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

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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!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Ides Have it

We have survived yet another Ides of March. It is an interesting time in our household. It is one day past my father's birthday, and the birthday of my husband's late, great cat, Brutus [what else would we name him?] I know several other birthdays that take place on or about the Ides, and it is so near St. Patrick's Day that it is shrouded in Celtic mysteries. I used to love the mercurial weather, and even this year, we had snow on the 20th, first day of spring. Very early this morning I watched again part of a documentary on the sacred caves of Mustang, a mountain community high up in the Himalayas. It takes a team of crack mountain climbers to even get near these little caves dug in to sandy rock cliffs centuries ago. They were sacred temples of a culture that has been lost, but they contain ancient shrines and priceless paintings, artifacts, and manuscripts. Some of them haven't been seen for 600 or 700 years before now. It thrills me to watch the archaeologists and climbers work, and I wish I could be there with them. Oh, they deal with the usual red tape and administrivia, and no one can remove the artifcats, but the thrill of the hunt is definitely there. Don't any of us feel the same way at a good estate sale or rummage sale? Or, think of the first time you saw a painting that moved you, or viewed an exhibition of an artist you were really into. I think of Lovejoy in the mystery series by Jonathan Gash where Lovejoy, the antiques dealer and picker, gets a physical charge when he spots a good find. Or, even the feeling you get when you watch "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

My own trek with museum adventures continues at an achingly slow crawl. I have a name of someone who might be a good mentor, but I suffer from Hamlet's indecision. Do I call? Do I email? Do I ignore the whole thing? Ah, but what wonderful breakthrough or opportunity might slip through my grasp? So far, I have one letter in to the state, and must wait for their response. It's been five months. I have one grant written, which can't be submitted till I hear from the state, finish with my articles, send them, and apply for nonprofit status. I have one remote nibble on a building I can't possibly afford and know nothing about. What I do have are avalanches of archives and books which many people would find useful, and two books on dolls and doll research about to go to the printer, and some contacts at the publishers. And of course, a very large and varied doll collection. It's better than nothing.

And, I have to say my late and wonderful friend Mary was correct when she wrote, "Dolls are where you find them." I came away from the local Writers Banquet Saturday with a birthday Barbie I had never seen, and a miniature 1/4th scale dolls house's dolls house, ready to be furnished, and an ornate frame embellished with miniatures of books, antique busts, and reading memorabilia. I also picked up a fancy money clip to give to my little boy. He is 11, a budding collector, and entranced with all things that make him look grown up. You have to love silent auctions. I've discovered I'm not half bad at them.

On the downside, I found the doll of my dreams in EBay, but do not have the money for her right now. Well, neither does anyone else. I'm watching her, and hope she might be relisted. And, I have "doll friends" who are trying to beat me to the publisher and secrectly pre-empt me at my own field. I'm not totally paranoid; they want to see my unpublished work, then turn up giving lectures on dolls at places where I have been, and where they have been invited. Yet, no one tells me when they are talking or showing on the same topic until after the fact. Having said that, my second book for this year will be the complete history of metal dolls, automatons, and metal doll parts entitled, "With Love from Tin Lizzie." I've been working on it since 1986, and have written and spoken with individuals and museums all over the world. The good and bad thing about the collecting game is that it is competitive. And dolls, because they are human replicas, inspire a lot of emotion, and not all of it is good. My advice to anyone interested is, don't give in to the temptation to play "my collection is bigger than yours." It isn't fun, and you'll want to dump everything at a second hand shop out of sheer frustration. As a collector, I've always marched to my own drummer and collected what I like; I'll keep doing it.

I have some very rare photos in my book on metal dolls, and pictures of my own dolls. The entire book has been serialized in two major doll magazines during the late 80s and 90s, but I want the whole thing out there. No one has ever written a book on metal dolls, and I want to proclaim here and now that I am the first!

Yesterday was really productive. I managed to put away dolls and artifacts that I had used in recent lectures, and cleaned up some of the last of the refugees from last year's floods and other household disasters. They turned out very nicely. I also changed the miniature terrariums outside, and replaced Christmas and winter miniatures with spring and easter items. There are rabbits and rabbit houses, rocky paths and trees. As soon as it is safe, I'll look for miniature plants to add. The effect is really great.

Till next time, I will keep working on this format and try to figure out how to add photos and links. I appreciate all readers, and would love to hear some comments and responses. I recommended visiting the Smithsonian Webiste for their new exhibit, "What it means to be Human," or listen to the National Public Radio for the story. Also, the British Museum newsletter is a great place for collectors to learn new things. They have new guides regarding their exhibits that are worth exploring.

Perhap we can preview the next post with a question: What is your favorite doll to collect?

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