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, November 30, 2011

Thank you! We Did it!

WE did it! Thanks so much! We are at over 10,046 posts on this last day of the month!

Hurray!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Joan Holub's New Book!

To our friend Joan, author of the Doll Hospital series, Congratulations!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ancient Dolls a Hint to Early Man

I used this in 2003 for a class I was teaching on dolls. The link is http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/12/17/tech/main589095.shtml


Hand is still bad, but the article talked about thel ion man, and other small figures carved from mamoth ivory over 30,000 years ago. Some were one inch, others one foot. An author named Nicholas Conard was quaoted. There is a lso a 2 inch bird discussed, one of the oldest bird figures. Note that there are ancient Greek dolls with owl-like faces also in museums, and these appear in Mary Hillier's dolls and Dollmakers, too.

An interesting quote is "The researches belive the figurines were created by early anotomically modern humans, and not their Neanderthal predecessors." The little figures were as old as the French Cave Paintings, where an ancient owl figure was also found.

Though it was suggested in the article these were shamantistic objects, the article also states that the little dolls may have been teahcing aids, or even toys, according to Archaeologist Anthony Sinclair. It is also interesting that the title refers to these artifacts as "dolls" unequivocally.

Sorry for typos, and Happy Thanksgiving. More later, but what interestng points to make.

Small Business Weekend and Rosalie Whyel

Join us for Small Business Saturday on November 26th.

American Express is encouraging Americans to "Shop Small" again this year on Saturday, November 26th and the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art Store and Rosie's Too are participating. If you have an American Express card be sure to register your card before the 26th. If you spend $25 or more at a locally owned business like ours you can be eligible to receive a $25 statement credit on your American Express bill. Get all the details and register your card at www.americanexpress.com.

We will see you on the 26th!

Just A Little Reminder...



Rosie’s Too Sidewalk Sale


Saturday December 10th from 11am to 4pm

EVERYTHING IS ON SALE Members Always Receive An Additional 10%

Rosie's Too
221 106th Ave NE
Bellevue WA
425-455-0363

Rosie’s Too Final Day- December 31st, 2011

Thank You Sale and So Sew Sale at the Museum
January 12 - 14 (Thursday - Saturday), 2012 10am to 5pm
-Members Always Receive An Additional 10%-

Museum Final Day- March 1st, 2012

Shelley Helzer
Co-Director
Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art
Ph 425-455-1116 Fx 425-455-4793
www.dollart.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

Michael Jackson's Doll and the State of The Collection

A little trivia is always a good place to start. The Today Show featured the upcoming auction from furnishings of the house where MJ died. In a shot taken after his death, the camera showed a doll on the bed where he passed away. I find this sad and touching; the doll looked like a late fifties, early sixties vinyl doll, and it could well have been a favorite toy from his childhood. He was controversial indeed, and the jokes can abound, but though he was not my favorite anything, I do feel compassion towards him, and I hope this toy was a comfort to him. And, as my friend Mary Hillier used to say, Dolls are Where you Find them!

I was at a doll show, where old dolls in various states were in abundance, at very low prices. Many booths had signs that said "down-sizing," or "going out of business," and many of my friends who were dealers were downhearted. It was a buyers market, and since I'm not a dealer, I was able to buy dolls that I wanted, and had to make choices. But, I hate to see the interest wane. Much of the issue is that young collectors are more into art dolls, and ball-jointed dolls, high priced and trendy. I love them, too, but history lies with older dolls.

Met with my friend also writing on metal dolls; we are planning a collaborative project, so keep reading.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Doll News

Doll Collecting


Doll Collecting
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From Denise Van Patten, your Guide to Doll Collecting
This week, we take a look at a favorite doll from the late 1960s and early 1970s that has recently gone back into production--Flatsy! Also this week, a peek at two really, really old wood dolls being auctioned at Bonham's in the United Kingdom. Until next week...Denise


Flatsy - She's Flat and All That!

If you grew up in the 1960s or early 1970s, and you watched children's television, you'll remember Flatsy and her catch-phrase, "She's Flat and All That!" Flatsy dolls were... Read more

Bonham's Doll Auction On November 15 To FeatureTwo Wood Dolls

A Bonham's doll auction on November 15 in the United Kingdom is featuring two very old and fascinating wood dolls. The first doll is a George the II wood doll that... Read more

Top Harry Potter Character Figures by Tonner Doll Company

There are so many fantastic dolls in the series of Harry Potter dolls (also called character figures) by the Tonner Doll Company, it's hard to pick favorites. All of the... Read more

Free Doll and Vintage Art

Art of dolls, vintage dolls and clip art for all your doll and victorian projects! Dolls, Victoriana, children, animals, holidays and more. One of the best selections of free doll-related art on the Inernet.







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This newsletter is written by:
Denise Van Patten
Doll Collecting Guide
Email Me | My Blog | My Forum


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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Doll Triage and Disasters; for Elegiac November

Outside of one of us dying, my mother’s and my worst fear was that something would happen to the doll collection. Within two months of her death, that fear began to come true; it unfolded like some foul, black, poisonous bloom from Rapacinni’s garden, and then went dormant for brief periods, only to unfold again, more deadly and more insidious than before.

The first disaster was in our house, dubbed “the marital” home a few block’s from my home. The unusually heavy and unseasonable ice storms, snows, and early downpours were taxing everyone’s gutters and sump pumps. Our pump decided to malfunction. The first place hit was my cedar closet, where I stored large plastic boxes and shopping bags with books, ephemera for collage, my other hobby, school., and dolls. Anything on the floor was soaked, and for weeks, there were papers and books hung on improvised clotheslines everywhere. All my art papers, several of my art books complete with slides, doll clothes, my shoes, a few sweaters, were soaked. At least he water was clean rain water and there was no mildew, but the process of cleaning it up took several months.. And, of course, I always discovered these disasters late on a Sunday night when 8:30 Monday class loomed ahead.

The next catastrophe came by way of my dad, who has since relented. Newly widowed, angry at everyone, himself,, me, and of course, my husband, he declared that all the doll in his house had to go. This was not something my mother wanted, and she had stopped me several times when I’d made attempts, and had moved, dozens of antiques and miniatures. So, I became a seeker and hoarder of bubble wrap and tissue paper, old towel, clothes that no longer fit, pillowcases, anything soft. I started to pack the dolls, thousands and thousands of dolls. I squirreled them away in my basement on shelves; on shelves, in my mother’s college suitcase, a monogrammed royal blue Samsnonite, anywhere. I crowded shelves and cases, bankrupted myself on plastic storage boxes, foraged for sturdy cardboard boxes at school, whatever worked.

Soon, after a lot of going back and forth and shouting on Dad’s part, all but 500 dolls and my boxes of various holiday ornaments were moved. About then, Dino, my husband, noticed that the garden faucet and hose outside were not functioning at our house. The faucet was connected to a fixture just under our basement window, near the basement ceiling. Under that window was a heavy duty shelf; on that shelve were at least two boxes of antique dolls from the curio in my parents’ dining room. There were French Bisque, Madame Alexander, Charlotte Weibull, Mint Hungarian composition dolls dated about 1920, and they were all covered with green mold and soaked. The papier mache bodies of the French dolls disintegrated on touch. A pre-Cultural Revolution Chinese doll had a lime colored sheen to her. My metal doll trunk full of Alexander and 1950s fashion doll outfits was soaked. I spent weeks taking dolls apart and cleaning them. I rebuilt bodies, and scrubbed, and put back together for the second time dolls I had already restored once. I even found paper to reline the trunk. My one “professionally” designed and color-coordinated room in the house, the down stairs full bath, became triage for these afflicted dolls. There were little organdy and silk dresses everywhere. I saved them, but the mint dolls are not so mint anymore.

The next wave of disasters struck again. This time, it was the animal world. On a fine Saturday in late fall, I went downstairs to my walk-in cedar closet to find clothes for the Week. My husband was helping me. Opie, my fashion conscious elderly cat, was in tow. I heard a sickening scurrying and looked up. Three, scuttling along the rafters was a malicious looking mouse, with whitish pink feet, grey body, and nasty, beady little eye. He eventually caught it and plugged its whole, but its legacy was ongoing. We live next to an open field and a wooded ravine; it was bound to happen. A few days later, we were moving boxes, and I noticed that the doll houses sitting for safety on the top shelves where in disarray. I had just arranged the twenty plus doll houses in my collection, so this was odd. We hadn’t had an earth quake, after all.

As it turned out, it was an attack of Hunca Munca on acid. The mouse had relieved itself in the doll beds, messed up the doll pillows, vandalized the kitchen, and opened fake but very tiny to scale Christmas presents. There were little black pellets everywhere. I’ll never touch chocolate sprinkles again. None of the doll houses was spared. I had to take everything out, wash and scrub with ammonia and Lysol, dry tiny linens, toss out what was not salvageable, and pack or rearrange everything again.

Just a few weeks later, the gruesome scene repeated itself.Again, we set traps. The big red dollhouse, dubbed Plantagenet House, built by my dad, was the first victim. We caught three monsters ,and all three had reenacted the Battle of Hastings in Plantagenet house. They knocked over antique dolls, rampaged through the miniature cemetery, chewed and crapped and pee-peed their contempt on everything. Their ancestors must have been Anglo-Saxon mice. They also traveled through the doll shelves, particularly choosing my white, mint stuffed animals to nest on. They especially like toy cats and lions. Revenge, I guess. My scarecrows were chewed to bits, and the shellacked dolls made of sugar and gingerbread were no more. Even dolls made of non-edible materialswere cannibalized. All that is left of my very rare Nuremberg Prune doll is her walnut head, still with a smile, and her wire framework. I did find another Prune chimney sweep; both now reside in a sealed case.

We spent weeks packing dolls, cleaning them, washing doll clothes, and assembling a triage unit to assess the catastrophe. One of the faux gingerbread dolls was eaten write out of a centerpiece. I bought at a local store called From the Apple Tree. The owner no longer opens, but attends craft fairs. It would cost me upwards of twenty dollars to replace that one little fake gingerbread man. Suffice it to say, I no longer “love the meeces.”

Daxie and Opie, the former serial killing./ hunting cats, had retired. They couldn't reach the mice in the upper rafters anyway, but after we caught them, they made a big show of stalking after the fact. “You are a disgrace to your race,” I admonished both. I was surprised at Daxie; he was a connoisseur of beanie babies and stuffed cat toys. One would expect more support from a fellow collector. Opie, on the other hand, was all baubles and beads. If a trunk showing of designer jewelry followed by refreshments were offered, he would rally. Outdoor creatures might still entice him, too, but those days, he’d rather mosey over to the next door neighbors for cat food and coffee. Indoor furry creatures are, as far as he’s concerned, houseguests.

Once the wild kingdom was somewhat tamed, we had to fight the elements of Nature. Water had seeped in and flooding my waterproofed, carpeted, and wood paneled basement for some time. Again, anything on the floor had been moved. My designer closets were covered in mold along the walls. I threw away some of my mother’s yarn and notions, sorted other wicker items for cleaning, threw out baskets I had wanted to keep, and vintage doll boxes. I ran fans and the dehumidifier, and I cleaned and cleaned. Often, I discovered the catastrophic area late at night, and was hauling out garbage still dressed up from work. My glass cases of Madame Alexander dolls and Nancy Ann, Hollywood, and Ruth Gibbs storybook dolls had leeched water. The entire set of Peggy Nesbit Six Wives of Henry VIII and old Hank himself were damp and had to be dried. The cases were thrown out.

The worst damaged occurred to my Raggedy Anns, mostly vintage Knickerbocker dolls and handmade examples. Several were covered in mold and had to be scrubbed. One had to have limbs amputated and rebuilt. Nearly all their clothes had to be soaked in Lysol and antibacterial Febreze, then run through washers and dryers. There were rare hybrid dolls, and one of a kind examples, all total damage hitting at about $4000.00. My friend DP felt so bad, that she completed and gave met the Raggedy Ann she made in high school home ec. Maybe it was a bad omen that the Raggedy Ann Museum in Arcola was closing in 2009.

I was watching my life pass in front of me with each damaged doll. I recited their stories to my husband, and felt, at first, that my mother was dying all over again. Her touch was on almost all of them. She had repaired them, dressed them, sewed and knitted for them, located and bought the hardest examples to find, to the point that the collection was as much hers as mine. Just days before she died, we were looking at dolls we wanted to buy, and comparing prices. I have the last dolls she bought for me, and a bag of unfinished doll clothes she was crocheting. I make her miniature crocheted doll purses for classes I give on Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I donated one to the Bussey Doll Collection at the Old Thresher’s museum. It isn’t fair, and somehow, her untimely death, and the near destruction of the doll collection is tied in together. It’s hard not to think of this as divine punishment. We are still boxing and cleaning, and I’ve only now begun to clean the basement and the rug.

I ended up paying for a new roof, and my dad, who felt badly in the end, is replacing gutters. He is remodeling our family home, and the dolls will slowly return. He has already helped me to arrange my books and to organize them. The more fragile dolls are slowly returning to their cases. I still don’t think that was the cause of all this, but I’m willing to take historic preventative measures to keep it from happening again. I can’t help but think of the dolls had to be moved from my parents’ house as the Diaspora; they had been in their glass cases and shelves in some situations for nearly forty years. The last hands to touch some of them were my mother’s, when she placed them on the shelves.

It proved to me that they can be packed and moved, and that I will never willingly part with them, but the trauma and stress will take months to overcome. This museum is my impossible dream, and I am afraid that it if we don’t get it started, I will lose all the dolls forever.

By early December 09 I had started the process of moving the dolls in from the garage. I had to wait until a cold Monday right before a major blizzard and windstorm. My husband and I did most of the work. It was a tiring, exhausting evening and not very festive for the Christmas Season. I worried about my husband hauling big cardboard packing boxes to the basement, but somehow, we did and with no major disasters. He was great, and this big, burly man I married was washing doll clothes by hand. There was only one basket left that needed cleaning up, and my books. These we put safely to the side of the garage on shelves, out of harms way and melting snow from cars. I packed up some papers and books from school as well, and took them downstairs. We need desperately to rearrange our basement; he is going to put up more shelves, and then I hope to label the boxes better and sort them. I also do intermittent checks of the dolls already there, especially the antiques. I keep thinking of how ironic it is that I was compelled to move them from my parents’ house, where they were housed in custom-built cases, so my dad could now proudly display pots, pans, and toilet paper where china headed dolls, Madame Alexanders, Lenci, and Kathe Kruse dolls once proudly held court. Oh well. Many of these were my mother's kitchen things. I swapped out my old pots and took hers home to use. It helps keep her alive.

I washed another load of doll clothes, and put them in the dryer, as well as a couple of the outfits for the cement goose the neighbors gave me almost two Christmasses ago. Really, I was going to rescue her from their curb, but I asked first, and then they gave me all of her clothes, two large plastic drawers full, Unfortunately, the mouse in the garage found its way to them as well. There was fluff from where some of the padding of the clothes came undone, but I managed to clean out the dryer. The term “silly goose’ really fits this little artifact, but I get a kick out of dressing her and changing outfits. A little whimsy never hurt anyone, and she might be a good draw in the museum lobby, along with the two little ones I have to go along with her. Besides, she reminds me of Violet, who had a big and small goose, and who used to display them in her senior living apartments. I used to find outfits and make small hangers for her to keep their clothes nice. I wish I could think of Mrs.___? Who was a goose in a story Mrs. Garrett read to us in second grade. She always wore purple and blue together. Now, my office and the entire school is being painted purple and blue. As if we are all one big professional bruise to the WP. Of course, painting meant more upheaval and packing.

Still, I collect. I wonder where the line has blurred that collectors with little space due to economics have been branded “messy” or worse, horror of horror, hoarders. Either recycle or be a minimalist. There is no in between. Are the people at The Smithsonian hoarders, too? The English use the word to mean collectors, but I don’t think the British Museum or the V & A or Pollock’s would really like the comparison. Yet, here I am with one key collection and several satellite ones. Take for instance my holiday sweaters and hand knit theme sweaters. Many were very expensive, and I paid over $100 for the “Michael Jackson” sweater and the Halloween Sweater in blue and $90.00 for my Peruvian sweater from Things. They were hand made, and came from stores known as being high end with impeccable taste. The Peruvian sweater was one of four or five I found and bought because of the small dolls, 3D needle sculptured little personages, that were sewn on in various scenes. I could kick myself for not buying the hand knit Henry VIII and his wives sweater, or the Gone with the Wind sweater from the Chateau, but they were really out of my range. Now, it seems, there is a trade in Ugly Sweaters, aka Christmas Sweaters, the latest trend is Ugly Sweater parties where even men where women’s holiday sweaters. Mm Hm. Another excuse for men to wear drag; “it’s a joke, guys, just being tacky.” What’s sad is that they don’t know they are women’s clothing in some case. Of course they look ugly on them. They command upwards of 20.00 and 30.00 on eBay, which is not bad for vintage clothing. Even the ones I got at Kmart cost that much. My New Years, Valentines, and St. Patrick sweaters are even rarer. Rather than feel I’m tacky, I regret the one’s I no longer have and fight the urge to go replace them. No one apparently appreciates the hand appliqué or the work that goes into these pieces. I still do, and I‘ll still wear them, and I’ll display them in the doll museum, and I’ll look for more. I’d wear them all year if I could, and there are some scarves and angel motifs that do get worn all the time.

I am wondering if my house could be zoned commercial in part, and then maybe I could set up a couple rooms of doll displays and charge admission. The cost could be prohibitive, and I worry about theft. Some of the dolls would really have to go into storage elsewhere if I did this, but I’m dying to start this project.

Perhaps I am just greedy, but I love to look for dolls in need of help, and I love to work on them, even if repairs are minimal. I also like using the materials I have, and setting the around to admire.

As the holidays approach, may we all be stronger from past difficulties, but may not have to face new ones. Be safe, be with family, treasure memories, and find something that is your passion, and do it. No matter what.