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

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The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

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Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
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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, July 6, 2014

For Uncle Tom, who Collected Dolls for Me

For Uncle Tom, who Collected Dolls for Me, and whose Birthday would have been July 5th Collectors have interesting stories to tell about how they got started colleting. This is one reason I invite my readers to share theirs with me, and I will be posting more of them at About.com Doll Collecting as a receive them and compile a file. As far as my collection goes, I started officially collecting dolls when I was 3. Yes, 3! My grandmother’s house was full of national costume dolls, mainly souvenirs of travels taken during the late 40s and 50s. Many found their way home to me through the years, but the 3 dolls that started my collection at age 3 were two Greek dolls, a male soldier or Evzon wearing the traditional kilt and vest, and an Amalia doll, named in honor of the first queen of Greece after the Greeks gained their independence form Turkey in 1821. Amalia and king Otto were originally Germans from Munich. Contemporary diplomacy and politics fated them to become the new Greek sovereigns. Amalia created the outfit named for her by blending popular Biedermeier fashions with the traditional outfits worn by Greek women. The third doll was my own Greek “squeaky bunny,” my first doll which I still have. Standing about 8 inches, Bunny is all rubber, and has molded clothing, a set of yellow bunny pajamas with long ears. A human child’s face peaks out from the bunny ears. I remember the summer day I had these three lined up on the floor, turned to my mother and said “I’m going to collect dolls.” The rest is history. My mother’s brother, Tom, was an artist who worked in a studio 90 miles away. He had attended the School of the Art Institute after the Korean War, and made many beautiful things. His specialty was airbrush, and he counted as clients Dick Blick, Helen Gallagher, Caterpillar, various liquor companies, and other businesses that needed catalogs and graphics. He and I were very close, and he bought me my first oil paints and often provided art supplies for all my projects. Every weekend, he came home. He always brought me a present, almost always a doll or doll related object. Every week I waited for him, excited to see what he had found. He only complained once; when he brought Giggles home for my birthday, she giggled her way the whole 90 miles. He could hear her even though she was in his trunk! I owe many dolls besides Giggles to him; Real Live Lucy, my first Japanese dolls, my first Korean dolls, some that he brought home from the war, my first Chatty Cathy’s and Chatty Babies, many miniature dolls and furniture sets, robots, and more. He never forgot me. One year when I was six, right before Christmas, he was in a terrible car accident. He was hurt very badly, and his car demolished. It was a brand new Bonneville, too. He could barely talk because he was in pain and had broken his jaw, but the first thing he asked my mother was whether they had gotten my dolls out of his trunk. That was how badly he hated to disappoint me. Many of the dolls were drink and wet babies, and one walking doll had frosted pink hair that matched her pink chiffon dress. There was a “big eyed” doll made in the image of the Big Eyed children by Margaret Kane that were so popular at the time. I actually had a copy of that painting, and some others of these wide-eyed children in my room at home. When I was a little older, and my parents knew Uncle Tom was arriving on Friday night, they would go out and leave me at home to wait for him. Sure enough, about 6 pm, he would pull up, open the door, and take me with him to the local A&P where we picked up the delicacies only the two of us liked to eat. We would go home, and I would turn on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” a favorite of ours. He would put on a steak, and then I’d watch it while he unpacked. He carried some of his smaller things in an old cigar box, wooden with a pastoral scene set in the center of the lid. I admired that box my whole life. I inherited it when he died, at the very young age of 52. I use it to keep tiny doll heads and shards in it. Because he was an artist, Tom was very clever. He learned to repair my dolls and doll furniture so that you couldn’t tell they had ever been broken. I restrung a tiny metal astronaut that had come apart. He fixed my Madame Alexander’s when their rubber bands broke. He turned a new leg for a very tiny Strombecker buffet table. You can’t tell which one was replaced to this day6. He put together my first Nancy Ann bisque storybook doll that had had a bad accident and painted her so that you can’t tell where the breaks were. He was very good at making anything, and he and my dad refinished one of my hope chests one winter. Tom did not collect dolls, but he enjoyed collecting them for me. He endured many trips to flea markets and thrift stores, and even scouted out new ones. He brought me home figurines and one of kind toys the other artists created at his workplace; these are among the most unique additions to my collection. If it weren’t for him, I don’t know if I would have appreciated the art of dolls as much as I do, or if I would have wanted to make my own. He loved beautiful things and all kinds of art, and I think that rubbed off on me. When I see a broken up doll or android, or a toy like the mechanical Charlie Weaver that is still at my grandparents’ home, he lives again. Even now, Friday night comes around, and sometimes, I think I hear the door of a Bonneville close, and I forget myself and run to the door to see what kind of doll he brought me.

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