist. He signed them for her, and she sent them to me, so I have Walter Keane's signature, and his provenance that a lie was perpetuated.

Many dolls like Lonely Lisa were created in the image of the Big Eye kids.  I always thought they took after the Googleys, Kewpies, and Campbell Kids, but Margarate Keane didn't say this.  Besides, her children are sad eyed as well, where most ofhte Googleys are happy.

Still, I love my moppets, and can't wait to see "Big Eyes," even if the artist took being an "excellent woman" to such an extreme, but we do what we must to survive.

I'm sure that Manga/Anime artists and those behind Takara Barbie knew her.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Press Release on Jumeau 201, Courtesy of Theriault's

Antique Doll Laughs its Way to a New Record

A rare model form the “Series Fantastique” of French doll maker Emile Jumeau set a new world record for a 19th century doll when it realized $285,000 at Theriault’s antique doll auction at the Waldorf Astoria in new York on November 22.  The series, introduced in 1892, featured highly expressive children who were gleefully laughing, scowling, or impishly “making faces”, and was a far cry from the beautiful idealized child dolls, known as bebes, that had been the mainstay of the Jumeau firm for the past quarter century. Parents immediately rebuffed these “outlandish” character dolls, preferring the classic “pretty” bebe for their little girls, and after only a few years, the production, which was always small, ended.  This particular model, of which one only one other example in this size is known to exist, was incised “201.” Depicting a child with wide-beaming smile accentuated by dramatic large eyes, it sold to a private Boston collector.

The 308 lot auction by Theriault’s realized $1.3 million, with enthusiastic bidders from throughout the United States, and internationally from France, Germany, Spain, Russia, Switzerland and South America.  The Maryland-based firm, which conducts auctions throughout the United States, is entering its 45th year specializing in antique dolls and related childhood ephemera.  Collectors may also call 800-638-0422 or email for any additional information on the event.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Jumeau 201 Scores a New Record for a 19th C. Doll

This happy little girl makes me smile; I am not usually googoo over dolls just they are "high end", whatever that may mean, but I like this doll very much.  She sparkles sweetnes, light, and innocence, and she lifts my spirits.  There are only two known to exist, and till now, this one live in the same collection for around 50 years.  She broke the Bank for Theriault's at $285,000. Whoever got her, drop me a line to let me know how she is doing now and then!

In Honor of Pearl Harbor

In memory of those who died in 1941 at Pearl Harbor, and especially for the men still entombed inside the wreck of the S.S. Arizona, I excerpted Chapter 1 of Stephen Crane's "The Red Badge of Courage." Let us remember this day, December 7, 1941, the day that will live in Infamy (FDR):'

Chapter 1
The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: An Inteview with Marina Tagger

From a writer from ADC who adores Kestners!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: An Inteview with Marina Tagger:  Below is another of our series in the writer of the month interviews: Creche Figure, Marina Tagger Collection When did you ...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: "I am Excellent Woman, and I Pack Heat" Charlie's...

Remember, there are dolls of these characters, too :)

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: "I am Excellent Woman, and I Pack Heat" Charlie's...: Over the last few months, I've caught up with Charlie's Angels on Cozi TV.  I confess to never having seen many episodes when they w...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Every time an Artist dies, part of the Vision of Mankind passes with Him- FDR

For my dear friend and colleague, Bruce; rest in peace:

Bruce Carter

Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 5:49 pm
Bruce deGouveia Carter, 66, of Davenport, died Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.

He was born in 1948 to Henry and Gloria Carter. He married Laura Watt on May 21, 1983.
Surviving are his wife; daughters, Elithea Van Note and Leana Carter, Oaxaca, Mexico; son, Tony Carter, Brooklyn, N.Y.; three grandchildren; sister, Christina Daltro.

Upcoming Tonner Factory Sale

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Elementary" and a doll Named Bella

Thank you for making us almost 86,000 strong in readers and pageviews!  We love each and every one of you.  Last Thursday, I watched "Elementary", which was about true artifical intelligence, where a computer could actually think for itself, and it was programmed to speak through a doll named Bella.  I got so excited I hardly knew what to do.  For anyone intersted in Mechancial Dolls and Automatons, this is your thing :)  I suggest going into or Hulu and trying to view the show.

Also, I have a new Pinterest Board called "All About Doll Collecting," where I'll be adding all my photos and articles from Doll Collecting at,  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Marshall Field's Christmas Memories

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Ho! Ho! Ho!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Ho! Ho! Ho!: Yes, it's nearly that time .  Many of us will be reaching for Antique Santas and vintage ornaments.  I'd like to share a few though...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This Week's Newsletter from, the Doll Collecting Site

From Ellen Tsagaris, your Guide to Doll Collecting
This an eclectic newsletter, as eclectic as the holidays taking place this time of year, all of which involve doll like objects.  Read about my "score" at Goodwill and the young man who helped me, edible dolls, antiques, collectibles, and more.  
Comestible Collectibles
When dolls are good enough to eat, and collect!  
Search Related Topics:  cornhusks  nut head dolls  the nutcracker
Goodwill Finds and Customer Service; Thanks, Jackie!
Young man sells and packages thrift shop dolls with a smile! 
Search Related Topics:  shirley temple  gene dolls  softina
Virga Perfection
Mint, colorful, hard plastic little girls
Creche Dolls
Dolls have been part of Christmas celebrations for centuries; read about Creche dolls, Nativity figures, Santos, and Christmas dolls. Take heart, there are many great examples today that you can use to decorate for The Holidays.  
Search Related Topics:  creche figure  nativity sets  santo

Featured Articles
Jumeau 201
Madame Alexander Doll Types
Social Media and Doll Collectors
Eight hard plastic dolls
Christmas Dolls
International Costume Dolls

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Sneak Peek at our December Issue!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Sneak Peek at our December Issue!: The well known papier mache and china doll expert Christiane Grafnitz has written a compelling article on the early dolls of J.D. Kest...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: This just in: 6 Fridays till Christmas!!

Courtesy, Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: This just in: 6 Fridays till Christmas!!: That's right!  Less than 10!  Do you know where all  your gifts for doll collecting friends are?  Don't panic, Dr. E is here to help...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Violets in October; a Recent Memoir and some Holiday Tips for Dolls and Crafts

Violets in October


I was walking to my in-laws the other day with my twelve-year-old son.  Always look down and up, I say, or you miss a lot.  In late October, there were violets growing and blooming along the sidewalk.  They are usually gone shortly after May; in fact, I used to populate my early May baskets with all color and kind of violet, and tried many methods of preserving them.  Seeing them this late in Autumn, all glorious purple in symphony with the red and gold leaves surrounding them on the ground made me uncommonly happy.  One of my best friends in the world was named Violet Ellen, no coincidence, I think.  Just the other day I took out a bunch of purple silk violets attached to a brooch to wear.  Something told me they were autumnal yet, and Mother Nature proved me right.


One never knows where inspiration will come.  My unlikely muse appeared this morning when I was watching one of my favorite shows, Sunday Morning.  Keith Richards talked about his life, and his phenomenal immune system and strong constitution.  Well, I supposed he would have to have one like that!  He began to talk about his lemon tree and gardens, and it turns out that he was “always planting something.”  I found that inspirational, and it made his music mean more to me.  Such a simple act, so fundamental and basic as planting to promote life, keeps people going and ties them together no matter who they are or what they do in life.  He, too, is an artist, and a craftsman, and a citizen of the world.


I dedicate this blog to my dear friend Francesca and her new husband Tracy.  They are a beautiful couple, and I’m very happy for them.  We, too, are now autumnal, but we continue to bloom as though we are in eternal spring.


My idea for the day is the Holiday cake.  I’ll start with Halloween, and move on to Winter, Christmas, even Valentine’s day [the latter is not my favorite holiday, but I love the color and trappings, the Valentines themselves, and the story of the Saint who gave the holiday its name].


For a Halloween cake, which I’m sure you’ve seen in cooking mags, and in Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping, start with a cake mix, usually chocolate or devils food, or use your own home made cake.    Then, use a dark fudge, chocolate, or smooth creamy frosting.  My husband makes fantastic frosting from scratch, but for “art projects” like this, I like canned, Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines, or your store’s brand, which can save money.  Look for sales.


For other ingredients, small gummi worms and bugs, any candy bugs or monsters, marshmallows, large, Lorna Doone’s, Pepperidge Farm Chessman, other squarish cookies like Vienna fingers, or even chocolate covered grahams or Fig Newtons, candy sprinkles in Halloween colors, food coloring, tubes of icing, cake decorations for Halloween, candy pumpkins, pretzels to make fences, etc.  Finally, chocolate wafer cookies are needed in large quantities.  You will crumble them, to make “dirt.” Think old-fashioned graveyard, ghosts, and tombstones.  My miniaturist friends and muses like Margaret Grace and Deb Baker, and the late Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Thorne would excel at this type of culinary activity.  Martha Stewart would have a few ideas, too.


Bake the cake in a large square or rectangular pan.  Glass works, and so do large, somewhat deeper cooking sheets, the kind used to make the layers of Yule log.  You’ve seen them on Julia Child and Jacques Pepin TV shows.  Bake according to recipe or directions. I leave the cake in the pan.  Let cool.  Ice with the dark chocolate frosting.


The, let the frosting set a little bit, and the fun begins!


You can use a photo or drawing of an old graveyard, or maybe you have a picture of a graveyard cake.  Arrange cookies like tombstones.  You can write names on them with the icing tubes.  Crumble the cookies and scatter over the frosting to make the dirt.  Create small fences, and maybe even a tomb or sarcophagus with the square cookies.  You can get creative and slice gumdrops for shingles or use candy corn or candy rocks here and there  to make paths and ruins and stone benches.  If you are artistic, you can make Marzipan figures and ghosts, especially for the tops of sarcophagi.  Talk to your friends who make gingerbread houses and terrariums.  Make ghosts by spearing or “impaling” [a nod to Vlad Tepes!] two large marshmallows together.  Arrange candy pumpkins in a pumpkin patch, and scatter gummi worms and monsters.  You could also use plastic and porcelain cake decorations, like the kind I buy made in France, originally made for New Years bread and cakes.  Voila!  Display.  This is a great project for the Blue and Gold banquet the boy scouts have, because there is always a cake contest.


If you want a vampire cake, use red velvet cake as the base and go whiled.  You could go very Goth with it if you like.


For Thanksgiving, there are tiny turkeys and pilgrims, or you can make them of candy or Marzipan.  Use food coloring to tint cocoanut to make “hay” to scatter and use pretzels to build cabins or make fences.   There are a lot of Native American art miniatures and little tables and pots and pans to create the first Thanksgiving dinner.  These can also be made of nontoxic bread dough clay, recipes on the net, or of marzipan.  Think Thanksgiving colors, if you can make little flowers, do it,  also, large bubble gum balls with some frosting or slivered almonds attached as “feathers” make good turkeys.


For Christmas, you could use any cake for a base, as you really could for Halloween, since the frosting will cover it, but I think that a red velvet cake with white frosting would be great for Christmas or Valentine’s day, even 4th of July depending on how you decorate it.  Follow same baking, cooling, frosting directions as above for Halloween cake.


For Christmas scenes, you can build graham cracker or tiny gingerbread houses, or use decorations like tiny bisque light up houses, great with an led candle inside, candy canes to build and make fences, [think Candy Cane lane], Dept. 56 or Lemax figures and miniatures to populate the top of the cake, mirrors or foil for little skating ponds, edible silver and gold dragee decorations, marshmallow and toothpick snow men with licorice gumdrops hats, all sorts of Christmas candy, doilies, or vintage cardboard houses.  Get some old Wilton cake decorating books, and if you are a lucky collector, Dennison crepe paper idea books to peruse.


For Valentine’s day, you can decorate with pink icing, tiny cake decorations, you can make stand up heart people with cake decorations or gingerbread magic.  Also, tiny cherubs and miniature marble columns made for wedding cakes, pink bridesmaid or Quincenera statutes, tiny Polly pockets in pink, etc, would make great toppers for a Valentine’s cake as well.  There are still candy Kewpies made and sold this time of year, as well as the great classic conversation hearts, which would make great pebbles for pathways or shingles.   Again, if you are good with marzipan, go for it.


For St. Patrick’s day, try a white cake colored with lime yellow or green food coloring.  You could also tint icing green.  Make a miniature Irish cottage out of graham crackers or gingerbread, and use the gold, green, and orange colors of St. Pat’s.  You can find all kinds of miniatures There are tiny pots of cold, and these could be made as well with a chocolate dessert cup filled with gold jelly beans of dragees.


For Easter, use any yellow, white, or pink cake, or use food coloring.  Tint frosting yellow or maybe lavender, and use the bisque light up houses and figures sold at Walgreen’s and dollar stores for Easter, or make your own as described above.  Miniature Royal Doulton bunnies are great additions to this type of cake decoration, or make bunnies of marshmallows and candies. Plastic and candy eggs abound to inspire you, as do miniature chocolate rabbits.  You could use Easter grass, or use cocoanut.  There are tiny baskets in craft stores and wooden ornaments, and even miniature Easter trees you could use.


For the 4th of July, use the red velvet cake, and white frosting, and look for Dept. 56 4th figures, miniatures of Uncle Sam, red, white, and blue Jelly Bellies and berries, make houses as described above, use marshmallows and tiny American flags. 


These cakes have become great family traditions, for us.  You could adapt the decorating ideas to cupcakes, or smaller loaf cakes, and they are great hostess gifts or pot luck contributions.  They are also good centerpieces.  You can make  them as complicated or simple as you like, and they are creative and can involve the whole family.


Other Holiday gift ideas for an handmade, thoughtful, but cost-effective holiday:


  1. Cut pictures from old cards to use as collage for new ones.  Punch a whole in them and use pretty colored yarn or ribbons to make a garland or individual ornaments.  They are also great to cut out as paper dolls, or to decorate gift wrap.
  2. For gift wrap, invest in some plain newsprint, which you can buy at Office Supply Stores like Staples or Office Max, and decorate with No. 1.  Or, use newspaper, B and W or the colorful funny pages and comics.  Plain brown paper decorated with dried flowers, bittersweet, holly, or evergreens is great.  Even fake florists picks work, and all the big craft stores have huge varieties already on sale.  Watch pets if you want to use  the bittersweet and holly.  The plain brown paper idea is also very Victorian.  Aluminum foil or Mylar paper is great, old wallpaper samples, and craft paper of all types.  Brown bags, either cut up, or used as decorated gift bags work, too.  Colorful or plain cellophane tied with pretty ribbons, especially silk, which can be recycled, are pretty.  I like to use lace as well.  If you are giving a large piece of linen or a towel, use it as a gift wrap and tie it all up with twine, raffia, or ribbon.  Save little toys and tiny ornaments to decorate packages.  Costume jewelry and beads work well, as do holly leaves and tried twigs glued on to look like winter trees.  I also like to make snowmen from cotton balls, a trick my mom showed me, and glue them on the package.   There are oodles of ideas for hiding gifts, or wrapping tiny packages within huge boxes to throw off the scent, as it were.  I also love gift baskets, and use all sorts of containers, especially pretty boxes or vintage tins.  You can also decoupage or spray paint what you want.
  3. Along the same lines, if there is a crafter in your family, go through your art/craft supplies, and create a craft box or basket for them.  I include pages from magazines I like to cut up and use, Victorian scraps, glue sticks, safety scissors, buttons, material swatches, little jars of beads and clay, small watercolor sets, colored pens and pencils, mini notepads, little sewing kits, pins, and needles, pincushions, you name it.  Most of these are things I have, or they are supplemented from the dollar store.  Etsy is also a good source for finding kits of these materials reasonably.
  4. Christmas ornaments with a lovely note or card are great office and hostess gifts.  Great Hanukah gifts are gold chocolate coins in boxes wrapped in blue Mylar paper.  Go to Marilyn Waters’ The Toy Maker site, just google it.  She has dozens of free printouts and projects for holidays, including easy boxes and favors for Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, you name it.  There are other sites for creating paper toys, cards, and book marks for Day of the Dead, Purim, Ramadan, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.  Waters also has plans for Halloween houses and toy theaters, as well as games and paper dolls, all in color, all printable.
  5. Select your favorite poems, write them, select images, and make a scrapbook for the holidays.  There are many images in public domain and clipart you can use.  Also, there are old magazine images and dozens of ideas from scrapbook stores or sites.  You can include recipes, or compile a cookbook, use family photos, etc.  You can also make calendars, albums or date books.  Kids love to do it, and it is a great alternative to the “Christmas Letter.”
  6. Go to the dollar store, flea market, or craft store, and look for sales like mad.  For about ten dollars, you can build a theme stocking or basket for a child or teen.  You can put together Nativities for older recipients, a neat purse with cosmetics or toiletries, a roasting pot with cooking utensils and mixes, a bucket with carwash and car care paraphernalia, etc.
  7. Vintage books, or dollar store books, stacked and tied with a pretty ribbon, also sold by the spool in craft stores and dollar stores, are wonderful for those of us who love to read.  They make great office gifts and contributions to silent auctions.  Check out Barnes and Noble, Borders, and  Walden, they are having more book and card sales than ever.
  8. Bake, and package attractively as described above.  Most of my gifts will be baked goods this year, made from my Mom and Grandmother’s recipes.  When I cook from their handwritten, hand compiled recipes, I feel like they are standing next to me, telling me what to do.
  9. Knitters and cricketers, do I have to say more?  Get moving!  Yarn is on sale everywhere, the dollar store has great deals.  You can do simple book marks for small gifts or stocking stuffers, edge hankies or doilies, you name it.  So, “Stitch and Bitch!”  You can combine knitting/crochet get-togethers with holiday parties, pot lucks, or tree trimming.  Kids can ge involved, too.  They can always make yarn dolls or ornaments wrapping yarn around Styrofoam.  Visit you local library book sales and stores for patterns, McCall’s Needlework and Crafts, and Martha Stewart Living magazines.
  10. Kits, all kinds of them, simple and complicated abound this time of year.  They can be made as is, used, or adapted.  Michaels has great one’s for kids.  Get them unplugged and teach them to use their hands.
  11. Having said that, there are digital programs and ideas out there, many free, for making family books and albums you “publish.”  You can also get these made at Walgreen’s and other photos centers.
  12. One of the best gifts I got from an office friend was a box of Christmas cards.  She knew I needed them, but did not have time to get any or make any.  See what someone needs, even if it is small like this, and help out.  Offer to decorate someone’s tree, or help with yard ornaments.  If you have the time, give an hour to baby-sit, promise to cook a casserole or covered dish [and do it!], take someone out to dinner, help with spring planting, etc., or with Holiday clean up if your recipient is hosting a gathering.  They will love you for it.
  13. Have a gift for everyone!  I mean it!  Drawing names is great in big families, so is limiting gifts to children, but you can always print a book mark, enclose a favorite photo in a card, fill a bag with someone’s favorite candy, gum, or mints, buy a box of twelve ornaments at the dollar store, and hand one out to everyone in your family at dinner.  I handed out collage jewelry and small ornaments as favors at my wedding.  Everyone loved them.  I also made candy bags one Christmas as favors, and included ornaments made and decoupaged from luggage tags.  People still talk about them, and I will do something again this year.
  14. Shop sales, shop all year, and put all in a plastic tub.  Think small, and use the prepaid post office boxes.  I go to all kinds of craft sales, rock shows, flea markets, and antique markets, and surf the net and old books for ideas.  I watch Create on PBS, and always have my radar on.
  15. duplicate the simple gifts in Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, and other vintage stories.  Include a copy of the book, or a Bibliomania or Web URL so that your recipient can read the entire story.


Even in a recession, the holidays don’t have to suffer.  It really is the thought, and a few well-chosen and printed essays on that subject, wouldn’t hurt to be included in someone’s stocking.








Tuesday, November 11, 2014

View Catalog Item - Theriault's Antique Doll Auctions Bonnie Babe

View Catalog Item - Theriault's Antique Doll Auctions

In Flanders Fields

 We remember today all those who serve and who have served.  This poem is in memory of Mr. Gerald Wakeland, who had me look it up for him all those years ago, and for my Grandfathers, Steve Fanakos and Basil Tsagaris, who served, and served well.

by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hello Kitty! Recall

See below from M. Lipka and Aol news.  I just did a post on new Happy Meal Toys for Doll Collecting at

McDonald's is recalling 2.5 million Happy Meal toys given away at its restaurants in the U.S. and Canada over a potential danger to young children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Monday.

The Hello Kitty whistles were included as part of a giveaway with Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals last month and the beginning of this month. Anyone who has the whistles is asked to take them back to McDonald's. In exchange, McDonald's will provide another toy and your choice of a yogurt tube or a bag of sliced apples, the CPSC said.

McDonald's announced the recall after hearing reports of two children who coughed out pieces of the whistle after putting the whistles in their mouths. One required medical attention.

The whistles are red and came with a Hello Kitty figure that is holding a pink heart-shaped lollipop. The following text appears above and below Hello Kitty's face on the whistles: "©1976, 2014 SANRIO CO., LTD" and "Made for McDonald's China CCW Chine."

The recall was unusually quick, occurring almost immediately after the product was put into the marketplace. In addition, McDonald's is offering an incentive for its return. While nominal, that does represent a more progressive approach to this sort of recall than is typical.

"By reporting as fast as they did, CPSC and McDonald's were able to work together to get the word out to parents, grandparents and other caregivers to help prevent any other incidents or serious injuries," CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement sent to Daily Finance. "We urge all parents and other caregivers who believe they might have received one of these Hello Kitty whistles from McDonald's to act on this recall immediately."

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tonner has revisioned a classic, the English Sindy of the 60s from Britain.  Mary Hillier writes of her in "Dolls and Doll Makers."  For awhile, she was available in the states, and I remember a McDonalds Sindy.  Does anyone else?  Sindy caused a brief scandal in Britian when, in the 60s, a toy shop owner displayed her in a doll bed with her boyfriend prominently in his shop window.  This is a beautiful doll, well worth looking at.  Kudos to Tonner!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Jumeau Highlights from our Current Issue

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Jumeau Highlights from our Current Issue: Laughing gleefully on the cover of ADC is a fantastically rare Jumeau 201 , never auctioned before, only one of two known examples.  Will sh...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Re Theriault's November Auction

See below; sure wish I could go!!

To be Auctioned at Theriautl's; November
Cover Antique Doll Collector.  You could do a 3D painting
with an arrangement of these wonderful character dolls,
maybe they are watching Chocolte the Clown
at a speical party for little girls at the Louvre Department Store?

A few rooms are still available at the historic Waldorf Astoria hotel, site of the weekend festivities. Theriault's has a special rate of $299.00 that is virtually unprecedented in New York at this magical time of the year. Want to join us at this special price? Instead of calling the hotel, call Janet Saxe or Jamie Lanza directly at Theriault's at 1-800-638-0422 and they will make all the arrangements for you. Just a few rooms remain so make sure you make your reservations as soon as possible. Florence will be conducting her beloved private hands-on seminar on Friday, the 21st between 10:00AM and 4:00PM that will highlight the subject of "Jumeau, Bru, and The Great Pretenders." This is an intensive and educational workshop that will give collectors hands on experience with many of the rare dolls featured that weekend along with Florence's decades of knowledge to help raise your collecting awareness. The maximum number of attendees is 25 and a few spots Janet Saxe or Jamie Lanza at 1-800-638-0422 to reserve your place today. On Saturday evening, following the grand Theriault event "Let The Music Begin" featuring over 300 of the finest and rare antique dolls, we will host an "all are welcome" reception with legendary fashion designer and doll artist Robert Tonner along with Florence Theriault and Theriault President, Stuart Holbrook. This "Wine and Walk" event will take you on a personal tour of Tonner's collection as he talks about the vintage pieces from his own personal collection of iconic America Fashion dolls being auctioned the next day and the influence they had on his own contemporary work. This is open to the public and will take place between 7:00PM and 9:00PM. The holiday season in NYC. Could any place be more romantic or perfect? Like Paris in the spring or London in the fall, the charm and excitement of the city will be in full bloom. The Waldorf Astoria puts you right in the heart of it all to be an easy stroll to Rockefeller Center, Central Park, as well as all the fabulous shops whose windows and buildings will be decked out in full holiday spirit. What better time to enjoy a weekend of dolls! The catalogs will be mailed late next week so be sure to place your orders today. If you are not a subscriber already, subscriptions are the best option for assuring all of the catalogs arrive in the future at a significant savings. As well, you even have the option of opting out of specialty catalogs in your subscription like the Tonner event on Sunday.
For more details on this gala weekend in New York, go here to preview some of the rarest offerings collectors of all genres could imagine.
Click here to order the auction catalogs.
To receive notice of Theriault's auctions, go to and register to receive email notices. If you are planning on coming to New York City for the November 22-23 auctions or would like more information call Theriault's toll-free at 800-638-0422, internationally at 410-224-3655 or email info@th

Free Doll Newsletter Below from my Site, Doll Collecting at

Weekly Newsletter Doll Collecting at;  It’s Free!!


From Ellen Tsagaris, your Guide to Doll Collecting

 Happy Halloween Week all Doll Collectors and Enthusiasts!  There are lots of chances to find interesting dolls this time of year, I hope your spooky doll dreams come true!  Get out your witch, scarecrow, and Dracula dolls, and let the Pumpkin Heads Reign


Modern dolls sold at a farm auction. See what happened to the estate dolls I worked on earlier this year.

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The Shelter for Misfit Doll is a wonderful site; I hope that The Little Dead Girl will refresh and add new material soon!

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Read about a doll club's pilgrimage to the ultimate doll store.


 An Amazing Portrait in Wax of the beloved queen and doll collector was a star in the not to distant past Theriault's auction.


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