Friday, April 25, 2014
An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory: Never Forget! Maus; a Webinar: You may register now for the Iowa Council for Holocaust Education's Webinar on the graphic novel, "Maus" Date...
Thursday, April 17, 2014
From Stuart Holbrook: At Theriault's.com: Dear Friends, It’s me again. Not that it’s about me. It’s not. It’s about dolls. It's about you. Great collections. And the legacy of memorable moments and historic auctions in which you can build upon for your own vision. Big news, are you ready? Las Vegas. The Bellagio Hotel. Memorial Day weekend (May 24th and 25th...gotta love the extra day to make it perfect!). And, most importantly, nearly 1000 dolls. Not just any dolls...but one of the most diverse and exciting presentations in the mosaic of doll history we have ever seen. How perfect is the title of the weekend: "Kaleidoscope." Why so diverse? That’s easy to explain. The entire weekend encompasses the vision and love of varying styles of dolls from legendary Pennsylvania collector, Helen Welsh, whose collection has been recently featured in Antique Doll Collector magazine, and the great early collection of Evelyn Heidepriem, who single-handedly put South Dakota on the map for doll collecting and inspired thousands of collectors across the Western Plains. Two very different people. Two very different places. One shared love of dolls. The result, one of the most exciting and unique events in Theriault’s history...a veritable kaleidoscope of dolls whose patterns and designs and colors will vary through the eye of each and every collectors. I have trouble thinking of one category, style, genre, really...whatever, that is not represented. And I mean represented well. French? Lots. German characters? Of course. European cloth? You should see the Lenci and Kathe Kruse! American cloth and wooden? You bet. Automata? Yes! Early toys? Indeed! And the list goes on. And on. And on. This is one that you will want to come to. As if I need to encourage you to join in the fun of Vegas, the grandness of The Bellagio Hotel (we have a really good special rate!), and the amazement of these two legendary collections which offer you nearly 1000 pieces from which to choose. But, I am going to say it again, “You need to come.” Great moments like this are fleeting. Two great collections coming together in a “Kaleidoscope” of dolls comes only so often. My jokes will be the same. Sorry. I promise though to give you something far better, a weekend you will never forget that is framed inside the impassioned vision of two great collectors who want only that you continue their unique and individual dream in your own special way. Questions? Call us at 800-638-0422 or 410-224-3655. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Collecting, Stuart Holbrook President Theriault’s
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Part IV: At last year’s Midwest Modern Language Association convention, I presented a paper on “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” and automatons. A group of my metal dolls, automatons, and robots travelled to a display at The German American Heritage Center, and I did two programs on the dolls, one that involved local readings from poets and writers in our area. We wrote the group poem, “Hinges and Hearts” featured on my site. Along the way, I picked up a few rivals, one in particular, was determined to copy my work. Others tried to get my printed manuscript and my pictures. Never hand over unpublished material like this to anyone, not even your best friends. If it is printed and copyrighted [which it technically is as son as it is published, then use your own discretion]. The book is now featured on Doll Pile, my Twitter page, My Facebook page Dr. E’s Doll Museum, and it is for sale on Alibris and Amazon. Four local stores and one museum carry it, and it is doing very well. I am thankful to Mr. Barry Mueller of Doll Castle News and to Donna Kaonis of Antique Doll Collector, who have it such good reviews, and to the five star reviews I’ve received on Amazon. My friend and penpal, Anne Marie Porot was also helpful when I was writing, and she sent a nice email after I mailed her a copy, stating she thought it was the first book of its kind. Thank you, Anne Marie, and Galerie Chartres, who sent me a catalog as research. The next article discusses the process of writing a bibliography. The Internet has made publishing much easier than it was, especially Independent Publishing, but this kind of research is till a long haul. If you have had experience publishing a book on dolls, especially as an Independent Publisher, we’d love to hear from you! Read the rest at Doll Collecting at About.com
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
This feature is something I would like to do every year. Hopefully, the calendar will inspire your doll collecting and you will discover aspects of collecting dolls you never thought to pursue. Happy New Year! January: The first month of the year is the time to take stock of our hobby. January 1 is also the day gifts are exchanged in many countries, hence the Strennas of many Spanish speaking nations and the Etrennes of France, made famous by department stores like Au Nain Blue and Louvre, where Jumeau dolls once comprised an important part of the inventory. You could assemble a Bleuette style wardrobe for your favorite doll to display, or arrange dolls for the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany. In Russian, the Ukraine, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, the old Calendar. It might be a good time to research Russian dolls, including the Matroyhiskas and Neva Dolls. February: Admit it, we’ve all had way too much candy for the Holidays. Instead, ask for dolls or doll themed gifts, and exchange them with your collector friends. If you belong to a local club, think of a Doll/Valentine display. For example, someone could do a program on paper dolls and Valentine’s by Raphael Tuck, or provide a display of African American dolls for Black History Month. My late penpal and noted doll historian Mary Hillier wrote articles about valentines. Read Dolls and Doll Makers or one of her other books for more ideas. March: Celebrate Japanese dolls; research the Girls’ Day Festival. Japanese grocery stores like that in Mitsuwa Market in Arlington Heights, IL, even sell tiny foods for the displays and celebrations. Read Rumer Godden’s Miss Happiness and Miss Flower for ideas about making your own display and Japanese doll house. Visit the website of the Yokohama Doll Museum, research Friendship dolls. Invite friends to see displays of your Japanese Dolls and serve sushi and green tea. Many doll shows begin in March and continue through November. Begin marking your calendar. April: As you plan your garden include some plants that are often made into dolls. Good candidates are violets, pansies, and hollyhocks. Grow some corn and save a few cobs, corn silks, and husks to make dolls. Violets have served as tiny dolls in the past, and there are dolls made from nuts, acorns, seedpods, and long grasses. Collect and display rabbit dolls, read tales by Beatrix Potter, Flora McFlimsey’s Easter Bonnet, create dolls from eggs and chocolate molds. Have a Peeps-costuming contest as part of your local doll club activities. Think of adding doll-like statues or fairy gardens to your landscapes. May: Tis the season when Yard Sales, Rummage Sales, Craft Sales, and Estate Sales begin. Antique shows are also in full swing. Mark your calendars; read the paper, Internet ads, broadsides, and listen for new sales. Save your dollar bills and change, start early, make a list of wants, check it twice, and go! In Japan, May is Boys’ Festival month. Similar to the Girls’ Festival, dolls representing Samurai and warriors are part of the festivities. June: When on vacation, look for dolls and miniatures to use as Christmas ornaments, and to add to your collection. Costume dolls as brides representing weddings in your family. Create displays of brides. Midsummer falls mid-June. Study the straw men used in Scandinavia for this celebration, create fairy displays, and stage Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights’ Dream with dolls. Build scarecrows for your blooming gardens.
Cross Collectibles Crossover or cross collectibles can make an item more valuable than if it were collected by just one type of collector. I’d like to focus on a few categories. Let’s begin with Christmas ornaments. Collectors of Disney themed dolls and toys will find licensed Disney ornaments by Hallmark and other companies, including Disney itself. Artist Jim Shore makes Disney characters figurines and ornaments. Hallmark features Lionel ornaments, Star Trek and Star Wars, Madame Alexander, Peanuts, Harry Potter, Nightmare before Christmas, Hot Wheels, and many more in several sizes, some with light and motion features. All of these fit the description of a crossover collectible. Those who feature these themes in their collections will want the ornaments, too. Peanuts is an entire category. Peanut character dolls and stuffed animals fit any type of Peanuts collection. Items can include clothing, jewelry, other figurines, books, videos, comic strips and original drawings, china, coloring books, etc. Madame Alexander has made some lovely Peanuts characters and Avon made cosmetics products featuring Peanuts in the sixties. I have two Skediddle Kiddles by Mattel that represent Lucy and Linus, and there were also Charlie Brown examples. Coca Cola collectors love the various dolls representing the Coca Cola ladies on the tray, including Barbies by Mattel. There is also the Coca Cola Santa. The Coke cards also attract playing card aficionados. There are the Coke beanies of the 90s, and the polar bears. Some of these also find themselves in Advertising and Teddy Bear collections, along with Pepsi and 7-Up artifacts. John Deere collectibles are hot stuff, too, especially in the Midwest. There are also John Deere toys, which also fit farm toy categories, John Deere Barbie, Fisher Price John Deere figures, the vintage classic Johnny Tractor, board games, clothing, jewelry, etc. There are pieces of John Deere history that belonged to the family and ephemera of many types. Dolls and action figures go back to the early days of Rock. Beatles collectibles are especially popular. Shirley Temple memorabilia is often collected. Besides the many dolls, books, videos, clothing, clippings about Temple and her life, blue glass with Shirley’s image, figurines are collected. Some will also collect the original books that influenced her movies, like Poor Little Rich Girl, Heidi and A Little Princess. I have a sweater with an Inuit girl on it that I will always keep; I had it on when I waited in line for Ms. Temple to sign her autobiography for me. She admired the sweater. I also have photographs of her doll collection when it was on display at Stanford’s Children’s Hospital. There is a film called Shirley Mania that talks about the Shirley Phenomena. Similarly, Kewpies, Raggedy Ann, Sesame Street and the Muppets, Holly Hobbie, Betsey Clark, and Strawberry Shortcake are other dolls that have inspired cross over collections. . I have read about Elvis collectors, Marilyn Monroe collectors, Elizabeth Taylor collector sand Charley’s Angel collectors. Dolls represent all of them. With every film and cartoon, there are dolls and figures that represent the characters, everything from Lord of the Rings to Indiana Jones. Angels and mermaids have dolls made in their image, as well as clothing, lawn ornaments, jewelry, bottles, advertising products, etc. Unicorns and teddy bears inspire similar objects. These are just a few of the categories of popular crossover collectibles. It would be possible to write a multivolume set on the topic. I haven’t even touched doll lamps and doll bottles, doll shoes, paper dolls and paper toys, doll quilts, paper dolls of characters and those based on real dolls. They are what make collecting fun.
Profile: The King of Dolls by Ljeposlav Perinic (1922-2005) I love looking at other people’s collections and doll museums. The Internet makes it possible to visit hundreds of collections 24/7. Flickr, Facebook Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, URLs and Web Museums are all there at your fingertips. With all these options, it’s possible to find museums you’ve never heard of before. One of these is the website from “Croatian History.net.” Mr. Perinic had a unique method for collecting dolls; he simply wrote to the representatives of various countries and asked that dolls be sent to him. He ended up with a collection of over 350 dolls in national costume from over 120 countries and 5 continents. When he was six, Perinic attended with his after a funeral of a slain national hero and was entranced by the many Croatian national costumes that thousands of mourners wore. In 1947, Perinic and his wife Marija moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. When, after ten years, Perinic’s mother was about to visit Argentina, her son asked her to bring dolls in Croatian national costume. By that time, the Perinics had three daughters who fell in love with the beautiful dolls. They asked their father if other countries also had dolls dressed in national costumes, and a museum collection was born! Soon, Mr. Perinic had the idea of writing representatives of various international governments to ask for dolls. As a result of his first request, the first lady of Mexico at the time, Sra. Eva Samano de Lopez Mateos sent a doll, as did Konrad Adenauer, founder of “the new German state.” Accompanying the dolls are five albums containing over 300 letters from various heads of states and celebrities who answered Perinic. Among those who responded were Queen Sofia of Spain, David Dacko, president of the Central African Republic, Pope Paul VI, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Charles de Gaulle, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Gyalmo of Sikkim, Princess Grace of Monaco, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Lester Pearson of Canada, Chairman Mao Tse Tung, Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus, Chan Kai Shek of Taiwan, Mayor Jake Johnston of Glasgow, President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt, Queen Juliana of The Netherlands, King Umberto II of Italy, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos, Mme. Danielle Mitterand First Lady of France, King Paul I of Greece, The Shah of Iran, King Hussein, Queen Noor al Hussein of Jordan, First Lady of Liberia Antoinette Tubman, King Hassan II of Morocco, Indira Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, President Nicolai Podgorny of the old USSR and many more. Not all sent dolls. The Queen of England sent a letter stating she did not send dolls to unknown people, even though there is a Royal doll collection, and a host of dolls and toys including Queen Mary’s Dollhouse. The president of the Central African Republic stated at first there were no dolls in his country, but he became inspired, and The Central African Republic began to make dolls so little girls could play with them. The Internet article includes a chart of all who sent dolls, their country, and rank. Some countries sent more than one doll. There are also beautiful thumbnails of many of the dolls from the collection. Eventually, the dolls became a small museum, displayed all over the world, including a pavilion at Expo ’67. In 1969, the dolls were displayed in Argentina were Mr. Perinic was living, in the town of Las Heras, province Buenos Aires. The article estimates that 9,500 people out of the 10, 000 person population visited. Dolls were added to the collection in 1991 from Iceland, France, Turkey, Jordan, Spain, Chile, Pakistan [by Benazir Bhutto], and Slovakia, along with more dolls from Croatia. According to CROWN, Croatian World Network, the dolls are now displayed in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. http://www.croatia.org/crown/articles/9901/1/Ljeposlav-Perinic-1922-2005-the-King-of-Dolls.html
Sunday, April 6, 2014
A Step Into the Bata Shoe Museum: The Beauty of Beads: By Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator Small, luminous and colourful, beads have been used to decorate footwear around the world...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
I think there is a new follower, and I would like to extend a welcome! We will soon have 70,000 viewers/ readers on this blog and you are all important to me. I learned yesteday of a Canadian ball jointed doll called LeeAnn, and I hope to blog more about her, and wrote on Abot.com Doll Collecting about her. Thanks to those of you who have found me there and commented. There are also dolls on our other blogs, including Dr. E's greening tips for the common person where I like to discuss folk dolls and handmade dolls. Lately, my doll collecting has turned to doll repair, organization, and writing. I have been reflecting on the museum's future. While I have an extensive wishlist, published on this blog, I no longer seem to want to buy dolls for dolls' sake, and all shopping, another favorite hobby, is taking a back seat. I'm not sure why. The time I spent workin on the Estate Dolls, written about on About.com, was very educational. Perhaps I am just at a crossroads. I will never sell my dolls, and the museum will be intact, though it requires a lot of hard work and management, but I find myself branching out into ohter interests, too. at the same time, I find dolls everyhwere. In a recent CSI exhibit, the actual doll house scenes used in The Miniature Killer episode were on display. I also discovered Collecting Seriously on Television, which you can watch on YouTube, which features a doll maker nad collector. I welcome comments for ideas on future blogs, or articles for About. I am interested in what you want to read. My Bibliography of Dolls and Toys is on Kindle, now, and it is easy to search inside with the links on Amazon. It's free to look inside, and I invite you all to browse it. Also free is the About.com Doll Newsletter I put out each week. More and more, I am interested in the role dolls play in society, and their historical worth. I have also uncovered new information that some of the early Venus figures may well have been toys. Currently, I am searching more information on The Pewter Huret, French Metal Dolls of all types, and the Edison Phonograph doll. I am interested in buying these, if only in parts, and in any condition. Happy dolling, and please keep reading me. The Blogs will go on!
Center for the Future of Museums: Wordless Wednesday: A Real Bionic Hand: Bionic hand, controlled by thought, that provides real-time sensory feedback. Click here to read more.