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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

10,000 Year old Doll

From Turkey:

This is a large, sort of crude, marble statue.

Some figures from this region were found here:

Çayönü: (Cult Buildings).

Çayönü was excavated by Robert Braidwood in the 1960s, as a joint project between the universities of Chicago and Istanbul. It dates back to at least 7,200 BC (1)

The site provided the archaeological world with several 'first's' including animal husbandry, woven cloth, smelted copper Terrazzo (stone pieces pressed into a cement base) floors and several female figurines among the finds representing some of the earliest traces of the Mother Goddess cult in the region.

Dolls of Ancient Sumer and a Billion+ Year old Fossil

Because I love fossils, too, I am including a 2 billion + year old kona dolomite. I hope to include some of these in our collections. I can't fathom anything this old; it fascinates me. To think our Mother Earth, for whom the Goddess figures in our last exhibit are named, is old and more.

"After this, the 4000 year old Sumerian figures are almost brand new, mere children in the annals of history. I'm a little out of context, but I will try to handle the ancient dolls by culture, first, then go back to dates. Below is some information from a site about these figures:that Art and Architecture

More than 4,000 years ago the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers began to teem with life--first the Sumerian, then the Babylonian, Assyrian, Chaldean, and Persian empires. Here too excavations have unearthed evidence of great skill and artistry.

From Sumeria have come examples of fine works in marble, diorite, hammered gold, and lapis lazuli. Of the many portraits produced in this area, some of the best are those of Gudea, ruler of Lagash.

Some of the portraits are in marble, others, such as the one in the Louvre in Paris, are cut in gray-black diorite.

Dating from about 2400 BC, they have the smooth perfection and idealized features of the classical period in Sumerian art.

Sumerian art and architecture was ornate and complex. Clay was the Sumerians' most abundant material. Stone, wood, and metal had to be imported.

Art was primarily used for religious purposes. Painting and sculpture was the main median used." yielded much outstanding Sumerian work, e.g., a wooden harp with the head of a bull on top, showing mythological scenes in gold and mosaic inlay on the sound box (c.2650 B.C., Univ. of Penn., Philadelphia).

Sumerian techniques and motifs were widely available because of the invention of cuneiform writing before 3000 B.C.

This system of writing developed before the last centuries of the 4th millennium B.C. in the lower Tigris and Euphrates valley, most likely by the Sumerians. The characters consist of arrangements of wedge-like strokes, generally on clay tablets. The history of the script is strikingly like that of the Egyptian hieroglyphic.

Among other Sumerian arts forms were the clay cylinder seals used to mark documents or property. They were highly sophisticated.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The First Dolls; The Stone Age

This is part of our First Exhibit here at the Web Doll Museum. I used to read that dolls, or figurines, of the earliest Venus or Goddess figures were the oldest human artifact. In fact, Max von Boehn, a museum curator of the 20s and 30s makes a good argument for this point in his seminal work, Dolls, 1927. Now, I'm not that sure. After reading Ardrey and other anthroplogists; I'm beginning to think the first human artifact was a weapon, e.g., a club. He notes that human-like apes may have clubbed to death orangutangs in a pre-Stone Age murder that probably occurred half a million years ago or so. Perhaps the little limestone and ivory Venus figures, usually found in Austria and mentioned in Jean Auel's Earth's Children Series, are the oldest surviving cultural artifacts.

We do know that these figures were not toys, that they had their hair carved in elaborate corn rows, that they are fertility figures, with breasts, hips, and genitals indicated or exaggerated. Most have no faces, giving rise to theory that like many religions after them, the Stone Age people had a taboo against protraying human faces, because they were made in the image of The Goddess.

There are one or two extremely rare male figures, and most date from 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. These were sacred objects, more like santos or votive figures than toys.

Yet, what made humans so long ago want to reproduce themselves, either in cave paintings or in tiny sculptural dolls? Auel invents soft dolls of leather for her Neanderthal children in her books, but we do not know if such toys existed in a frantic hunter/gatherer society. Still, it is not that far fetched an idea to imagine a child picking up a root [mandrake,ginger?] that could resemble a human form, or a rock that seemed to have a human face embossed on it. Perhaps a parent took a stick that was unusual and used it to amuse a child, or a little girl wove her own baskets to play with, so she could pretend she was gathering herbs like her mother.

Scientists are not even sure Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon people lived together, but play is an integral part of many animals and fish. And, children do have a way of taking things that have been discarded, or even attactive to them, no matter how verboden they might be, and making toys of them. I posted three phots of Goddess figures. I have good replicas from museum shops or made by artists, and New Age religions still revere The Goddess. She also appears as a statue in Hell Boy II.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Some Doll Reading

From Denise Van Patten, your Guide to Doll Collecting
This week I've been thinking quite a bit about porcelain and bisque dolls (I broke the head on one of mine when cleaning...not my smartest move), and that led me to thinking about new collectors, since so many of them are awed by porcelain and bisque dolls. However, newer collectors also often are a bit confused by porcelain dolls, since so many of today's dolls are made of vinyl. So, this week, we look at porcelain dolls and top mistakes of doll collecting newbies! Unitl next week...Denise

Dolls Made of Bisque Have Been Around For Over 150 Years!

Bisque dolls, commonly called porcelain dolls by today's collectors, were produced by the millions from the late 1860s through the early 1930s. These dolls have long been loved for their realistic modeling, and rich decoration. In the beginning, these dolls ... Read more

If You Are A New Doll Collector, You Need To Read This

If you are new to doll collecting, it can be overwhelming! There are so many types of dolls to choose from, and so many conflicting ideas on how to build a great collection. Many people ... Read more

UFDC 62nd National Convention, Les Celebrations des Poupees, Delighted Collectors

The 62nd National Doll Club Convention held by the UFDC, Les Celebrations des Poupees, wrapped up this past weekend in Anaheim. Collectors in attendance told me that they had a... Read more

Is Chatty Cathy the Most Famous Talking Doll?

A few weeks ago, the oldest talking doll was in the news. That started me thinking about talking dolls in general, especially my favorite talking doll from my childhood, Chatty... Read more

A Newsletter

I will post some interesting tidbits and newsletters till the photos of my dolls are ready to populate our web museum. :)
From Denise Van Patten, your Guide to Doll Collecting
I had a marvelous time at the UFDC Doll Convention last week! This week, I have a full report on the convention for you written in two parts--Part I (which I wrote live from the convention!) and Part II, which I just completed. The convention seemed a bit smaller than in years past, but overall the experience did not lack from that; particularly, the special exhibits, competition rooms, and workshops, events and seminars were spectacular! Until next week... Denise

My Adventures at the UFDC Doll Convention 2011, Part II

Although I was truly exhausted after the Salesroom opening on Monday night, I had decided earlier to take a doll sewing workshop on Tuesday morning...I always find sewing for dolls calming and a nice break from hustle-bustle at doll conventions ... Read more
See More About: doll conventions ufdc antique dolls

My Adventures at the UFDC Doll Convention 2011 - Part I

The UFDC Doll Convention is complete, utter, exciting doll madness to anyone who loves dolls! Due to personal reasons (business, teenagetrs, illness) I haven't been able to attend a UFDC National Doll Convention since the Las Vegas convention in 2008, and that was so disappointing. I really missed going to the conventions--there ... Read more
See More About: ufdc doll conventions doll events

Dolls Price Guide

Our doll price guides have been growing, so if you haven't visited them lately, now is a great time to check them out! With great photography and up to date pricing and identification information, the dolls price guide is a fun place to browse dolls!... Read more
See More About: doll prices dolls price guide doll values

Paper Dolls

Paper dolls are flat, they're ephemeral, and they are as varied in form and history as are three-dimensional dolls. You'll find some of the best free, printable paper dolls here!