Sunday, August 31, 2014
Below, a piece on Billie Nelson Tyrrell's Mary Pickford Doll:
Free Article .:. SWEETHEART OF A DOLL: FAMOUS PROTOTYPE TURNS UP AT AUCTION
Free Article .:. SWEETHEART OF A DOLL: FAMOUS PROTOTYPE TURNS UP AT AUCTION
Friday, August 29, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The 14th and 15th of August are bittersweet days for me. A young friend of mine, Janet Coulter, was killed on the 14th 40 years ago in a freak car accident. She had just recovered her health after being in the hospital nearly a year, and was riding home from her job in a fastfood restaurant. She was my next door neighbor's great niece; Charlotte, our neighbor, lived to be 106. Janet and I would write, and she would visit her aunt during the summer. She was from a little town in a very rural community. We talked about farms, and boys, and music. She still liked dolls, and the summer we were ten we played Barbies in twilight. We used illustrated books as backdrops for doll houses, some were books about dolls, and they made a great stage. We caught fire flies in jars, and let them go, and watched the sun set. I have a couple photos, her letters, and two necklaces her mother gave me, and the memories that are never far from my heart. My grandma Marie was born August 15th, a holy day commemorating the Assumption of the Virgin. She, my great grandmother Margo on my dad's side, and my friend, Rosemary, are the three truly good, guileless people I've known. They never lost their tempers, never were vain, never said a bad thing about anyone. Grandma Marie sufferred her whole life; as a child, she had no toys, and went to school at 11 to learn to be a seamstress. She wore black because her father died when she was a little girl. She sufferred from ill health, World War II, the deaths of two children, her mother, her mother -in-law who was her best friend, and the death of my Grandpa Steve. She taught me Greek, though she had no former schooling past age 11. She was magnificient with her crochet hook, creating her own designs and pictures, never using a pattern. She baked, but not Greek pastires, rather she made cherry pie and chocolate chip cookies. She loved poems, and cut them out with her pinking shears from Greek newspapers. She would make little books by fastening her poems together with safety pins. She married grandpa Steve through an arrangement, and they met in Paris. She had a complete French trousseau. After the War, they came back to Villa Grove, IL, and resumed their business, Fanakos Bros. Restaurant. During the Depression, when transients would come to beg for food, she would make them fried egg sandwiches and ask if they wanted mustard. She always crossed herself when she passed a church, and she heated our dog's meat scraps so he wouldn't eat cold food. Before I started school and everyone moved across country but for me and my parents, I stayed with her and grandpa Steve. It was the best time in my life. I helped her bake, and plant flowers. We took little walks, and she told me stories and sang. She never complained, even when she broke her hip in a car acccident the day before Christmas Eve that nearly killed all of us. No matter what pain she suffered, she never let on. She would just pick up a quilt, or her crochet hook. Grandma Marie was famous for disliking nudity. She cut the photos out of certain Nataional Geographics, and if I left a naked doll lying around, it would have dress sewn for it by morning. She asked my uncle, who was an artist, to paint outfits on the Greek Figures on the vases and plates my family collected. After the war, she and the rest of my family travelled. They brought back lots of dolls, and two of those started my doll collection. Grandma loved dolls, but never had any when she was little; she worked all the time, and they were too poor. She also wore pins on special occasions, and that started me wearing them, and collecting them. She died in 1981, and I miss her everyday. My grandpa Steve died in 1979. My mother, her sister,my great grandparents, two uncles, and that little aunt who died in infancy are with her. If there were prizes given for being excellent women, she would have won them all. I miss you, Yia-yia.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Doll Museum: Huret and her Friends; the 19th c. continues: In "Old Dolls" (1950), Eleanor St. George writes that"There was one street in Paris, around le passage du Choiseul, that was ...
Monday, August 11, 2014
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
A direct quote from Sheldon on "The Big Bang Theory," but it would make a great title for a Theriault's auction. The next Monday night auction is August 11th, and as usual, the selection is amazing. I may bid myself! As Marilyn Gelfman Karp might say, it is the thirll of the hunt which keeps us collecting. For me, it is the sheer diversity of dolls, the people I meet, and the unlimited amount of things to learn. The greatest collections are the most eclectic, or so I've believed. When Anne Rice collected, I thought it was great that she had everything from Bru to hard plastic, souvenir Native American dolls by Carlson Dolls and similar companies. She had everything from artist dolls, good reproductions, a life sized Pumpkin Head from a horror flick literally everything. When I was 10, I received a copy of Mary Merrit Darrah's "All Color Book of Dolls," which was a photo study of her museum. Much alter, I was able to buy one of the dolls featured in the book, Emma Clear's Pink Scarf doll, as well as several others. She included creche dolls, salesman samples, folk dolls, early dolls, and many more in her displays. I never got bored looking through her book. Perhaps the Queen of Eclecticism was Lenon Hoyte, Aunt Len of Aunt Len's Doll Museum. Her house was my dream house, thousands of dolls of all types, rubbing shoulders with each other in every space and alcove. No surface seeme uncovered, and what wonderful dolls they were! Death the marionette who thought of herself as Queen Alexandra, the boy, armless manniken who guarded the stairs, Uneeda vinyl Roly Poly Kids, Milliner's Models, a Black Alice, wax dolls, French dolls, artist dolls, all sorts living in harmony. It is from Aunt Len that I borrowed my own housekeeping for colletors mantra, "clutter is clutter, but a mess is a mess!" Amen, Aunt Len, and God Bless You! Mine is not the most expensive collection, but it is diverse. It's diversity is what most poieple celebrate. As I look around hte living room, I can share some of hte citizens of dolldom who share it with me. Living in harmony wiht my two kittens are a vintage rubber Hummel Little Traveler, a French miignonette, an 8 inch A and M named Melinda,an authentic African mask, life sized bust of Marie Antoinette, a wooden Mexican doll, hand carved, with a wooden mask, Patty Play Pal, several china heads, two Skookums dolls, a case full of tiny Frozen Charlottes, all bisques, pink lustre chinas, mini Day of the Dead figures, miniature dough dolls, a later Lenci, Ideals Crissy, a modern procelain "Walda," several bears, and a mechanicl Santa Claus and a witch are just some of the dolls who live with me. I've seen collections where no doll is under $10.000.00, and I find myself yawning. I know collectors who collect to invest, and know money, but they don't care much for variety or charm. I like coins, too, and even money can be intrestng. Somehow, for them, it isn't. They see dollar signs, not dolls. Others collect trends. Some may have a problem; they don't get that the dolls aren't real. Well, to each is own. However you collect, have fun, and don't be a doll snob.
Friday, August 1, 2014
From Ashton Drake and Amazon.com, comes a miniature breathing, realistic baby. The new dolls for Christmas 2015 are slowly making an entrance; more soon, but see below: Andrea Arcello Tiny Miracles Ashley Collectible Lifelike Miniature Breathing Baby Doll: So Truly Real by Ashton Drake by Ashton Drake •The FIRST-EVER collectible lifelike breathing baby doll created in an incredible 10" size, available exclusively from The Ashton-Drake Galleries' line of So Truly Real baby dolls •Cuddle this Tiny Miracles baby doll, watch and feel her "breathe" and she'll melt your heart! •Created by acclaimed Master Doll Artist Andrea Arcello, this So Truly Real miniature breathing baby doll has RealTouch baby-soft vinyl skin, micro-rooted hair, wispy baby eyelashes and tiny, hand-painted fingernails and toenails •We offer generous guarantees on everything we sell - up to 365 days on select items! If you need to make a return, you'll receive 100% of everything you paid. •This doll is not a toy, but a fine collectible to be enjoyed by adult collectors.