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, July 30, 2014

Due to Snow, Atlanta's Actor's Express Delays doll plays to Jan. 12 - Playbill.com

Due to Snow, Atlanta's Actor's Express Delays doll plays to Jan. 12 - Playbill.com



See above link; this is the play honoring Aunt Len's Doll Museum, subject of the book "Who Won Second Place at Omaha?" I'm resurrecting some research for an About.com project.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Collision with Inside Edition, Freeing the Talega 11, and an Editor who wants Lots of Dolls, "The More the Merrier!"

There I was Friday, about to go to lunch, and begin a short day at work. A good friend was holding an estate sale, and there was a large bear and doll collection. I never made it. There was an email message for me from "Inside Edition." One of it's reporters wanted to talk to me about doll making. So, O.K., I try to promote doll collecting where I can, but I had a suspicion something else was at hand. This whole creepy doll thing has become very popular, and worrisome to collectors. I'm just surprised the media supports it. To make a long day short, I spent hours trying to accomdoate this young lady. I talked to her at length, gave her sources of all types, tried to upload Skype onto my new laptop, ran all over two states to get ready. She emailed me Friday morning, and wanted this all set up by 2pm Friday afternoon. The story she was following turned out not to be about doll makers, but about a "creepy doll story" in San Clemente, California. See below the quote from our former guide's blog; she sums it up well. I talked at length with the reporter, and actually had a nice talk about doll makers and porcelain dolls, and she took some notes on The National Institute of American Doll Artists, N.I.A.D.A. The beautiful dolls in this photo are courtesy of our friends at Theriault's.com. From Denise Van Patten's Blog: So, evidently some little old lady in Talega, California, left some porcelain dolls on porches as gifts for little girls in her area. This created a media firestorm all the way to the United Kingdom. "Mystery 'do-gooder' causes panic by leaving sinister dolls resembling REAL young girls outside homes in gated California community" screams the Daily Mail. "10 ‘Creepy’ Porcelain Dolls Found On Doorsteps In OC Were Meant To Be Nice Gesture" says CBS Los Angeles. [PS; Denise and I can both tell you that lookalike dolls are innocent toys that have been popular for over 200 years. Mme. Tussaud's father made them for Tussaud and her friend, Princess Mathilde. American Girls has them, and My Twin dolls have been popular for some time. There was a company in the sixties that made rag dolls with faces that were photographs of the doll's owners. I have a one of a kind doll given to me that was made as a portrait. Annette Himstedt and other artists modeled their dolls after live children. Jumeau allegedly did the same when Bebe Triste was created. I was ecstatic when my mom bought me a Miss Chips that looked like me. I still have her, and she is called "The Ellen Doll."] I was interviewed on this great crisis this morning by Inside Edition. Before the interview, I said I wasn't interested in talking to them if they were just going to portray the whole episode as creepy. Oh no, they assured me. So, what was the first question the reporter asked me? "Isn't this whole thing just a little bit creepy?" Poor lady, she just wanted to give the little girls in her neighborhood her daughter's dolls. She probably thought she was going to surprise them. How could she expect anyone to overreact this way? Grow up, folks, is all I have to say. So, San Clemente's finest have "booked" the dolls into evidence. The dolls are all modern porcelains, apparently. When the reporter sent me the link and I saw what the dolls were, I told her they were generic; they look like everyone's kids. I told her which companies made them, how much they cost, where they were made, and I told her about the Seymour Mann Company, owned by novelist Erica Jong's parents. She even asked me where people could buy similar dolls. I pretty much paraphrased my own post on modern porcelain dolls and "Waldas." Apparently, this wasn't what they wanted to hear at Inside Edition. Oh, and they hadn't heard of Erica Jong ["Fear of Flying], either. They wanted to "see" me on Skype, and they wanted dolls in the background "like the one's in San Clemente." Guess why. "The more the merrier," the reporter's editor kept saying in the background. After I read the story on Denises' site, link above, my suspicions were correct. They wanted to make doll collectors look at best, stupid, at worst, sinister. I guess story made it to the UK, too. Too bad my friend Mary Hillier isn't still with us to laugh at such silliness. They didn't quote me, which is probably a good thing in light of what Denise experienced. I've turned down other requests to let the local media into my home to talk about dolls. I went on one local TV show once to promote a lecture about historical dolls that I did for AAUW, but that's the last time. it was a lot of work for people who appreciated nothing, and they cut off off in favor of some man who makes bowls out of rotten wood. As for my recent experience, alls well that ends well. You may all remember that San Clemente was the home of former President Richard Nixon. He and his wife collected dolls for their daughters, and at one point, they paid aorund $150.00 in the seventies to restore two Siamese dolls. Hmm, folks in the Media and in San Clemente PD, think about that. No charges were filed against the lady who gave the dolls as gifts, but the "Talega 11" are still in the evidence locker. Gee, officers, you can send them to me and to Dr. E's Doll Museum. We'll be happy to have them, and honor the lady's generosity. The police note no crime was committed, but they were keeping the dolls because the whole thing was well, "creepy." I think the local police said the same thing when someone found a doll in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692.

Friday, July 25, 2014

RIP: Mr. Tom Tierney Paper Doll Artist dies at Age 85

We honor Tom Tierney, and a link to his obit is below. Excellent material on him on The Paper Collector Blog,http://thepapercollector.blogspot.com/2014/07/nytimes-tom-tierney-who-made-paper.html, The Paper Collector. as well His paper doll books comprise a large part of my doll and paper doll collection. Like my own Uncle Tom, Tierney was a great artist.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/arts/tom-tierney-who-made-paper-dolls-an-art-form-dies-at-85.html?_r=0

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Inspiring a Helping Hand

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Inspiring a Helping Hand: In 1998 Lynda Pracht traveled to Nicaragua on a sponsored Learning Centers Mission. Inspired by the enthusiasm and talented embroidery and d...

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Sweet Nell

The 19th Century continued:



Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Sweet Nell: The other night, my mother rediscovered a vintage bisque head that belonged to her mother. The wig and body are long gone and the head was b...





We wish this new museum the best of luck!

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Halloween is on its way!

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Halloween is on its way!: The Spencer Doll and Toy Museum has a wonderful window display for Halloween created by interior decorator Ms. Nancy Jo Fox., who is a on t...

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Inspiring a Helping Hand

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Inspiring a Helping Hand: In 1998 Lynda Pracht traveled to Nicaragua on a sponsored Learning Centers Mission. Inspired by the enthusiasm and talented embroidery and d...

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Girl Scouts and Barbie Partner to Create First-Eve...

Spencer Doll And Toy Museum: Girl Scouts and Barbie Partner to Create First-Eve...: Girl Scouts and Barbie Partner to Create First-Ever Barbie Patch Did you know that the Girl Scouts of the USA and Barbie have partnered to...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Doll Museum: The 19th c. Continued; a 1950 Glossary of Popular ...

Doll Museum: The 19th c. Continued; a 1950 Glossary of Popular ...: During the late 80s, early 90s, I tracked down at least one copy each of Janet Pagter Johl's wonderful doll histories, "More about ...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Miniature Bone Doll- My Favorite from As in a Looking Glass, upcoming auction by Theriault's

She has to be my favorite doll from this and the Elan auction taking place on July 16th. She is the kind of doll that keeps me collecting. Read more:
Item Description: translate description 2 1/2" (6 cm.) One-piece carved bone figure of nude adult woman, posed holding a very small child in her right arm, her left arm modestly held in front of her body, with long flowing hair that flows to her hips at the back, having painted detail of facial features, stocking ties, slippers, necklace and bracelets. Excellent condition. Comments: mid-19th century, the figure is preserved in early box with mirrored interior, glass-over-engravings on the lid, and containing a little paper with ink note "Matilda Bowman to Mary Ann Harper Hutchinson, Nov 23rd, 1840". Theriault's.com

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Update on Huguette Clark and her Doll Collection

See below; maybe the dolls will be in amuseum at Bellosguardo, where they belong and where Madame Clark would have wanted them. Apparently, the court's have gone with an earlier update on her will. I think the relationship she had with Theriault' and Stuart Holborrk was very special. Remember, she was an artist, and she chose her dolls well. The photo of the Huguette Clark doll is courtesy of our Friend Deb Ritter, Uneek Doll Designs, Etsy, and she is one of Debbie's original creations. What a fitting tribute! Huguette Clark’s Extensive Doll Collection Handed Down to Bellosguardo Foundation from Noozhawk by g. magnoli: The heiress leaves her 1,000 to 1,200 pieces, appraised at about $1.7 million, to the entity created to care for the Santa Barbara estate By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk News Editor | @magnoli | Published on 07.07.2014 9:48 p.m. Share on twitter Share on facebook Share on google_plusone_share Share on email Share on print More Sharing Services13 Comment For decades, Theriault’s would exchange notes and catalogs with one of its biggest doll collectors anonymously, dealing only with her attorneys. The dolls by Emile Jumeau were the most coveted by Huguette Clark. This pair, in original antique mariner costumes, were purchased by Clark from Theriault’s in 2007. (Theriault's courtesy photo) “It was intriguing,” said Stuart Holbrook, president of the international doll auction company. “For a number of years we had no idea who she was — she was only known as the client.” Late heiress Huguette Clark is now famous for her family’s wealth, longevity and lifelong love of art. Many pieces of her family’s multigenerational art collection were auctioned off after Clarks’ death at age 104 in 2011. She willed a large portion of her estate to charity, including a new arts foundation to care for the Bellosguardo estate in Santa Barbara. Along with the Bellosguardo property itself, Clark willed her extensive doll collection to the foundation. “Mrs. Clark,” as Holbrook still calls her, was a big buyer with Theriault’s for about 30 years, spending more than $1 million with the company. She spent millions of dollars with other doll companies over the years, too. Even after Holbrook learned the identity of this mysterious client, his staff never had direct contact, always sending things through the attorneys. They realized the scope of her wealth only a few years ago, when her story became widely publicized after her death. “I would send her books, interesting tidbits about the doll world and she would send her gratitude,” Holbrook said. “I had this 30-year relationship with a person I never really knew.” She mostly purchased French dolls from the 19th century, though she did buy some Japanese dolls — the Clark family had an extensive collection of Asian art — and even some unique Barbie dolls. Her family had a large collection of French impressionist art, French furniture and Asian art, so Clark’s taste in dolls seems to follow the rest of her artistic interests. “We learned through her buying, there were very specific emotional catches to her purchases, things she really identified with,” Holbrook said. “It was remarkable that a woman of such immense wealth could have anything in the world she wanted yet she was not just going after every major expensive piece, but for items that fit some idea of her collection. They had some emotional draw to her or balanced out what she already had.” Some media have characterized the act of collecting dolls as “creepy,” he said, and his company hopes Clark’s now-famous name and extensive collection could draw many people into the world of antique dolls. “Our hopes really lie with the idea that the foundation will incorporate the dolls in some manner with Bellosguardo,” Holbrook said. “People are respecting her more for the choices she made and realizing the dolls are not just a whim of a quirky old woman, but are a true work of art. It could be a wonderful way for the general public to be educated in the world of antique dolls.” Clark’s collection was appraised in the range of $1.7 million. Holbrook was brought in to do an expert appraisal confirmation for the Internal Revenue Service, working with pictures of the collection. There are 1,000 to 1,200 pieces in the collection, including 600 to 700 European dolls, several Japanese dolls and some contemporary American fashion dolls from the 1930s to 1960s. “People tend to forget she had been collecting since she was a child, in the early 20th century when many of these dolls were still being purchased new,” Holbrook said. “She was unique in that she was a collector from childhood, something almost unprecedented in our world. Because of the wealth and traveling, the longevity, she was able to amass a wonderful assortment of dolls over the years.” Southern California has the highest concentration of doll collectors in the world, he said. “We see it awakening people, especially in Santa Barbara,” he said. “What better name than Huguette Clark, and what better place than Bellosguardo?” Besides the doll collection, it’s still unclear how much money will be given to the new arts foundation. The settlement included $4.5 million, but that number depends on the auction proceeds and whether the IRS waives some gift tax penalties, according to Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider. “Once everything is done, if there is any money more than expected, that will go to the foundation — but we won’t know that until everything is finished,” she said. The arts foundation board soon will be established, possibly this summer, but will not have any assets or property transferred until the estate is completely settled, Schneider said. That could take another year, she noted, but the public administrator of the estate, Ethel Griffin of New York County, is “ensuring that the Bellosguardo property is well maintained as it has been for decades.” Schneider said she isn’t sure where the dolls are, saying the public administrator is probably paying for storage somewhere in New York. “I don’t think they are where Clark left them," Schneider said, "because I think a lot of them were in her penthouse — that was cleared out and sold, so they were moved out of there.” — Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook. Share on twitter Share on facebook Share on google_plusone_share Share on email Share on print More Sharing Services13

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

See below from a local news report; I love yard sales, and find many dolls there, despite the admonition from the author of "Haunted Objects", stay away from dolls, stay away from yardsales, and stay away from dolls at yard sales. No, I say, "Tis the Season!" For more, see my post "Yard Sale Musings" at Doll Collecting at About.com: What is the key to a successful garage/yard sale? Here is what we found: Signs matter Don’t think shoppers will be lured in by items on tables outside; put up signs. Shoppers we spoke with said this is critical to getting shoppers to flock to your sale. Setup a sign at the bottom of your driveway, but don’t stop there. Put signs up near busy intersections, and include arrows pointing in the direction of your home. There is no such thing as too many signs. Your signs should stand out and demand attention. Make them colorful, add balloons and have fun with it. The more unique your signs, the more shoppers will pay attention. Remember, too, to take down all of your signs after your sale. Advertise It’s no secret. Advertising pays off. People in your neighborhood may see your decorative signs, but what about those on the opposite end of town? Unless people just happen to be driving by, how will they know you are having a sale? It’s a tried and true strategy to advertise your sale in the local newspaper. Consider how many people read the paper every day; many of them will glance at your advertisement. It doesn’t hurt to try. You can double the effort by using the Internet to your advantage. Post your ad a week in advance, and try to update it every day. The Internet is the fastest way to reach the large groups of people. Craigslist and Facebook draw millions of people a day, and shoppers we spoke with said they check those websites regularly. YardSaleSearch.com and GSalR.com are other helpful sites; and the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau lists some local community yard sales. Price to sell People shopping at a garage sale are not expecting to pay retail prices, they want a bargain. You want to make money. It is possible for everyone to get what they want. First, make sure everything is priced. Shoppers will get annoyed if they have to constantly ask the price of various items. Group like, or related, items together, and be willing to offer a discount to a customer interested in multiple items. Most items are best priced at 10% to 30% of what you paid for them, but that is not a hard-and-fast rule. Flexibility is key. If someone asks if you will take a lower price, listen to their offer. Then consider how much the item is really worth to you, and whether you honestly believe someone else will give more than what is being offered. What would you honestly pay for the same item? If you are willing to sell one item for a good price, that person is likely to buy more things, resulting in a domino effect that can benefit your pocketbook. For pricing help, try websites that offer pricing guidance such as garagesaletracker.com or bestgaragesaletips.com. Community-wide sales are the way to go The whole point of having a yard sale is sell unwanted items and to make a little extra cash along the way. In order to do that, you need a lot of foot traffic at your sale. Community-wide sales lure shoppers, and the more sales in your community, the more people will be there to shop. Next time you’re planning your sale, search for your city or neighborhood community sales day. Be nice and people will pay the price People we spoke with said the person they are buying from is nearly as important as the product they are buying. Nobody wants to do business with an unpleasant person. People are also more likely to pay a higher price from somebody they believe to be friendly. Greet every person who stops by your sale. Ask them how their day is, and let them know how items are organized. The conversation you try to start with them just might end with an item sold. They get a bargain, and you make a little cash. Do you have a yard sale shopping or selling tip to share? Leave it in the comments below! Good luck!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

For Uncle Tom, who Collected Dolls for Me

For Uncle Tom, who Collected Dolls for Me, and whose Birthday would have been July 5th Collectors have interesting stories to tell about how they got started colleting. This is one reason I invite my readers to share theirs with me, and I will be posting more of them at About.com Doll Collecting as a receive them and compile a file. As far as my collection goes, I started officially collecting dolls when I was 3. Yes, 3! My grandmother’s house was full of national costume dolls, mainly souvenirs of travels taken during the late 40s and 50s. Many found their way home to me through the years, but the 3 dolls that started my collection at age 3 were two Greek dolls, a male soldier or Evzon wearing the traditional kilt and vest, and an Amalia doll, named in honor of the first queen of Greece after the Greeks gained their independence form Turkey in 1821. Amalia and king Otto were originally Germans from Munich. Contemporary diplomacy and politics fated them to become the new Greek sovereigns. Amalia created the outfit named for her by blending popular Biedermeier fashions with the traditional outfits worn by Greek women. The third doll was my own Greek “squeaky bunny,” my first doll which I still have. Standing about 8 inches, Bunny is all rubber, and has molded clothing, a set of yellow bunny pajamas with long ears. A human child’s face peaks out from the bunny ears. I remember the summer day I had these three lined up on the floor, turned to my mother and said “I’m going to collect dolls.” The rest is history. My mother’s brother, Tom, was an artist who worked in a studio 90 miles away. He had attended the School of the Art Institute after the Korean War, and made many beautiful things. His specialty was airbrush, and he counted as clients Dick Blick, Helen Gallagher, Caterpillar, various liquor companies, and other businesses that needed catalogs and graphics. He and I were very close, and he bought me my first oil paints and often provided art supplies for all my projects. Every weekend, he came home. He always brought me a present, almost always a doll or doll related object. Every week I waited for him, excited to see what he had found. He only complained once; when he brought Giggles home for my birthday, she giggled her way the whole 90 miles. He could hear her even though she was in his trunk! I owe many dolls besides Giggles to him; Real Live Lucy, my first Japanese dolls, my first Korean dolls, some that he brought home from the war, my first Chatty Cathy’s and Chatty Babies, many miniature dolls and furniture sets, robots, and more. He never forgot me. One year when I was six, right before Christmas, he was in a terrible car accident. He was hurt very badly, and his car demolished. It was a brand new Bonneville, too. He could barely talk because he was in pain and had broken his jaw, but the first thing he asked my mother was whether they had gotten my dolls out of his trunk. That was how badly he hated to disappoint me. Many of the dolls were drink and wet babies, and one walking doll had frosted pink hair that matched her pink chiffon dress. There was a “big eyed” doll made in the image of the Big Eyed children by Margaret Kane that were so popular at the time. I actually had a copy of that painting, and some others of these wide-eyed children in my room at home. When I was a little older, and my parents knew Uncle Tom was arriving on Friday night, they would go out and leave me at home to wait for him. Sure enough, about 6 pm, he would pull up, open the door, and take me with him to the local A&P where we picked up the delicacies only the two of us liked to eat. We would go home, and I would turn on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” a favorite of ours. He would put on a steak, and then I’d watch it while he unpacked. He carried some of his smaller things in an old cigar box, wooden with a pastoral scene set in the center of the lid. I admired that box my whole life. I inherited it when he died, at the very young age of 52. I use it to keep tiny doll heads and shards in it. Because he was an artist, Tom was very clever. He learned to repair my dolls and doll furniture so that you couldn’t tell they had ever been broken. I restrung a tiny metal astronaut that had come apart. He fixed my Madame Alexander’s when their rubber bands broke. He turned a new leg for a very tiny Strombecker buffet table. You can’t tell which one was replaced to this day6. He put together my first Nancy Ann bisque storybook doll that had had a bad accident and painted her so that you can’t tell where the breaks were. He was very good at making anything, and he and my dad refinished one of my hope chests one winter. Tom did not collect dolls, but he enjoyed collecting them for me. He endured many trips to flea markets and thrift stores, and even scouted out new ones. He brought me home figurines and one of kind toys the other artists created at his workplace; these are among the most unique additions to my collection. If it weren’t for him, I don’t know if I would have appreciated the art of dolls as much as I do, or if I would have wanted to make my own. He loved beautiful things and all kinds of art, and I think that rubbed off on me. When I see a broken up doll or android, or a toy like the mechanical Charlie Weaver that is still at my grandparents’ home, he lives again. Even now, Friday night comes around, and sometimes, I think I hear the door of a Bonneville close, and I forget myself and run to the door to see what kind of doll he brought me.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: The Star Spangled Banner; Happy 4th!

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: The Star Spangled Banner; Happy 4th!: The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics By Francis Scott Key 1814 Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light What so proudly w...
See Below from Theriault's, with photos courtesy of Theriault's.com. Two wonderful auctions July 15 and 16th, including a wonderful little bone doll with a bone to pick with some lucky owner! See lot 15.1. Included are some Crèche dolls from the Margaret Woodbury Strong collection, real doll history in the making! "The important cataloged auction on Tuesday, July 15 will highlight dolls from five major collections including those of noted early collectors Jean Strong of Williamsville, New York (Bru, Jumeau, Huret, fashions, automata, and American cloth), Bonnie Tussing of Florida (classic Bébés and rare German characters), and Patricia Cox of Portland, Oregon (A.T., Jumeau, Bru, German characters, and rare automata). As well, there are extraordinary original dolls and automata fresh from French estates, and part one of important carved wooden and Neopolitan dolls of the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum (sold to benefit the museum’s collections fund)." (Theriault's.com)

Collecting in Summer; Gather ye Dollies while ye May

I did a good part of my collecting in my younger days on road trips, usually cross-country to California. We took the scenic route and stopped in Yellowstone, Lake Havasu, Monterey, Mexico, Juarez, San Antonio, Amarillo, Disney Land, Solvang, Jackson Hole, Reno, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and many other places along the way. We had favorite places to shop for dolls: The Boardwalk in Laramie, Wyoming, Fort Cody and Front Street in Nebraska, The Tinkerbell Toys Shop in Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Little America, souvenir stores, antique stores, Old Spanish Town, Casino gift shops, all were fair game. We also took trips to Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Williamsburg, New Orleans, Toronto, Manitoba, Boston, Salem [Oh, the wonderful witch dolls, the House of Seven Gables doll, the miniatures, and the antiques that came from there!], Hannibal, Chicago, St. Louis, Rome, Madrid, Athens, and Delphi. Dolls were truly where you found them. My family and I took short day trips every weekend, usually on out of the way country roads, looking for antique shops and thrift stores. There used to be a doll store in St. David, IL; leave it to my mother to find that! I hadn't even heard of St. David. We knew about a lot of country flea markets that had dolls, and we usually did very well. So, in the spirit of those wonderful trips, I thought I would share my summer doll finds, though some came from Ruby Lane, some were local, and some were the result of day trips. For those who also want to embark on doll collecting adventures, albeit local ones, I recommend a book that, though written in the mid to late 70s, is till timeless. It is Evelyn Meade Chisman's "Small Dolls and Other Collectibles." She has excellent advice on finding dolls at yard sales and similar venues for your own collections, but also as items to sell to fund your hobby. 1. From EEB Flea Market, I bought a 24" Supermarket Fashion doll, circa 1960, with her original high heel sandals, light brown wavy hair, intact red nail polish, and a sleeveless early 60s shift dress in light blue print. Cost: $6.00. Doll price guide value: $35.00 - 100.00. 2. African cloth doll, 18" with original tribal cloth costume, bought from a thrift shop. Similar to dolls sold in Unicef and Fair Trade shops. She coast $4.00, and new costs about $50.00. 3. Related ephemera: "Supplemental List of Badges and Buttons" book let for $1.00, date 1896. Remember dolls fit into political collectible categories as well. The 1897 McKinley Soap Baby is a prime example. 4. Colonial Stump doll, calico print dress, apron, sun bonnet, she is a half doll, built on a bowl that rests on a wooden block, and she may be a toaster cover. She has painted features and very blue eyes and a blonde mohair sewn onto her head. She came from the same thrift shop as nos. 1,2, and 3 and cost $2.00. 5. Vinyl Inuit doll from a thrift shop dressed in a faux fur parka, mukluks, with painted face and black wig. She is 10" high and is in her original baggie. 6. From EEB Flea market came a large bag of vintage photos from the turn of the century to 1931. There are about 100 of them, some in great condition, some not. They are sepia toned and there are many children's outfits and other great clothes features. There are also some mounted in cardboard presentation frames. The whole bag cost 10.00. 7. 8" gorilla made from a vintage quilt. Free as a perk from EEB Flea Market. 8. Dr. Seuss Horton hears a Who elephant finger puppet with a pink fuzzy Who world. Original rice $4.00, free as a perk from EEB flea market. 9. From an estate sale, I found an assortment of about ten dolls, mostly national costume dolls which included a lovely Furga and several Gura dolls from Germany. These are hard plastic, very good quality with wigs and lovely sleep eyes. Also, I found a complete Hummel doll of rubber, "The Little Traveler," with all his accessories, and several Eros dolls from Italy, which are classic Lenci-type dolls. All were about 40 years old or more, in excellent shape, some with their boxes. All were well under twenty dollars each, many under five or ten dollars. 10. From Ruby Lane, an 8 in F.G. fashion with painted eyes, original costume, and tiny pink velveteen shoes with impossibly small buckles. She is a real gem, and her cost was more than reasonable. 11. From the Pan American Exposition of 1901 came a Native American Doll with documentation of cloth and leather labeled "Indian Congress 1901." 12. From a store called "Artifacts," came a 27 in. Shirley Temple with old clothes and button, wig in curls, eyes good condition, some cracking on side of the head, $180.00. According book value, this is around a $1200.00 doll. 13. Also from "Artifacts," a 10 in 1970s Kathe Kruse, the "Hannah Kruse" model, in her original box and in excellent shape for $14.00. She cost 40.00 from Marshall Field's in 1970, and books at around $225.00 in this shape. 14. A beautiful clay head folk doll with cloth body and wire wrapped arms and legs from Peru, brightly painted to look like hte son for $4.00. These are not bad finds at all, and summer is not even over! There are still good dolls to be had, and they are worth the look. Happy Collecting!

Tasha Tudor's Doll House Goes Home

See below from Cellar Door, which features the works of Tasha Tudor, who was kind enough to write to me and to illustrate her letter with Sethany Ann and Nicey Melinda! serenitysheepfarmstay.com
A plan hatched, arrangements made. The joy is in the journey, is it not? Pour yourself a cup of tea and read about our journey across the miles to tour Tasha Tudor's Garden and Doll house. A visit to Oregon includes my daughter's house and visits with my Tasha friend, Linda. I made a trip in January just prior to the tickets going on sale for the annual garden tours at Tasha's. In my haste of preparing for travel, I apparently skipped over the part in the family newsletter about the doll house coming back to Corgi Cottage. How could I miss such an important thing? Just as I was about to leave, an email from Kristen, another Tasha friend across the continent, revealed she was going to try to get a ticket and go see the doll house. Imagine my surprise and excitement when she mentioned doll house! As I sat on the plane, my gears were turning. Could we possibly all meet back at Tasha's once again? I wanted to wait and discuss this with Linda in person so I could see her reaction! I knew I would know immediately if she had any interest in returning to Corgi Cottage if I could just see her face when I asked.. Needless to say, her reaction was just what I had hoped for and the two of us started planning and scheming! During that visit to Oregon, plans were made for a private tour with our other Tasha friends. This group I speak of is an internet-based fan group devoted to all things Tasha Tudor. It was founded in 2004 and some of us have known each other even longer than that dating back over 15 years. For some it's an entirely internet relationship, if you will. Others have met face-to-face, as we did seven years ago, to tour Tasha's Garden together for the first time. Just one in this group had never been there before. Patricia was seeing it all for the very first time and we were excited to share this with her. My mailman calls us "Tasha groupies" because I am either sending or receiving things from the group, like lovely homemade Valentines or ornaments from a St. Nicholas Day exchange, things like that! I have to chuckle at the thought of being a Tasha Tudor groupie, but there we were. Brian drove from Ohio, Cathy from New Jersey picking up Suzanne along the way and Melinda and Wilhelmina live in Vermont. We were missing my partner in this whole plan as Linda got stuck at O'Hare overnight. With heavy hearts, Kristen and I set out to Vermont without her, but the Tudors were generous and gracious and allowed Linda a tour the following day. Kristen's husband picked her up that afternoon and drove her up to meet us at the motel. Arriving at the Rookery, we all checked in. From there we took a short walk to Corgi Cottage. We were then split into two groups for the tour. The suspense was killing us as we really weren't certain how much we would be able to see. With the doll house contents recently returned from Colonial Williamsburg and the impetus for this trip, anything else we might get a glimpse of in the process would just be the cream on top. As you know, part of the joy is in the anticipation! My group went in the door on the same side of the house as the gate to her home. We knew we had immediately entered a magical space. One of the first things you see ahead of you from that entrance is the deep red wall with all of her impromptu sketches, phone numbers and prose. A quick glimpse and you see a Corgi here wearing reading glasses, a poem about a wise old owl there. Etched in white everywhere on that red wall is a little piece of Tasha's life from the early 70's on. It continues into the kitchen and onto a doorway, a scattered timeline of many things other family members may have already forgotten. What may have simply started out as a matter of convenience for her has turned into a petroglyph of Tasha graffiti where one could spend literally hours! Taking a deep breath, I quickly realized we were now viewing many of Tasha's paintings come to life. It's difficult to put those feelings into words. Seeing the things we've only seen in print, be it paintings, prints or photographs, in a real life setting was like having the pages of a book come to life. The images popped right off the page and into our reality. It was evident by the oohs and aahs that were uttered and the mouths left gaping by all. It was overwhelming with so much to see. For someone unfamiliar with the layout of the house, and only imagining it prior to this, it can seem a bit of a maze. We wove back and forth and up and down narrow halls and stairways with varying degrees of lightness and dark that replicate the checks on the fabric she wove on her own looms so many years before. The width of some hallways and stairways truly gives you a sense of her diminutive size. I personally felt child-like, being led on a secret journey to a fabulous, unknown destination, enchanting indeed. The sensory overload would at times be too much as we found our own emotions floating to the surface to the point of overflow. Her presence is still very much everywhere in Corgi Cottage, but in some places more than others. It was easy to imagine her petite frame sitting in the rocker next to her woodstove and sipping tea from one of her many Canton tea cups. It was the winter kitchen where she did the vast majority of her artwork that her presence was ubiquitous. The tiny little chair she rescued and used at her art table, her paintbrushes and other supplies, all sitting out for us to see. As Linda put it, "It was like Tasha had just stepped outside for a bit and I kept thinking she would walk back into the house through one of those charming little doors!" It was evident that part of her spirit is still alive in her garden as well as the home her son built for her with his own hands. It is like no other and truly one-of-a-kind. The historical aspect of it all is something worth preserving. Although Tasha did not live in the late 1800's, she chose that lifestyle and it was fun to see things we don't use in our everyday lives anymore. One thing that stood out was a huge wool basket. Being a shepherdess myself, I was excited to see the many and varied historical accoutrements of the fiber world. My heart skipped yet another beat as I wondered where on earth I would put a basket of such measure if I owned one too. Cameras aren't allowed on the tour. As a matter of fact, no bags or purses of any sort are allowed. We knew this from our first tour 7 years ago. At first it seems disappointing, but now I relish in the fact that I had to commit so much to memory. I keep going over it in my mind and thinking of things I'd tucked away to recall again later. It helps to have the group members to discuss it all with too. It's fun to take a little tea break, open one of my many Tasha books and relive it all over again. It doesn't matter which book you open, parts of her home and garden are there on the pages for eternity. What a legacy she has left us all. If I yearned to snap just one photograph that day, it would have been of Amy and Winslow's daughter Ellie. Amy arrived in the garden with kids in tow. Ellie was carrying her pet chicken, "Gray". One of the things I purchased 7 years ago at the Rookery was Tasha's print of the little girl holding the chicken. Be still my heart as yet another of her paintings came to life right there in the garden with her own great-granddaughter. If only she could see it too. The weather was perfect although many plants were not yet in bloom. No one minded a bit as we floated back to the Rookery for light refreshments. Our Annabelle dolls had made the trip with us and they had a tea party on the front steps upon a beautiful turkey-red cloth Brian had provided. We snapped some photos, did some shopping and off we were to Brattleboro to the Museum. Melinda works there part time. It was lovely to have her escort us and she promptly put on tea when we arrived. As luck would have it, we had the place to ourselves and felt like school kids turned loose in a candy store. Melinda put on one of Tasha's videos and we could sit and sip and listen to Tasha, reliving the morning all over again. In this world of made-up Hollywood ratings, I found it very refreshing to find that Tasha's life was as portrayed in her books. Of course settings can be staged, but her life wasn't. It must have been a photographer's dream while snapping photos for her books. To steal away a few minutes, sipping tea, reading one of her many books, creating a play with your children for a performance with puppets, playing dolls as an adult, it's all part of the Tasha magic. It is so important in this day and age to encourage those activities, no matter the age. I've always said my discovery and love for all things Tasha gave me two things. She gave me life-long friendships that I would have never otherwise known and she gave me back my child-like imagination. Through her I realized I don't have to grow up even as an adult. I can still play with dolls if I want to! These are 2 very beautiful gifts I cherish. The family is in charge of preserving Tasha's legacy. They were all very gracious and welcoming and we felt as though we were among friends. I would go again in a heartbeat if I lived closer and had the opportunity to attend. Her home and gardens are deserving of the work they are putting into preservation. Photo provided by LaVonne Stucky Now, more than ever, I believe her art, her work and her lifestyle are so worthy of that preservation. You catch a glimpse of all of this through her books or at the Tasha Tudor Museum in Brattleboro, VT. Check out their website for hours and current displays. The time is now to share this all with the next generation. After the tour we gathered at the motel for a tea party. I had reserved the meeting room and Linda had shipped many wonderful things from her home state of Oregon for the occasion. Others contributed their lovelies, be it edible or useful. We each brought a tea cup for a tea cup exchange and drank from the cups we received. Each person brought treats or treasures to share and then we settled in for a little crafting. We each made a bottle doll from an old salt shaker. We had done a couple of crafting projects 7 years ago as well. There's something very therapeutic about sharing tea and crafting with friends, especially when you see them on such rare occasions. Of course the Annabelle dolls from across the nation had their tea too! Photo provided by LaVonne Stucky My hope for all of you is that you can experience a wee bit of this Tasha magic too! Take Peace! LaVonne Stucky We trust that you will enjoy hearing future news and alerts to upcoming events. If you would rather not receive our newsletter in your email, please click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this page. Wm John Hare Cellar Door Books www.cellardoorbooks.com 5 Stone Sled Lane Bow, NH 03304-5509 Toll free: (800) 818-8419