Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

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

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

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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

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

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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!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Besty's Besties


Most collectors realize that dolls and high fashion go hand in hand. Remember, before there was “Godey’s” or “Vogue” or “W” there were dolls sent around to illustrate current fashions.  These Pandoras often were the equivalent of front page news to women keenly interested in viewing the latest fashion.

 

I could wax poetic on the history of antique fashion dolls, French and otherwise, but we don’t have enough space in this post to cover all of them.

 

When, however, a designer melds her ideas with doll making, I have to comment.  Especially when that designer is one of my all time favorites, Betsy Johnson.

 

Betsey Johnson is a native of Connecticut who grew up to become a famous and unique New York Designer.  Initially, Johnson trained to be a dancer, but soon turned to fashion and design.  In this, she is alike another dancer turned artist, or doll artist, my friend, the late Suzanne Gibson who was a ballerina. 

 

Johnson has been a successful and influential designer for over 40 years.  In 1964, she won a guest editor prize for “Mademoiselle”, which helped to launch her career. She attended Syracuse University and The Pratt Institute.

 

Her love of the whimsical and of costumes influence her work.  Many of her designs incorporate charms, dolls, and miniatures.  I have jointed skeleton and flapper-type dolls made into necklaces that she has designed including some black cats and teddy bears that are jointed.  Her themed necklaces are works of art for those who love miniatures.  My Day of the Dead set includes earrings, a ring, bracelet, and necklace of the famed sugar skulls and Calavera Catrina figures that are icons of the holiday.

 

One set of my earrings is made up of tiny, very detailed mermaids embellished with rhinestones.  A ballerina necklace features a tiny, jointed doll with gold tone metal with a blue silk tutu.

 

Several other dolls appear in Betsey Johnson jewelry lines, and the word “doll” is used in some her clothing and shoe designs, like the 5.25 inch embellished heels called “Doll” Pumps.

 

Kahri by Karhianne Kerr has even created a portrait of Betsey herself, with her long, bright blonde hair, red lips, and hot pinked striped dress. (http://www.kahri.com/products/betsey-johnson-doll).

 

Betsey’s Adventure Book Shoulder Bag includes a cloth Betsey doll for around $60.00. (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/507851295459893394/)

 

Dolls continued to play a role in Johnson’s designs when, in 2014, the “New York Daily News” reported that she was among several other designers who designed OOAK doll costumes based on “The Wizard of Oz.”

 

According to her site, Betsey Johnson “celebrates the exuberant.”  I have to agree.  She has been quoted as saying, “Like red lipstick on the mouth, my products wake up and brighten and bring the wearer to life...drawing attention to her beauty and specialness...her moods and movements her...dreams and fantasies"

 

This past holiday season, I noticed 7 inch dols made of metal selling at Dillard’s for about $25.00.  These included many designs, as well as the princess, robot, and frog shown on BetseyJohnson.com. The doll ornaments are described below:

 

From the official Betsey Johnson Site: http://www.betseyjohnson.com/product/PRINCESS-ORNAMENT/236408.uts?locale=en-US&selectedColor=MULTI&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla&gclid=CPulrPeK4ssCFYk9gQodWxsGvw



You'll love to trim the tree with this princess ornament from Betsey Johnson.  It also comes with crystal stud earrings that would be a perfect stocking gift.

  • Includes Princess ornament and crystal stud earring set
  • Gold plating
  • Material: metal/resin/fabric
  • Ornament: 7"L x 2.75"W
  • Stud: 0.25"L x 0.25"W

 

There are also a frog and a robot, and all are currently discounted from $25.00 to $9.99.  Before the holidays, these were available at Dillard’s Department Stores.

Recently, Johnson announced she would be moving permanently to her home in Malibu so she could be near her daughter and granddaughters.

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