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

Popular Posts

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

Follow by Email

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

Popular Posts

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

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

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!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What our Dolls Say About Us; Collecting Choices

How a collection is selected tells us something about the person.  A doll collection is a portrait of its curator.  In fact, one branch of the relatively new discipline of The Study of Material Culture queries why a collector chooses to add an object to her collection.  How the item is chosen is equally important.


Nearly 70 years ago when doll collectors became organized, many collectors enjoyed collecting all types of dolls.  The publication by Kimport, “Doll Talk” was a true microcosm of the many, many types of dolls and related items people enjoyed collecting.  Early writers, including Eleanor St. George, Clara Hallard Fawcett, Janet Pagter Johl, Luella Hart, Mary Hillier, and John Noble, stressed variety.  Helen Young also explored doll making and interesting children in doll collecting.  To paraphrase Eleanor St. George, doll collectors were never single-minded people.


It is sad that current collectors have, in some cases, denigrated the pioneering books of these authors.   They sneer at their choices in collecting, and their exaggerated refined taste has pretty much doll-boxed them into a corner.  They simply can’t find anything to collect, unless they are super wealthy, and then can happily limit themselves to the items that are $10,000 and up.
I am reminded of a comment by one of the founders of The Enchanted Moment Doll Museum who stated on a YouTube video that she collected everything because she was planning a museum, and she needed the items to tell the story of dolls and their owners and makers.
Exactly!


We can still create microcosms of museums by cleverly selecting what is available and what is in our budget.  A porcelain doll is still essential if we want to represent the history of dolls.  Porcelain and ceramic dolls revolutionized the industry and are among the most sought after dolls today. What I find interesting is that the type of porcelain doll we might choose to add says something about us. Perhaps we can add an antique French or German bisque doll.  Maybe we only have one, or one of each, but it represents the genre. If we want to have a more inclusive history of French doll makers, we might include an antique or two, but if cost is prohibitive, or the doll is rare, we might make a doll to represent what is missing.  We could buy a doll from a reproduction artist like the impeccable and wonderful Branka Scharli, or we might select an artist’s rendition of a porcelain doll.  Even a mass produced doll or a “Walda” in old fashioned clothes contributes to the dialog of the history of dolls by representing a ceramic example.
Helen Young suggested making or carving simple wooden dolls to begin the story of wooden dolls, Queen Anne’s, and.  peg woodens, while she recommended wax figurines to represent the wax dolls that are often so elusive to collectors.


Ancient dolls, like Ushabti or the Venus figures are represented in some collections by modern replicas or by good photos, or even books or paper dolls.  Medieval dolls could be represented by Nativity figures, Renaissance angels, or handmade examples.
International dolls abound; they are often dismissed as “touristy” and noncollectable.  I disagree vehemently for many reasons.  These dolls initiate valuable discussions of diversity and multiculturalism.  They are wonderful educational tools, and are often the last vestiges of many cultures and folk traditions.  Laura Starr in The Doll Book (1908) describes many dolls that represent people who no longer exist as a cultural group.
All of this is my opinion  I like to say my collection runs from the sublime to the ridiculous, and I’ve tried to represent as many dolls and types as I can.  I am planning a museum, and several more books, but I also never get bored learning about dolls, even if they are dolls I do not or cannot own.   The study of dolls cultural objects fascinates me, and would even if I didn’t have any dolls.


Still, everyone has a few dolls, action figures, or figurines lying around.  There is no culture I can find that does not have them. 
So, take heart.  If you want to collect, collect anything you want.  Walda, Marque, Jumeau 201, Automatons, paper dolls, Danbury mint, old, new, plastic, creepy, dumpster dollies, Barbie, Monster High, bobble head, CPK, folk, etc., it doesn’t matter.








Collect what you like, and choose that way.  Consider as you add to your collection, or upgrade, or weed it, what do your choices say about you?  What do they contribute to this amazing hobby of doll collecting.

No comments:

Post a Comment