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

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!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Collecting on a Budget

If the last doll show's prices are an accurate measure, prices for dolls may be steadily rising.  I saw many good foreign dolls that were once in the $5.00 and other range now priced closer to book value.  This range was from $15.00- $25.00 and up.  I also saw one of my modern MIP early vinyl dolls selling for $495.00, when just four years ago I found her at a yard sale for $20.00 MIP.  Antique bisque dolls were holding their own, as always, but there were not as many. French Fashion dolls in original but worn condition averaged at about $2300.00 while good German dolls 30" and over were selling from $500-$3,000.  Many buyers seemed to be interested in character and celebrity dolls and more than a few shoppers brought dolls to be outfitted in new clothes or appraised.  Redressed Chatty Cathy's cost $95.00, but I didn't think to ask if their voice boxes worked because I already have several.  1960s vintage Barbies were selling on the average at about $90.00 and up.  I also saw a few reproduction dolls from the 70s and 80s begin to make an appearance at $175.00 and up.  There were steady sales of "show special" dolls selling for $5.00 and $10.00and many of these were in good to fair condition.  Many of the Gene dolls and 90s Tonner and Alexander fashion dolls were selling at under $100.00.  These are a pretty good bargain given their original prices. 

For once, we had a beautiful, warm spring day filled with sunshine.  It inspired me, of course, to want to buy more dolls, to plan for the museum, to do some repairs and doll space remodeling.  Prices have always intrigued me, and validated the dolls for me by assigning them value.  People who didn't understand the dolls could understand the prices a good collection was capable of commanding.  To me, the prices of dolls showed me how lucky I was that I could still find a bargain, and there are still bargains to be had.

Despite the rise in prices for international dolls, I bought two old Scandinavian dolls for $6.00 which are worth  $75.00 each.  The dealer was not interested in foreign dolls, and this works to the advantage of those of us who are.  Sometimes, one can find a hidden treasure this way.  By the same token, general antique shows and shops are better places to find dolls if the dealer has a few that infiltrated his/her inventory but which are not his/her specialty.

I've always loved a good sale and prefer catching a bargain when I can, without taking unfair advantage of someone, of course.   There are a lot of dolls that are "sleepers," or that need a little TLC.  These last are fun to repair and represent an opportunity to learn.  Doll Scholarship is seriously lacking; most of the beautiful books out there lack text and history; they are all photographs and prices.  I love that, too, but I want to know about who made the doll and why.  Doll repair and conservation helps to keep us informed and educated as well as delighted.

I have found that Barbie knock-offs or teen dolls made during the last forty years or so make an interesting collection.  You can still find many interesting varieties at flea markets and dollar stores and they are great to dress.  They do increase in value, so that my Maddie Mod from the 70s is now worth around $50.00. 

Paper dolls are fun to make and to collect.  I include hundreds of magazines for making paper dolls in my collection, and many more which have paper dolls pritned in them.  Also, don't overlook free paper doll and doll printables on The Internet.  To a doll historian, this is the next wave.  Investing in a little ink and printing out even B and W dolls create a very nice portfolio for the collector.  Marilee's Paper Doll Pages and The Toy Maker are the best sites I have found.

Damaged antique bisque dolls and heads still abound, too. I found my favorite  A & M 370 Made in Germany head for $12.00 at the last show.  The face is repaired, but still sweet and poignant and the doll head is an antique.  There are many penny dolls and Frozen Charlottes for sale in lots on EBay and Etsy, but these go fast because crafters and modern art doll creators have discovered them and are making jewelry, novelties, "found art" dolls and vases out of them.  There are still penny woodens, old porcelain reproductions,80s and 90s play dolls, Cabbage Patch dolls and folk dolls out there being sold for well under $50.00; many can be had for a few dollars or even small change. 

There was a time when no one was interested in small Kachinas, Native American souvenir dolls, metal heads, pincushion dolls, or painted bisque dolls.  Things have changed now.  There was even a time when Blythe was a yard sale reject, but no more.  My advice has always been that if you like a doll, and the price is right, buy it no matter where you see it.  Everything is truly relative in the doll world.  Twenty years ago, the last time I visited Canada, modern bisque dolls made in Asia were expensive and appearing in antique stores and even in Museums because they were hard to find there at the time.  Yet, during the same period in California, I could find very old Japanese dolls for under $20.00.  There were more Japanese and Asian dolls in the area where I lived and not many people wanted them.  Now, there are collectors who specialize in Asian dolls and prices have climbed and climbed.

In the next few dolls I would like to talk more about dolls that cost less than $50.00 and I would also like to discuss my museum a little more.  When I figure out how, I would also like to postophotographs and a few more links.

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