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

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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!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

In Honor of My Mother, Who Made, Restored, Collected Dolls, and gave them back their Innocence

If it were not for my late mother, Mrs. Clara Fanakos, Tsagaris, I would have had no doll collection at all. She led a remarkable life, and was caught in Occupied Greece for World War II and the Greek Civil War that followed. Though she was born in Douglas County, Illinois, her parents packed up the family to go on a vacation to visit family and settle some real estate business that ended up taking 8 years. Most of her toys were left behind or lost; we only have two dolls left from that time in her life that she dressed in Greek national costumes. Later, when the entire family moved back home, they travelled extensively, and amassed their own collection of international costume dolls and American regional dolls. The first dolls in my collection came from that group from all over the world. We had a lot of Greek dolls, but also a beautiful celluloid girl from France, Korean and Japanese dolls and statutes from the 1950s, Mexican folk dolls, mechanical figures, Inuit, Native American dolls dressed in buckskin, a few Hummel figurines, one doll from Portugal, they seemed endless to me. Sometimes, another doll would find her way to my collection, either from my Grandma, or as a Christmas present. My grandmother loved dolls, but she didn't have any when she was little. Her father died when she was six, and she grew up wearing black, and seeing her mother and sister wear black. It wasn't until she married my grandpa Steve that she had beautiful clothes, but he married her in Paris and went all out with a French trousseau. In fact, both my grandmothers knew each other had gone to school together to learn to be seamstresses. My mother's mom was the one with the international collection. She hated seeing naked dolls lying around, so she would make outfits for after I had gone to bed. My mother also liked to make dolls and to dress them. She was very good at knitting and crocheting, and she would often make her own designs, patterned from my commercial plush stuffed animals. Every Christmas, she would take one of my dolls and give it a make-over. This included cleaning it up, styling her hair, and dressing her. She made matching shoes and slippers from the dress's material, and sometimes, would cut down one of my dresses to fit a larger doll. She kept making clothes for these doll projects, and the day after she died, I found finished and unfinished crocheted doll clothes in her sewing basket. She liked refurbishing old dolls and making dolls with antique heads. Some were heads that had been burned in od dumps, or chipped. We built them up and restored them to their former glory. Many times, I would be plying outside oblivious to the fact that a newly washed composition or rag doll was drying in on the bushes. We liked monster dolls and stuffed animals, and they all had outfits. When my husband bought me one of the Playboy fashion model dolls, wearing jewelry, bikini, and "fur coat," my mother said, "That's ugly; she needs a dress!" and promptly knitted one that fit like a dream. She knitted a red sundress for my Alien queen action figure and a layette for our two-headed zombie baby. All my bears wear handmade sweaters, similar to those she used to knit for party favors at my birthday bashes. No doll was too hopeless for, and she took even the ugliest specimens, restored them, and gave them back their innocence as children's toys. Her talents extended to finding hard-to-get dolls and antiques in strange places. At the height of the Cabbage Patch craze, she walked right into our local Kmart and bought one. She found Furby, Tickle Me Elmo, Obi Wan Kenobi, Beanies, you name it. She never waited in one line. She wasn't a doll collector, but she and my dad liked to save things, and they both had collections of stamps, coins, rocks, tea cups, and other small items. I didn't fall far from the collecting tree. I had hopes she and I would be the next Pam and Polly Judd, going to exotic places to collect dolls and then write books about them. Everything good I have came from her. She hated rummage sales and antique sales at first, but would go with me to the Doll Shows and big antique shows later, and then alone when I was in school. The doll collection became hers, too, and she always encouraged me to write about dolls. Tw days before she died, we were looking at an ad from The Rosalie Whyel museum, deciding what to buy. One of her last gifts to me was a Hanna Montana doll, with clippings about it she had saved from Newsweek. She was very creative, and I consider myself lucky that she was my mother, and my doll collecting friend.

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