Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Firsts in My Collection
My first doll: My first doll was a squeaky baby doll dressed in bunny jammies. He is yellow. I was under a year old, and he came from Greece, along with me. We have a photo of me at about 9 months where I'm sitting next to a beautiful black doll, a little girl in an organdy dress. Unfortunately, the doll was a photographer's prop. My first Nancy Ann Storybook Doll: Mrs. G., my grandmother's friend, watched me for kindergarten and first grade before and after school because both my parents worked. Her daughter had left her doll collection behind when she moved to California. Some were in a small glass case in her living room. I used to look at them for hours. Mrs. G. used to tell me their stories, and it turns out, there was a trunk full of dolls in her cellar, along with the old ringer washing machine. When she moved to California herself, she gave me one of her daughter's Nancy Ann Storybook dolls, a bridesmaid in a yellow chiffon dress, one piece body, brown hair, and jointed arms. She also gave a toy ringer washing machine and refrigerator, all cherished items in my collection today. My first Talking Doll: This was, of course, Chatty Cathy, but I also got the Chatty Baby twins my 4th Christmas. I have several of them now; can't seem to resist them, as well as a couple of Cathy's outfits. One belonged to the collection of the Bussey Doll Museum. My first Barbie: Dad took me to Turnstyle when I was barely five and bought me the Champagne pink gift set with the blonde bubble cut Barbie. I still love her, and I have to say, these vintage dolls and their wardrobes remind me of my Mom and how she used to dress to go to teach school in those days. My first antique doll: My first antique was a three inch Frozen Charlotte of glazed china with black hair. She came from the old Women's Club antique show. She has her own wardrobe, handmade bedding, and a gold sled. Sometimes, she resides in the red doll house my dad named for me, known as Plantagenet House, and usually, she resides in a small glass case with other tiny antiques. My first Frozen Charlotte: See above! My first antique china head: I found her at an antique show held in a Masonic Temple that isn't there anymore. She is five inches long, and is the black "low brow" hairstyle. She had her original cloth body, hands, and feet and original underwear. My mom made her a gown of yellow cotton and eyelet that she wears to this day. My first German Bisque [Melinda]: She came from the same antique show as my first china head. I think the same dealer had her. There was a lot of back and forth going on that weekend. Melinda cost $13.50 when all was said and one, the little china head $5.00. It was beyond my allowance at that point. But, Melinda, masquerading as a Dutch Boy, came home. She had a brown mohair wig, and is probably a Heubach Kopplesdorf head, though I though she was a small A & M 390 for a long time. She has black inset eyes that don't sleep, a five piece composition and papier mache body, and an open mouth with teeth. She wears a dainty blue and white lace dress these days and goes with me everywhere. My first Raggedy Ann: Ann was a Knickerbocker model, about 14 inches long. Andy soon followed. My grandma made her other dresses to wear with her white pinafore. She is very cute and is another doll that went everywhere with me. She and her brother came from the oldest department store in our area, bounded in 1872.