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!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock and Dolls, Puppets

Episode tonight was about a ventriloquist dummy, Mme. Riczincska, inhabited by the spirit of a real woman. Claud Raines created her, and fell in love with her to replace his lost assistant. Later, Hitchcock said that he was once part of a vadueville puppet troupe, hence is theme, Gounoud's "Funeral March of the Marionette!?"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Over 15,000!

Thank you to the 15, 109 wonderful people who have viewed this blog. I hope to keep it up for a very long time, and I love working on this and my other blogs!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Search for Dolls of Color

For this and our Doll Museum blog, I am interested in information about African dolls and Dolls of Color. Perkins books are excellent sources, as are a site once called "Me Dolls." Also, if the author of the website "Lee's Cheap Doll Collection" is launching her website again, please contact us!

Best of Luck to Roalie Whyel, who has been so kind to us. Also, if The Little Dead Gyrl of the Shelter for Misfit dolls is out there, please give us a sign! Love to our friends at The Haunted Doll Museum and Skellington Manor. More later!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Undying Admiration to Rivertown Creative and Taking Inventory

Sara, you are wonderful! To Sara and Doecker of Rivertown Creative for doing such a wonderful job with our metal doll book, and also for being the custodian of our files and finidng/returning all our quirkly research. This leads me to the post for the day; taking and keeping inventory.

I keep my inventory materials, doll counts, certain photos, certificates, receipts, particular articles, rare postcards, and osme paper dolls in a large 3-ring binder, now about to become two since it is so unweildy. I will put back the photos used for the metal doll/automaton book. I also keep rare articles in it, including one on Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller written in 1902 by John Macy, Annie's husband. I have a wonderful artists rendition of Helen and Annie at the pump, as well as several books/paper dolls, etc. Keller also liked dolls, and they figured into her education.

I am taking photos of the dolls that have been moved, even in their boxes. These will be labelled with locations and summary of contents. Even Dad isn't laughing at me. It is harder and harder for us to find collectibles insurance, but keeping a record like this in a safe place, albeit informal, helps. It is time it were updated.

There are other binders and notebooks, for the museum, of paper dolls, of subjects like Tasha Tudor, Margaret Woodbury Strong, etc. I keep them separate for now, but will soon move them to be with the "grand inventory." My husband is working on a computer database, too, but I don't pu all my eggs in one basket. One ever knows. I think moving dolls is what is really deadly; I used to know where ALL of them were. Now, I haveto hink hard and hunt.

Also, I learned to keep museum exhibits together once they were packed away and taken home. I can reproduce the exhibit this way till storage is not a problem, and the artifacts stay organized. Cabinets of Curiosities and In Flagrante Collecto got me thinking this way. It is much easier to keep track of the dolls and what goes with them. I also try to keep miniatures and doll house materials together.

My husband is the photographer; I use polaroids and film cameras. These prints can be put on disk and enlarged. I also group all my doll books and reference books on related subjects together as much as I can.

I would love a whole wall of an electronic flow chart like Maharet's when possible; till now, well, I certainly manage. A good memory doesn't hurt, either.

Doll Museum

Here is our chronological history of dolls, illustrated. I just posted photos of Celtic sculputures and graphics in honor of St. Pat's. http://dollmusem.blogspot.com/

Please look; we have over 2000 viewers and two followers.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Automatons, Hugo and Cabinets of Curiosities

Here is a great link for automatons: http://www.worldsstrangest.com/drb/amazing-automatons-ancient-robots-victorian-androids/

Welcome to my new follower! We hope you find our museum entertaining. We have other blogs that mention dolls, too, including one called Doll Museum, a chronological history of dolls dating from the Stone Age.

I am back. Combination of bad hand and a bad flu that no flu shot apparently can quell. I almost think it was the plague.

I am reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and just saw Hugo. I also bought the movie companion, also by Brian Selznick. Since I wrote my book on metal doll and automatons, and my doll bibliography, I have found many good sources for androids and mechanical figures. I will have to think about second editions, soon. Here are some photos of automatons that write, including the original Maillardet writing figure that Hugo is based on, in part. There are also figures by Jaquet-Droz. I am glad they have a home at The Franklin Institute. I saw them first in Clara Hallard Fawcett's 1964 classic, Dolls, a New Guide for Collectors.


There is also the automaton made for Marie Antoinette, 1722. You can watch a vido on the site I've linked to. Thanks to Simon Rose for the article. There are also good photos and drawings of medieval efforts and mention of Leonardo Da Vinci's robot, 1495.

I especially like the picture of the 16th c. Lute player. She is an old friend, mentioned first in my dear Mary Hillier's Dolls and Doll Makers.

Cabinets of Curiosites is a wonderful book by Patric Maruies that chronicles the history of collecting, and curios or cabinets of curiosties, nearly from the dawn of time. He includes more modern collectors like Andre Breton and Joseph Cornell, as well as photos of objects form famous 15th and 16th century collection. He discusses how the first collections of this type were religious in nature with a desire to harvest the powers of the sacred objects gathered. He goes to write about collecting as ways of perserving histories, of bringing order out of chaos, of great collections representing a microcosm of the world so we can observe and understand.

Most of these collections are not museums. They are the work of private collectors, many royal, some not, all fairly wealthy. Some were open to public viewing, but all reflect a passion. There are descriptions of collections organzied to reflect the natural world with shells, fauna, fossils, and taxidermy, and the artistic world with intricate silver automata, miniature objects, books, paintings, and sculptures.

Anyone who loves to collect needs to see this book. It is a positive view at collecting and preserving the past. Fans of Hoarders, don't bother!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy 53d Barbie!

According to Mental Floss, Barbie is 53 today. Happy Birthday and Many More to the Postmodern girl who redefined the term "to reinvent yourself!"

My first Barbie came to me when I was five, in a gift set. She was a blonde bubble top, with the pink, sparkly, Evening Splendor gift set. I still Have her. With her buxom figure and curly hair, and the tailored suits, she reminded me of my mom. I loved her for that. Several hundred vintage, ndew, pink box, black box, gold box, thrift shop, memorabilia items, later, I still love Barbie. We have a special place for her in our hearts at the museum. I treasure the memories I have from visiting Mrs. Burkhalter at her Barbie museum in Palo Alto. She was a lovely lady and very inspiring. I was able to buy a poster there to take home. Now, the collection resides with Mattel. She had dolls they didn't! Long live Barbie Millicent Roberts, and long may her blonde hair wave!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crazy?

Those who are not on about.com, go to Denise VanPatten's doll newsletter and blog. She is talking about a new TLC show, "My Crazy Obsession," and there is a link with video. The story is about a couple that has collected 5000 Cabbage Patch Dolls. I'm with Denise; why must doll collectors be "crazy?" For that matter, why are collectors treated as some sort of pathology by some people? Well, I think some of us need to get a life, or in this case a hobby, and chill. After all, both scouts, girl and boy, have all kinds of hobby badges, including one for collecting!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Doll Museum: Ma Petite Fille

Doll Museum: Ma Petite Fille: We were able to add a new addtion to the museum this weekend, one that is really desired and a dream come true. She is a mignonette, all bi...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It began with a Teacup; one Museum's Origins

It began with a tea cup. Or, as Els Van Houtven of De Kleine Wereld Museum relates, "One day in 1976 we went antique shopping in Antwerp and we returned home with one small doll's cabinet with 3 drawers, painted salmon pink and missing one leg, and two pieces of a tea set that did not even belong together."



So began a 36 year quest for antique playthings of little girls. The collection eventually filled the large Liers, Belgian home of Lena de Swert, the mother of Els Van Houten, and led to the fulfillment of the mother and daughter dream, to create a museum for all to enjoy. A beautiful building in the historic Belgium village was chosen for De Kleine Wereld Museum and the dolls, doll furniture and doll houses were presented in breath-taking settings that earned the museum a reputation as one of the world's most beautiful doll and dollhouse museums.

Sadly, the museum will close, but happily for collectors the entire museum collection will be exhibited one last time when it is presented at auction by Theriault's on April 1, 2012 in San Francisco, California.



Els Van Houten tells of the collecting years with her mother. "Our collection took the two of us all over Europe for the next 36 years. We met fantastic people along the road, found ourselves many times in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Europe, to achieve this one more piece, shared the thrilling excitement of chasing an item at an auction, we shared doubts, disappointments, hilarious situations, but most of all the pleasure of searching, finding, installing and cherishing our growing collection. And a kind of sixth sense – without words we loved the same items, in an auction catalogue we always marked identical objects. A small fish bowl! A miniature frame with butterflies! Even more, we both knew exactly where it would fit."



As the collection grew, so did discrimination and a sense of what was rare and special. The mis-matched tea cup and broken chest were discarded along with most of the pieces acquired during the first ten years. "Our main strategy was to buy always the very best with the budget we had available at the moment...it could happen that we returned from a fair with just a small, mint umbrella."

Along the way, mother and daughter had discovered the world of French fashion dolls, and it is no small coincidence that the a major doll from De Kleine Wereld museum is an early porcelain Denis-Duval poupee with complete original trousseau, and remarkably, a hand-written inventory of every item of clothing in the trousseau. (In June 2009 an article about the doll and her trousseau appeared in Antique Doll Collector).

Other poupees, always in original or antique costumes, formed highlights in the museum collection. Examples by Jumeau and Gaultier are delightful, and especially notable is a Jumeau poupee in her original Russian silk aristocracy costume. But the poupees were never in isolation. "What we also liked was to create a world on its own: interiors, scenes, all had to fit together in color and age and style and scale." A French lady doll poses in her salon, alongside superb maitrise furnishings and accessories, while in the child's room, the nanny hovers lovingly over the little bisque children playing with tiny toys and pets. Antique costumes are laid on the fine canopy bed in the boudoir, while a poupee looks on, choosing her gown for the evening's gala. Crystal chandeliers dangle, fine miniature blown glass is set on the table, along with porcelain dinnerware and cutlery. A grandfather's clock chimes nearly, and salon dogs hopefully keep one eye on the well-laden pastry dish.



All of these beautiful dolls, and the objects from the world that they inhabited, are to be presented in the auction of the De Kleine Wereld Museum. The furniture, mostly scaled for exhibition with 14"-20" poupees, is of maitrise quality, and includes superb examples for each doll's environment. Florence Theriault, who traveled to Belgium, for the farewell fete of the Museum and to oversee its packing, notes that the poupee furniture and accessories are among the finest she has seen in decades.

Although a keen sense of history and a desire for research have ensured that most of the pieces are well documented, Els Van Houtven notes wistfully, "We have no clue about the true history of every single piece we have. Why has it survived more than 100 years, as so many other objects haven't? Was it owned, loved, cherished once by a little girl? Most probably she is not alive anymore. How many times was it turned into other hands? How many years did it spend on a dusty attic before that...?"

In addition, the Museum has exhibited fine automata including the rare Lambert deposed model of a child playing with dolls, the Chinese tea server, the early and beautiful gliding lady by Vichy, the crying child with broken doll by Lambert with signature character bisque head by Jumeau, and a young lady pushing a carriage with all-bisque child.

Furniture on a larger scale, perfect for display with dolls 24"-30", is also exhibited. Of particular note is a remarkable kitchen cupboard that is lavishly fitted (originally) with all the necessary utensils and tools of a well-kept German kitchen of the late 19th century. Standing 50" tall, it displays fine porcelain ware with blue designs as well as dozens of accessories, and centered on its counter top is a fine Maerklin stove.



On a smaller scale is the outstanding collection of miniature stores, kitchens, doll rooms, and doll houses, each filled to the brim with rare miniatures and accessories. Of particular note are three fine millinery shops; one example features a French window label on the exterior, while the interior is filled with wonderful fabrics, trims, laces, and more. Two very unusual shops include the German shoe store, whose shelves are filled with dozens of tiny filled shoe boxes, and the lederwaren or leather store, which offers valises, purses, belt, and other leather ware. There are apothecaries, grocery stores, an outstanding butcher's shop, mouth-watering pastry stores, and an exceptional toy store whose laden shelves are filled with tiny childhood wishes. Of great rarity is the Chinese tea store with lacquered cabinets and shelving, filled with miniature tin tea decanters. Each of the miniature stores and rooms is in its original state of preservation, and includes examples by Christian Hacker, Gottschalk, and other notable firms.



And about that tiny tea cup that started it all. The mother-daughter collecting team never lost their love for miniature tea services, so it is no surprise that more than 40 rare miniature tea sets have been featured in a special Museum gallery, and are to be included in the auction.

The De Kleine Werelde auction features more than 350 lots, with literally thousands and thousands of objects, as each room and house is filled to over-brimming with rare treasures, and many dolls are sold with an accompanying doll or with an accessory or furnishing especially chosen for it.

In reflecting on her collecting years, Els Van Houtven looks first at one treasure and then another, and notes "This is so nice about collecting: it is hard to say if you find a piece, or if the piece finds you. Mostly it is love at first sight. You find something you were not even looking for, however all of a sudden it becomes simply essential, and very often we felt a piece had just ‘come home' when we added it to our collection."



The De Kleine Wereld Museum auction is part of an extravaganza weekend of auctions and doll events planned by Theriault's for March 30, 31, and April 1 at the Westin Hotel in San Francisco Market Square. The weekend begins on Friday March 30 with a free one-day seminar to be conducted by Florence Theriault, featuring hands-on workshops into "the environment of the antique doll". On Saturday, a superb auction of antique dolls, entitled "The Well-Bred Doll", includes treasures ranging from an exquisite Huret poupee to a 38" A.T. bebe by Thuillier to rare automata. The auction of De Kleine Wereld Museum takes place on Sunday, April 1. Catalogs are available for each of the auctions, and absentee and live online bidding are available if your attendance is not possible. For more information, to pre-register for the seminar, or to order catalogs call 410-224-3655 or email info@theriaults.com.

Els Van Houtven, her mother and her two daughters will be present at De Kleines Wereld museum auction, available to sign the commemorative auction catalog of the museum collection.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Doll Museum: Some More 17th-18th Century Dolls

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Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Happy Japanese Doll Festival for Girls and My Thre...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Happy Japanese Doll Festival for Girls and My Thre...: Today is the day of the Hina Matsuri or Japanese Doll Festival. For great histories of this wonderful holiday, read Miss Happiness and Miss...

Happy Japanese Doll Festival for Girls and My Three Collections of Dolls

Today is the day of the Hina Matsuri or Japanese Doll Festival. For great histories of this wonderful holiday, read Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden, friend of Tasha Tudor, who was so kind to me when I wrote my dissertation. Also, try Judy Shoaf's A Page for Japanese Dolls online, and Laura B. Starr's, The Doll Book, 1908, available on Kindle. My friend Mary Hillier has excellent information in her Dolls and Doll Makers, and Alan Pate and Lea Baten are also excellent sources and noted authors on Japanese dolls of all types. I have a foldout Hina set that dates to the Korean War, and other Korean and Japanese dolls my Uncle Tom, an artist, brought from Korea. Yesterday was the anniversary of his death, and I feel the need to honor him. He was a big contributor to my doll collection, and taught me to paint in oils. He repaired all sorts of dolls, and brought me one every weekend. He was a graduate of the School of the Art Institute, and very talented.

As I was pondering the state of my dolls, sort of like The State of the Union, when it occurred to me, I really have three collections: the standard "correct" collection of typically desireable dolls from all epochs that appear in books, all in good or mint shape with boxes, my core collection from childhood, many in mint or excellent shape, others well-loved, who were my companions, and my artist/restored wonders. These last may be my favorites, and include my early and sad attemtps and doll making, fabulous fragments of antique dolls, yardsale dolls, the bits and pieces that become art dolls, homemade paper dolls and doll houses, furniture, and clothes. I've learned from all three segments of the collection, and I don't think I could have specialized in the way some collectors do, but then, to each her own!

More later, and our best to Rosalie Whyel. Hand is better, but hurts today, so more typos, I fear. :)