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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Marguerite Steiff and Steiff Animals-More of the 19th Century

The 19th C. is truly the golden age of dolls and toys, for sheer variety if nothing else. The story of Marguerite Steiff is so inspirational that everyone should know it. confined to a wheelchair because of polio, she channeled her creative energies towards creating charming toys with the goal of supporting herself. She, along with Morris Michtom, and certain Russian toymakers, are given credit for inventing the Teddy Bear in concjunction with the legend associated with Teddy Roosevelt. Tonight, I was watching Antiques Roadshow from San Diego, and SD is known for having doll collections, museums, and collectors. Eleanor St. George often spoke of famous collections of the 1950s from this area. Marshal Martin was featuring Steiff animals, including a reissue of the famous felt elephant that started it all. He mentioned an original would cost around $2500. I had read no originals of the little elephant existed, but perhaps we only don't have public knowledge that it exists. To paraphrase Carl Fox of The Doll, we don't know what lurks in the private collectors' cabinets around the world. YouTube is givingus an idea, but his point is well taken. Mr. Martin also showed some Steiff cats, with the grey resissue which could have been our dear, late Emma as a kitten, and a smaller original golden version done in velvet. The velvet original is valued at $500, while the grey kitten reissue, about 7 years old, holds its original value of $150 but has not increased. The same was true of the reissue of the elephant, which was reissued for Steiff's 125th anniversary at $150. Experience tells me, as well as trip through eBay, that "deliberate collectibles" and reissues hold their value, or are worth their purchase price, but often, not more. Then again, I note that in our area, antique dolls, while pricey, many "high end," have not increased in value much either. We are not known for our doll auctions in our Midwestern community, though we do have auctions of various types, including some involving dolls. Steiff bears seem to be the pricey tickets, especially vintage ones, but I love the other animals and the dolls as well. I looked for years for a good set of Hedgehogs, and I am very fond of my minis, the bunnies, chicks, mice, teddies, and one 9 in Lobster. I have found Steiff animals for ten cents, minus button, at yard sales, and a lovely Afghan hound for fifty cents. I've seen dog at other sales for $95.00, a fair price though a lot for a garage sale, but the seller removed it before I could ask about it. Bargains are still out there. I also bought a newer Steiff panda, about 12 in, for 5.00, and a letter, framed, by Marguerite Steiff herself for around 25.00 at an estate sale. Teddies and stuffed animals are especially beloved this time of year, and Steiff animals and toys are no exception.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Barbara Pym Doll by Debbie Ritter

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Barbara Pym Doll by Debbie Ritter: From our friend Debbie Ritter of Uneek Doll Designs comes this wonderful portrait doll of Barbara Pym. We love her creations, and own seve...

About Dr. E's

See below, written by Annetta Miller, a freelance writer who also wrote for Newsweek wrote a very nice feature about us: When Dr. Ellen Tsagaris was a child in Greece, her mother presented her with a rubber yellow bunny doll that squeaked. “I liked it very much,” she recalled. Two Greek dolls dressed in national costumes followed that present. “By then, I was hooked. I remember saying, ‘I’m going to collect dolls.’” And collect she did. Today, some 50 years later, Ellen is not only the chair of multiple academic departments, but also one of the nation’s foremost collectors of and authorities on antique dolls. “When I was young, I loved portrait painting and I was interested in photography, costumes, and textiles, too,” she said. “I found that doll collecting encompassed all those interests. I’ve always loved having dolls, collecting dolls and reading about dolls.” Wooden dolls, porcelain dolls, dolls made of china and wax, Ellen has them all. And this year, she authored the first definitive book on dolls made from metal. Entitled With Love from Tin Lizzie, A History of Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls, and Automatons, the book addresses the way dolls reflect cultures and civilizations, and how they have given rise to an international “doll economy.” Reviewers have described the book as an “academic text, a photo album, and book of memories all in one.” Ellen’s dolls hail from 50 U.S. states and most of the countries in Europe, Asia and South America. Her family–world travelers–have continued to bring Ellen antique dolls, folk dolls, costume dolls and souvenir dolls from all parts of the globe. One of her favorites is her ‘Vogue Baby Dear,” the type of doll that Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev took back to his grandchildren in Russia after his iconic “shoe-banging” speech to the United Nations in 1960. She received a Japanese Ningyo doll made of papier mache and covered in white oyster shell enamel when her Uncle Tom visited Japan as a U.S. Serviceman in the Korean War. At Knott’s Berry Farm in California, her father presented her with a strawberry blonde doll designed by celebrated ballet dancer and artist Suzanne Gibson. When she’s not collecting dolls, Ellen is something of an academic renaissance woman. She holds a law degree, a doctorate in Modern British Literature, a Master’s Degree in English, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Spanish. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. A member of the Kaplan family for 15 years, Ellen chairs three academic departments, including Legal Studies/Paralegal Studies, Public Safety, and Humanities/Composition. Her interest in dolls has dovetailed seamlessly with her academic interests. She has researched and written about dolls in literature and about Anne Rice, who was an avid doll collector. Ellen’s next frontier: When she retires, she hopes to establish a non-profit doll museum similar to the one Rice established at the former St. Elizabeth’s orphanage in New Orleans. The museum will tell the story of human history through dolls, dollhouses, and related objects.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: This Just In!! X Marque's the Spot! Part of our Series/the 19th to Early 20th C

What a remarkable doll, designed by a sculptor.  See, below.

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: This Just In!! X Marque's the Spot!!: See below from F. Theriault's discription of an A. Marque doll about to do on auction; starting bid is $150,000.00: "Item Descri...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Veterans; We Thank You

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Veterans; We Thank You: Today is Veterans Day in the US, and we at the museum thank those who have served and sacrificed for us, including members of our own family...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallow's Eve

It is Halloween; A Happy One to All, and a Blessed New Year/Samhain to our Wiccan Friends. The Celts are my favorite people, and they have some awesome ritual figures in bronze and stone, including sculptures of Epona. For those who want to read, I recommend the works of Morgan Llewellyn, especially The Horse Goddess, Anne Rice's early Vampire Chronicles, Parke Godwin, and nonfiction on the Celts by Nora Chadwick, Jean Markale, Antonia Fraser and Joy Chant [The Warrior Queens and The High Kings]. The Sci/Fi fantasy of Evangeline Walton [The Island of the Mighty Series], Patricia Keneally Morrison [yes, Jim's widow], and Julian May also satisfy. For myth and legend, there is Bullfinch’s Mythology and my article in a 1987 National Doll World, "The Golden Girls; Modern Celtic Ladies." Halloween is always elegiac for me. My best memories are of carving pumpkins with my Dad, my mom making awesome costumes; a Greek Gypsy when I was 5, a fantastic Raggedy Ann outfit, a Pioneer Girl, a witch, a vampire, my Flamenco outfit, this one bought in Madrid. She was hard to top. We always had the tradition of decorating our picture window, and I had a headless Anne Boleyn cutout done when I was 9 or 10, and dozens of haunted graveyard drawings with Henry's hapless victims looking for their heads. I loved my plastic Jack O' Lantern pails, and my Aunt Connie would send awesome goody boxes with candies and Halloween dolls. My little figural candles were all parading around the house; we had amazing ones on display at our old M.L. Parker's dept. store. My Aunt Rosie would have theme parties for every Holiday, complete with favors and ceramic figures she made. No little girl ever had it better. Now, only my dad is left, and he hates all holidays. We don't carve pumpkins, though I display various varieties. Our kittens limit what we can have inside, so my great haunted houses and witches, my vintage lanterns and ghosts, the skeletons mom and I dressed, all wait for The Museum. I watch The Great Pumpkin every year, as I have since it debuted when I was six. I go over albums of my old cards and take out the carefully preserved, very vintage but well-loved cutouts, some jointed and dressed. I look at the monster dolls my mom used to knit for and dress. I get out the Dia de Muertos dolls and figures, and think of Frida K, who loved dolls as I do. Yesterday, I had to take lunch money to school for my 15 year old. These are harried, forgetful times. My mother taught Spanish there 38+ years, and it was my alma mater, my husband's, my late Uncle George's. My aunt worked for the school district, too, so there were many memories. I lost my mom five years ago, and though I try not to get personal on my blogs, let me say that I will never get over it. When I am in the high school, she is there. I feel here everywhere, and I can hear her voice in the halls. We use to laugh; she was so loud when she taught, that the secretaries at the other end of the building were learning Spanish along with us. I'm loud, too, when I teach, and it is a compliment when people say they can hear me everywhere. :) Our city is tearing down another of the schools where my aunt worked, and where my son attended. I use to go to the frolics there, and knew the staff like family. This Halloween, all is sad but not because of the goblins. I see bits and pieces of my life chipping away, and while I don't feel old, I think perhaps I may be. This is why people collect dolls, or books, or coins, or whatever. Study material culture, and read The Grapes of Wrath. Our things, and least the cherished objects, do matter. They are our memory triggers. Without which, we disappear into the void.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: What to do at a Reading

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: What to do at a Reading: I did a reading tonight with some friends at our local library. There is a community program done every year called Read Local. Tonight, I...

Monday, September 30, 2013

RE Cloth Dolls and Johl

According to Herlocher, 200 Years of Dolls, 4th Edition, Janet Johl was a grand-niece of Izannah Walker. Small World indeed. I include a photo of my kitten Mr. Tuxedo, who happens to be fond of all dolls of cloth, and of small, furry toy mousies.

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Taltos by Anne Rice

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Taltos by Anne Rice: It is nearly Halloween; here is a post from one of my favorite authors, who also happens to like dolls. We have books and dolls from her...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cloth Dolls -19th c. Continued

As we return to our chronology, I would like to talk a little more about cloth dolls, in particular those made by Izannah Walker, who was making dolls in the 1840s and 50s, but who took out a patent in 1973. Here is a good blog about making similar dolls: It is called The Izannah Walker Workshop, and a Google Search for "Izannah Walker Dolls" turns up more great blogs and articles, images, and the notes on Pinterest and Other makers who made similar dolls during the 19th century, into the 20th include Shepard, Chase [who was inspired by an Izannah doll she had as a child], The Moravian Rag doll, Cobo Alice, Presbyterian Rag Dolls [good articles in the archives of Doll Castle News], The Alabama Rag Babies, and of stockinette, Julia Ward Beecher Babies and Beecher type babies [She was related to both Harriet Beecher Stowe and Julia Ward Howe]. the dolls are often imitated, but later dolls by Walker are marked, and she has ties with Woolrich, e.g, the Woolrich Clothing Mfg. Raggedy Ann came in the early 1900s, but she was inspired, allegedly, by an old rag doll who could have dated from the 19th c. Janet Pagter Johl and Eleanor St. George have good information on cloth dolls in their books, and several price guides mention them, including Denise Van Patten's excellent book. Walker dolls are considered rare folk art, and command very high prices. I made and painted my own many years ago. As I was working, the son of then Gov. Dan Walker came to our house to "meet and greet" meas I sat on the steps painting the doll's face. That was a campaign that iddn't end well. At any rate, I published an article with the doll in the old Doll Designs magazine called "The Birth of Izannah." I found a hand made, vintage Mennonite bonnet for her to wear and designed her dress. That magazine, along with National Doll World, which first published me, is now defunct. I must say I do miss them. Barbar Hall Pedersen was a great editor. After that, I dealt with people not that well-versed in writing or English who had axes to grind. It became an act of detente to ask them to correct their mistakes, and about the time they insulted a College Professor of Photography and well known author because they didn't like her photos, I stopped writing for them and went on to Doll Reader, Western Doll Collector, Doll News, and my books and blogs. Occasionally, I see articles by some of the authors I missed there, including Mary Hathaway and Joan Chiara. Well, everything has to change. Below is an article from Izannah F. Walker, one of America's earliest known female doll makers, was born in 1817 in Bristol, Rhode Island. On June 28, 1873, at the age of 56, Walker applied for a patent for "improvement in the manufacture of dolls." In her application Walker claimed "my doll is inexpensive, easily kept clean, and not apt to injure a young child which may fall upon it. It will preserve its appearance for a long time."1 As witnessed by the surviving examples of her work, we know that this is true. Izannah was granted a patent on November 4, 1873. However, it is known that she had been making dolls for quite some time before she applied for her patent. Research has uncovered a documented case of her making dolls as early as 1828: "From Philomena Hart's Column in the Providence Bulletin. Mrs. N.M.R. (Norma H. Robertson, grand-niece of Miss Walker) wrote me a fascinating account of a doll which she thinks is the predecessor of the Chase doll of Pawtucket. It was made in Central Falls by Miss Izannah Walker.(1817-1888) She was the aunt of my correspondent who says of her, "Always inventive, she had created a stockinette doll as early as 1848 when my mother was a little child in New London, Conn. Family tradition tells of her struggle to perfect her work and of the long wrestling with one problem, how to obtain a resistant surface to the stockinette heads, arms, and legs, without cracking or peeling. With this problem on her mind, Aunt Izannah suddenly sat up in bed one night to hear a voice say "use paste." It worked... Aunt Izannah always deplored the fact that she was not a man. However, she made dolls and doll furniture, tinkered with household gadgets, designed a parlor heater, "that beat Ben Franklins," raised canaries, dabbled in real estate, and was looked upon with admiration by male contemporaries because of her skill with carpenters' tools, so perhaps she was resigned."2 A Mrs. Singsen, intrigued by this letter, contacted Mrs. Robertson to learn more and received the following information: "The Walker family came to Central Falls in Somerset Mass., and the first dolls were made for friends. One, owned by the family and now out west, is one of the very earliest and is practically life sized. Izannah Walker had three sisters, and as the business began to develop she put them to work painting the dolls faces. There were also darky dolls made, but these Mrs. Robertson said, had wool hair instead of painted on hair. From 1845, when the first doll is said to have been made,until she died in 1886, Izannah Walker carried on the business, not securing a patent until persuaded to do so by friends in 1873."3 According to the patent laws in 1873 it would have been illegal for Izannah to have been making dolls for more than two years before applying for her patent. Also note the two different years stated for Izannah's death. Izannah Walker's dolls are three dimensional works of art, strikingly similar to the folk portraits painted in the 18th and early 19th century by artists such as William Matthew Prior (1806-1873) and Erastus Salisbury Field (1805-1900). Although all of Izannah's dolls possess a recognizable style, each is distinct. This raises the question of whether some were done as portrait dolls. Although there is no documentation of this, the differences in height, facial shapes, and hairstyles on the dolls could certainly cause one to speculate that this is possible. Her dolls have been found in 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, and 24 inch sizes. The hair is usually painted on with some variation of either wisps surrounding the face or corkscrew curls. Most of the dolls are girls but several boys have been found and photographed. Izannah also made black dolls as mentioned above in Mrs. Singsen's letter. The dolls hands have stitched fingers and applied thumbs and the feet are either bare, with stitched toes, or they have painted on boots. Today the rarity and beauty of Izannah Walker dolls make them highly collectible. Currently the price range for these dolls, in good condition, can go from $16,000-18,000.4 Footnotes 1 Izannah Walker, "Patent Number 144, 373, November 4, 1873", United States Patent Office, Washington, D.C. 2 Janet Pagter Johl, Your Dolls And Mine A Collectors Handbook (New York: H. L. Lindquist Publications 1952), pgs.37-38. 3 Janet Pagter Johl, Your Dolls And Mine A Collectors Handbook (New York: H. L. Lindquist Publications 1952), pgs.38-39. 4 Jan Foulke, 14th Blue Book Dolls and Values. (Cumberland, MD: Hobby House Press, 1999), p. 200. Bibliography Coleman, Dorothy S., Elizabeth A., and Evelyn Jane. The Collector's Encyclopedia of Dolls. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. 1968 Foulke, Jan. 14th Blue Book Dolls and Values. Cumberland, MD: Hobby House Press, 1999. Fox, Carl. The Doll. New York. Harry Abrams, Inc. 1973. Johl, Janet Pagter. Your Dolls and Mine A Collectors Handbook. New York: H.L. Lindquist Publications 1952. McGonagle, Dorothy A. A Celebration of American Dolls from the Collection of the Strong Museum. Cumberland, MD: Hobby house Press, 1997.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Dolls with China Head as Children's Toys

Here are some makers listed in No lewd comments, please. We are family friendly blog for doll collectors. Some companies that made Antique China head dolls Bawo & Dotter Bohemia Schlaggenwald - doll mark S, Bohemia Theodor Pohl Bohemia T. Eaton & Company Canada Royal Copenhagen Denmark Hamley Brothers England UK Samson Smith England UK Turnbull England UK ** Au Paradis Des Enfants French (see below) Maison Huret French Jacob Petit French Prieur French Madame Rohmer French Sèrves French Alt, Beck & Gottschalck, ABG German Bahr & Proschild German Ernst Bohne German Max Carl & Company German Closter (Kloster) Veilsdorf Greiner type China's German Conta & Boehme - shield mark German DKP, Dressel, Kister & Co. - usually heads or half dolls German William Goebel German Gräfenthal Porzellanfabrik Carl Schneider's dolls German Hertwig & Company German Kestner & Company German KPM X, August Wilhelm Friedolin Kister or A. W. Fr. Kister Schwarzburg, Rudolstadt, German Kling & Company German KPM, Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur Messien Berlin, Meissen Germany Orben, Knabe & Company - doll mark O.K. German Fritz Pfeffer Austria & German Pollack & Hoffman German A. H. Pröschold German August Reideler German Schreyer & Company German Wallendorf German Röstrand Sweden Ehrich Brothers USA Philip Goldsmith USA Stratton USA Western News Co USA The Meissen KPM factories are the oldest and most desirable of China head dolls. The Thuringia area in Germany had many other porcelain factories that produced China head dolls as well. ** Au Paradis des Enfants dolls 1864-1925 France, distributor and assembler of dolls from various doll makers including; China head dolls with pink kid bodies, wax over China head dolls. Located at 56 Rué de Rivoli, Paris, Rue du Louvre, No. 1

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Why so high?

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Why so high?: As many of my readers know, I publish. I have been published by The Hobby House Press, The Tower Press Mazgzine, Fitzroy-Dearborn/Routhledg...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: 9/11 In Memoriam-The Star Spangled Banner with all...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: 9/11 In Memoriam-The Star Spangled Banner with all...: May never forget, may we always have courage, and may The United States always be The United States. To those who lost their lives at The P...

I won the East/West Riverfest Contest; there is a Doll in this Poem

My winning entry; I am very honored to have been chosen, and discussed on WVIK: 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi… Before I Can Count, or Spell Mississippis I’m 4, looking over the Bridge Rail Waiting for skimming barges Afraid to see big, long water snakes, Dark as the water, Happy to see Koi, Oranges, dark greys, pearl whites, “Is that where my goldfish go When they swim upside down in my bowl then Go away?” Delighted at their immortality. 1 Mississippi, I’m ten, and Ferris wheels Glitter on Old Miss’s Banks, Rhinestones that decorate the shore The way they decorate hats you win At the Carnival, Murder that summer, Never solved, A boy who was my age will never ride the Ferris wheel again. He is not immortal, and the rail road bridge, its tracks, and the Arsenal Gates are his last companions. 2 Mississippi, I’m 15, and its Field Biology time, I’m wading in her shores at Sunset Marina, Pulling things out of the water, Creating slides of microscopic Water creatures, Wearing rubber hip boots, Not fishing, but catching a lot, An old doll head finds its way to me, Sightless, grimacing, glad I’ve caught it. We disinfect it, sew it a body, Create Couture from an old swim dress of mine. It has a second life. 3 Mississippi; I’m nearly 30. I don’t have to count “Mississippis” any more To measure time. It flows swifter than my River’s Current. I’m gone, gone girl to California. I wade in the Pacific now. But, I don’t like it. Not anymore. Like Susie Glaspell, I want my river. 4 Mississippi, I’ve come home, Still looking for water snakes in the Black Water, Still struggling against Time’s Current, Writing, teaching, showing Others my River. 5 Mississippi, I won’t tell you how old I am. “You are drinking the Mississippi River,” A sign reads at one of my old schools. Well, I do drink it in. I visit its locks and dams, Damn its bridges, Ride its currents when I can, Listen to my River. One day I’ll sail it down to River Styx. Then I won’t even try to count Mississippi’s anymore.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From G. Stanley Hall, A Study of Dolls (1897) on Google Books for free: St. Agnes, one end of a passage is given up to the objects found in the tombs of the early Christians, and among these are some very similar dolls taken out of the graves of the Christian children." W. H. Holmes, Bureau Eth. Rep., 1884-5, P- IS2^ thinks that dolls found with other relics in graves in the province of Chiriqui were possibly toys, but more probably tutelary images. Miss Alice Fletcher writes : " Among the Indian tribes with which I am familiar there is no special treatment of dolls. All depends upon the particular child's imagination and imitative powers. " As far as my observation goes, and I can learn, the religious ceremonies of the tribe are not mimicked, although some of the practices of the same are. The religious rites of the white race are reproduced by the children. As far as I can yet discover, there is no relation between dolls and a fetich or any emblem."

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Doll Pile

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Doll Pile: We have joined Doll Pile, please see the link below!">Browse My Dolls at Doll Pile

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dolls for Boys and Nearly 20,000 Viewers!

It hit me that I hadn't been on for a while; just too much happening, and Emma's death affected us all badly. I am excited to be near the 20,000 mark for this blog. Thanks, and I love everyone who views, reads, follows, comments!! Let's keep it up. The worlds of dolls and doll history are more exciting than ever. At least three more panels at this years Midwest Modern Language Assoc. Convention will address them. Perhaps in these dangerous and fleeting times of violence and disposable technology, it is nice to have something created in our own images to hold on to. After all, who doesn't have a favorite statute? Photo? Portrait? Figurine or stuffed animal? Doll? Action Figure? Jack-in-the Box? All these are made in the human image, often to memorialize it. It struck me that little boys also have their dolls, and there are dolls like William's Doll of the Zolotow book made for them. Of course Andy has Woody in Toy Story, and there are bad little Kids like Syd in those movies who love to war with the other dolls and toys. I've known many little boys with their toy soldiers and G.I. Joes, and many with a a favorite bear, including mine with Pooh, Jelly Bean, Blizzard, and Meow Meow, members of the family, one and all. Men, of course collect dolls, and they are on my Facebook groups. Some are famous, others simply like history and art. Jim Fernando has been a legendary collector and I am proud to own some small dolls that belonged to him. My first doll book was by John Noble, and two of my favorite authors on dolls are Carl Fox and Max von Boehn. John Axe, my friend, one time editor, and penpal, will always live in my heart, as does my good friend, the distinguished writer on many subjects and doll historian, R. Lane Herron, frequent contributor to Doll Castle News, edited in part, by Mr. Barry Mueller. I owe my first Doll Reader article to Chris Revi, another distinguished figure in the doll world, and my successful auctions to Mr. Noel Barret and Andy Ourant. A recent episode of my beloved Family Affair took Buffy and Mrs. Beasley to a doll hospital in New York, surely a tribute to Mr. Irving Chais, who ran The New York Doll Hospital till his death. There are of course, the many doll makers, Ravca, Jumeau, Bru, Sherman Smith, Schoenhut, the distributor Borgfeldt, my very special Armand Marseilles, Schmidt, Seymor Mann, Gautier, Kallus, Elliot Handler, Johny Gruelle, Lewis Sorensen, Joel Ellis, Darrow, Michtom, Fleishaker and Baum [Effanbee], Nick Alexander, the list is endless. So, long live our boys and their dolls. May they play long and happy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Irena Sendler

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Irena Sendler: On Behalf of The Holocaust Education Committee, to which I belong, here is some basic information, a flier really, with Judy Winnick playi...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Doll Marks

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Doll Marks: Link to a great site from a friend on Facebook: This is a great reference site!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Modern Dolls; The 20th century

I recommend a tour of the National Museum of play online collections, which is set up by century and type, and Johanna Gast Anderton's books, including both volumes of 20th Century Dolls. Pat Smith's Modern Doll Books are also excellent. Below is something I stumbled on from Bella Online: Museums Site Kim Kenney BellaOnline's Museums Editor Antique Spotlight – 20th Century Dolls This is the sixth in a series of antique spotlights focusing on dolls. Each article will feature a museum to visit that currently has dolls on display! Doll culture blossomed after the turn of the century. Mass production, widespread distribution, mass marketing, and new technologies helped the doll industry expand. Illustrated catalogs, lavish window displays, and planned events played a significant role. Events drew huge crowds. In 1913, a California department store hosted 5000 girls at one doll tea party! In this era, toys began to be linked to commercial products. Campbell Soup Kid dolls and Cracker Jack Boy dolls are two well-known examples from the era. "New Kid" dolls like Raggedy Ann and Andy, harkened back to the preferred ragdolls of previous generations. These flexible character dolls were made of soft, washable materials. By the 1930s, movies were a popular pastime, and the doll industry followed suit with dolls like Shirley Temple and Little Orphan Annie. Companion Dolls In the 1910s and 1920s, EI Horsman and Effanbee expanded the child-doll population by producing "companion dolls." According to author Howard P. Chudacoff, with their "rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, and sometimes mischievous expressions," these dolls became girls' fantasy friends. One of the most popular companion dolls of the era was Effanbee's "Patsy." Born in 1924, Patsy is an early example of a "wardrobe doll," because she had her own line of clothing. More Realistic Dolls Effanbee also extended the trend of making dolls more realistic with Dy-Dee baby, introduced in 1934. Around the same time, Ideal created Betsy Wetsy, who drank and excreted real water. As dolls became more life-like, doll play more closely approximated the experience of actually handling a baby. “My mother allowed me to get out of bed after I had gone to bed, recalled Ann Klos, a participant in the Doll Oral History Project at the Strong Museum of Play, “to give my baby a bottle because that is what mothers did." Aggressive Marketing Even as the industry was expanding in the early 20th century, the idea that girls did not "prefer doll play" posed a serious threat. With more play options open to them than ever before, girls were not always playing with their dolls. Playing outside on bicycles and ice skates and flying kites were becoming popular among girls as gender roles relaxed a bit. Marketing campaigns began to re-establish gender stereotypes to secure a market for their dolls. According to one observer in 1908, “The little girls who have always cried for dolls at Christmas, are this year crying for Teddy Bears, and dolls are left on the shelves to cry the paint off their pretty cheeks because of the neglect." Marketing efforts focused on idealizing femininity through dolls. Perfect "baby dolls" encouraged motherhood and homemaking, while dolls like Flossie the Flirt "modeled husband-getting." Doll makers wanted mothers and girls to buy more dolls. Knowing that women were most likely to purchase toys for children, toy departments employed more women to sell dolls to mothers. They devised new marketing techniques that would likely appeal to women, including more ads in women's magazines and cameo appearances by dolls in movies. DOLLS ON EXHIBIT Visitors to the Heritage Village Museum, located near Cincinnati, Ohio, can see several dolls on display. ”Throughout the village,” says Lesley J. Poling, director of curatorial services, “as well as off-site at the Hauck House, an Italianate home located in downtown Cincinnati, dolls of various materials can be found, from china, wood and composition to bisque, leather, and cloth.” Most of the museum’s dolls date between 1860 and 1910. “Notable dolls include a Civil War era china flat top with sausage curls, a lovely Jumeau-type French fashion doll, a molded leather Darrow, and two one-of-a-kind homemade and handmade primitive dolls; including a ‘topsy-turvy’ which features one end made of black cloth and the other of white cloth,” says Poling. “In addition to dolls, the museum has an array of doll and doll house furniture and clothing – even scrimshaw limb replacements made for a small doll!” Heritage Village Museum is also home to the Millie Huehn Collection of Doll and Fashion Research Books, Catalogs, and Magazines - a wonderful and extensive resource for researchers.

19th c Folk Dolls

Our next post or two will dwell on folk dolls of the 19th century. As writings by writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries show, collecting folk dolls and making them was a popular hobby for men and women. Some of these collectors also wrote about their doll adventures. These authors include G.Stanley Hall, 1897 A Study of Dolls, Laura Starr, The Doll Book, 1908, and Emily Jackson, Toys of Other Days, 1908/. All can still be purchased, and they should be free on Google Books. These authors talk of dolls and doll making in countries that no longer exist on the world map. Loretta Holz's How To Book of International Dolls has great information about making folk dolls, but also the history of international dolls around the world. Wendy Lavitt's American Folk Dolls is a great source, as are also The Collector's Encyclopedia of Dolls, Volumes I and II. Helen Young's The Complete Book of Doll Making and Collecting and Mary Hillier's Dolls and Dollmakers have great chapters on folk and foreign dolls. My book, A Bibilography of Dolls and Toy Sources has many entries on them, too. You can still get this book from me, or from Amazon. My book on metal dolls, With Love from Tin Lizzie, addresses folk dolls made of metal. That book is available from me or My friend, artist Jeanne O'Melia is well known for her dolls and figures made of found objects, both old and new. Godey's and other magazines of the era include ideas for paper dolls, paper dolls themselves, doll dress patterns, and doll patterns. Worsted or knitted dolls were popular at this time, and dolls made of shells for Britanny and elsewhere were popular souvenirs from about 1830 on. We have one in the museum from this era; it is of papier mache, and is covered with tiny shells of brown and white. The doll has black, inset glass eyes that do not move and stands about 9 inches. I also have a shell doll from Delphi, and many dolls from Florida and California. made of shells. Our doll house has a chaise lounge decorated in shells that was probably a Sailor's Valentine pin cushion. Sailor's Valentines are small objects often decorated with shells and bits of marine flora/fauna made on long voyages for loved ones. Scrimshaw is another example. Dried apple dolls date to the 19th century and early. We have already discussed the ancient origins of bread and gingerbread dolls on this blog and on Dr. E's Doll Museum. Dr. E's Greening Tips for the Common Person has articles on Corn Dollies from England and Europe, and other pieces and photos of folk dolls. Cornhusk and corncob dolls date from the 19th century and earlier and originated with Native American Culture. The Little House Books feature Susan the corncob doll and discuss dolls of husks and tiny twigs made of acorns. Dolls from Africa an dry climates are often made of grasses or even banana leaves. Rushes, all kinds of paper, plants and dried flowers like Holly Hocks were made into dolls and still are. Pansies look like dolls all by themselves. Small clay dolls have been made around the world for centuries, including ancient terracotta and faience dolls of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Latin America. They also existed in Ancient China and Japan. Laura Ingalls Wilder also writes about rag dolls, and paper dolls, all home made. Lois Lenski wrote stories about a little girl who made dolls of gourds. Our local gourd fesitval boasts examples made as large, jointed dolls, all made of gourds. Old bowling pins show up at craft and doll shows, too. Louisa May Alcott, like the fictional Dickensian Jenny Wren, dressed dolls for a living at one point. Alcott collected chicken feathers to use in dolls hats. The Edinburgh Museum of Childhood boasts a doll made of an old shoe. Lobster and crab claw dolls have been made as souvenirs since the 19th century, too. Our museum has hundreds of folk dolls made of Kleenex, plants and flowers, pine cones, seeds, found objects, old tins and cans, borken doll parts, wooden blocks, bricks, shells,leahter/furs, dried fruit, rolled up newspapers, old magazines, old bottles, blocks of wood, paper towel holders, soap, wax, gourds, pumpkins, fake snowmen, wood, cloth, woven materials, mixed media, paper, clay and mud, elephant excrement made into paper, dried nuts, pasta, candy and sugar, salt dough, dried fish, paper clay, play dough, corncopbs, cornhusk, rushes and grasses, raffia, canvas, old rags, animal bones and other fossilized materials, pecan resin, coal, metal, lobster claws, buttons, knitted material, crocheted material, tatting, and much more. Many are now over 100 years old. One of our favorites is a dried apple doll laid out in a coffin, created to explain death to a family of children born nearly a century ago.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Dr. Who's Queen Anne Doll

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Dr. Who's Queen Anne Doll: Tonight's Dr. Who features doll monsters that turn people into dolls that look like them. The dolls have faces like Queen Anne Wooden d...

Friday, July 12, 2013

800 to 900 Timeline : From Cave Paintings to the Internet

800 to 900 Timeline : From Cave Paintings to the Internet

Update to Ancient Doll/ True Colors and a comment from Anne Rice

True Colors Above is "The “Alexander Sarcophagus” (c. 320 B.C.), was found in the royal necropolis of the Phoenician city of Sidon. But it was named for the illustrious Macedonian ruler, Alexander the Great, depicted in battle against the Persians in this painted replica. Alexander’s sleeved tunic suggests his conquests have thrust him into the new role of Eastern King, but his lion-skin cap ties him to the mythical hero, Herakles, and alludes to divine descent." Retreived from Smithsonian Magazine. (July 12, 2013). I was born in Athens, and these relics are beloved and part of my heritage. These, and other ancient statues from various cultures, and the dolls and toys, were originally painted in bright colors. This exhibit courtesy of Smithsonian, shows us what they may have been like. Below is Anne Rice's Comment from Facebook, and we than her: "True Colors" from the Smithsonian Magazine may shock some people. The ancient Greeks actually painted their marble gods and goddesses in very bright colors. The dignified white marble fragments we view today in museums were in fact originally presented in hyper-realistic flesh tones with brightly painted eyes and with clothes in different hues. I've known this for decades but can't claim I was overjoyed to learn it when I was younger. Thanks to Phillip Cohen for this interesting story.

Friday, July 5, 2013

More Paper Dolls; Some Reading

Normally, I take Wikipedia with a grain of salt. I find good inforamtion, but because of free editing, anything can be said. Yet, the sources for the paper doll article come from many well researched articles I have read, so I include it here. If he agrees, I will post a guest blog by my friend, veteran Paper Doll expert and doll authority, Mr. R. Lane Herron. Paper doll From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Paper doll (disambiguation). A girl playing with paper dolls Paper dolls are figures cut out of paper or thin card, with separate clothes, also made of paper, that are usually held onto the dolls by folding tabs.[1] They may be a figure of a person, animal or inanimate object.[2] Paper dolls have been inexpensive children's toys for almost two hundred years. Today, many artists are turning paper dolls into an art form. Paper dolls have been used for advertising, appeared in magazines and newspapers, and covered a variety of subjects and time periods. They have become highly sought-after collectibles, especially as vintage paper dolls become rarer due to the limited lifespan of paper objects. Paper dolls are still being created today. Some flat plastic figures are similar to paper dolls, like Colorforms figures and Flatsy dolls.[3] Paper dolls have regained popularity with young children featuring popular characters and celebrities. Online and virtual paper dolls like KiSS, Stardoll and Doll makers also have a popular following, with users able to drag and drop images of clothes onto images of dolls or actual people. Contents [hide] 1 History 2 See also 3 References 4 External links History[edit] 1919 magazine illustration of actress Norma Talmadge and some of her film costumes in paper doll form Paper dolls have been around as long as there has been paper. Faces or other objects were applied to the paper and they were used during religious rituals and ceremonies in the Asian cultures many centuries ago. The Japanese used paper for Origami, artful paper folding, and dating back to 800 AD they folded paper figurines in the shape of Kimono. Balinese people made paper and leather into puppets since before the Christian Era. Other cultures around the world have had paper formations or paper art, including in Poland, where they were called Wy'cinanki. These early types of paper figures differ from typical paper dolls today, as no clothes were made to be used with the dolls. In Europe, particularly France, the first paper dolls were made during the mid-18th century. The paper was jointed and they were called pantins meaning dancing or jumping jack puppet. They were intended to entertain adults and spread throughout high society. They were drawn or painted like people with fashions for each doll. These were more similar to contemporary Western paper dolls. Rare hand-painted sets of paper figures dating to the late 1780s can be found in some museums today. The biggest American producer of paper dolls, McLoughlin Brothers, was founded in early 1800 and was sold to Milton Bradley in 1920s. Around this time paper dolls became popular in the USA and then grew in popularity in the following decades. Paper doll with clothes Book publishing companies that followed in the production of paper dolls or cut-outs were Lowe, Whitman, Saalfield and Merrill among others. Movie stars and celebrities became the focus in the early days of paper dolls in the USA. Paper dolls are still produced today and Whitman and Golden Co. still publish paper dolls. Vintage paper dolls with hand-painted artwork are becoming increasingly rare due to paper aging issues. They have become collectible, and the prices for mint uncut sets can be between $100 and up to over $500 for a sought after title. A paper doll convention is held every year in the United States, with hundreds of attendees. See also[edit] Jumping jack (toy) Fashion doll Dress-Up References[edit] History of Paper Dolls 1.^ "Paper doll". The Free Dictionary By Farlex. Retrieved 2012-19-05. 2.^ "History of paper dolls". OPDAG. Retrieved 2012-19-05. 3.^ Frederick J. Augustyn (2004). Dictionary of toys and games in American popular culture. Routledge. pp. 80–81. External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Paper dolls The Original Paper Doll Artists

Sunday, June 30, 2013

History and Chronology Continued: Paper Dolls and The Paper Collector

Before I start, let me note that this is the best site I've found for paper dolls and their history, plus it has lavish illustrations; The Paper Collector. It is a blog, but I like beginning research with blogs; I find most are written by people who are passionate and who care. This one is no exception. Paper has existed for centuries, and was probably invented by the Chinese. Though, the Ancient Egyptians had papyrus, and others wrote on vellum. Rare medieval manuscripts and illuminations were painted by hand in monasteries by talented monks; the famous tome of these is The Book of Kells, represented in artwork done for Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle. Books and paper were rare and prized in Europe. Wealthy people posed with their libraries, showing that the more books they owned, the wealthier they were. The book A Gentle Madness describes famous book collectors, all wealthy, who had "rock star" status. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a 17th century Mexican scholar, mathematician, poet and writer who was also a child prodigy and a nun, kept a library of 2500 books and manuscripts in her cell. She is often painted with them. For her talent and genius, she was famous in both Spain and Mexico, and was the granddaughter of the viceroy of Mexico. Early manuscripts that have survived by Cervantes, Byron, Keats, Wordsworth, and other 15th-19th century writers show that they conserved paper, saved old manuscripts, wrote on scratch paper, and wrote all over the page, turning it upside down, writing on margins, etc. Paper was collected and sold at rag and bone shops, and would not be thrown out. Our modern day recycling hearkens back to this era. In Japan, origami has long been a treasured art. Figures of paper have often represented the souls of the departed and were used in ceremonies where they were thrown into water at the end. Paper figures are burned in similar rites in Malaysia. Paper scrolls play a role in the Japanese Milky Way festival, as described by Rumer Godden in her story of two Japanese dolls, Miss Happiness and Miss Flower. There is a paper doll in love with a lead soldier in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier." As we know them, paper dolls were created in the 18th century, more as amusements for adults than children. Indeed, Mary Hillier and Helen Young have written that 19th century jointed pantins originated in France. Supposedly, a law was written prohibiting them, lest pregnant women give birth to deformed children because they played too much with the paper dolls themselves. These jumping jacks still exist. Shackman reproduced the original Polichinelle varieties, but they are also made in wood. Often, they come from German or Italy. I have a rare, X-raged one done in metal involving a couple with 1920s style hairdos. This is a family blog; I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Paper dolls were often hand tinted, and represented fashions of the day. There are fashion plates made of ivory, very thin, where images of hats and wigs are laid over a head to try out the latest styles. There are examples of these in the Cincinnati Museum of Art. The books of foremost authority R. Lane Herron also feature great articles on paper dolls, as do the books of Janet Pagter John and Clara Hallard Fawcett. Mr. Herron was the first authority to write on and publish about, paper dolls. By the time The History of Little Fanny and The History of Little Henry came around, lithography was being used in books and paper, and paper dolls could now be lithographed and mass produced. Fine examples exist from the 1820s to 1890s. Paper dolls, often printed on both sides, where used to advertised products, so that Lion Coffee and other companies used them as others did trade cards. There is also as set featuring Queen Isabella and other European queens that dates from the 1892 Columbian Exhibition. There will be more on the handmade varieties that abound, some in 3-D, as well as a word on paper toys and printables, as well as paper doll houses. For those who crave more, I recommend Marilyn Waters The Toy Maker site, Jim's Mini Printables and Marilee's Paper Doll Page.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Yves St. Laurent

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Yves St. Laurent:$$ These are paper doll...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wax Dolls, back to the 19th Century and our Chronology

Mary Hillier, Helen Young, Janet P. Johl, and other writers have observed that wax dolls may date to antiquity, though it is doubtful they could survive in the hot Egyptian climate. Our earliest examples tend to be 17th century, but they were popular in the 18th especially as wax works, church figures, and doll house dolls. Beeswax has been used for over a century in Germany to make figures, toys and elaborate candles. Wax headed German angels are classic ornaments, and those dressed in colorful velvet with gilt wings are collectibles in their own right. My oldest wax baby has tiny black glass beads for eyes. She, and the wax life sized Christ child we own date from around the 18th century. The Museum owns a wax devotional doll that was once part of the Mary Merritt collection. We have a poured wax Bru-type of unknown age, no marks. There are some wax slit heads, and pumpkin heads, and bonnet heads. Vargas made lifelike elderly couples in wax in Mexico. These are modeled over plaster and usually come in handmade chairs. They appear in different sizes, from about 9 inches to 18 ins. Also from Mexico are folk dolls, more like Crèche figures. One of these was made by an elderly man in the late sixties. Her clothes are wax dipped cloth. There are also wax doll heads and some of metal dipped in wax. Brigitte Deval has made porcelain dolls dipped in wax, too. There were wax funerary portraits perhaps as early as the 16th century. Waxworks, like those by Mme. Tussaud were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Mme. T kept her head in The French Revolution by modeling the severed heads of the victims of Mlle. Guillotine. Alas, at least one was a childhood friend of hers. Wax museums still exist, and so do horror movies about them like House of Wax. Norah Lofts wrote the suspense novel The Little Wax Doll. Voodoo dolls are often wax, and one is features in Yvette Mimieux's Darkness at Noon, a made for TV film. Wax dolls were luxury 1tems in the 19th century. Nellie Olsen’s doll in Wilder's On the Banks of Plum Creek awes Laura completely. The Bronte girls supposedly played with wax dolls, which makes one wonder how poor they may have actually been. Key makers were Pierotti and Montanari, families in England who thrived in the 19th century. They had a method for inserting individual hairs in their dolls; head, and used lovely glass eyes. There are many famous portrait dolls in wax of Queen Victoria and her family. The Pierotti and Montanari families may likely have come from Mexico, and may have made life sized figures as well. Lewis Sorensen, well known NIADA artist, repaired wax dolls and also made the figures for the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museums in the sixties. For more on his work, read his Scrapbook and articles and books by our friend, R. Lane Herron, who knew Mr. Sorensen. For more on the 19th century and earlier, read Mary Hillier's book on wax doll, on Amazon or in my bibliography. Twentieth century artists include Bobbi Langkau, who let her sons kick around wax doll prototypes to test doll strength, Gladys McDowell, Sheila Wallace, and Paul Crees. Helen Young also writes about wax dolls, and she notes that they can be made from candles and crayons, something I used to do often. Also, figurative candles like the old Xmas and Halloween examples of the fifties, and current examples sold even at Wal-Mart and dollar stores make good additions as wax dolls to a doll collection. Shackman used to make a wax baby, and there are wax Kewpies, too. These dolls are still prey to extremes of temperatures, but are sturdier than you think. They can be repaired by expert artists. The Holub Doll Hospital series also features a wax doll. I store mine upstairs, out of sunlight. I check them over and avoid letting anyone touch them. Fingerprints and long nails are deadly. The prototype Bye Lo baby was wax; there are only a few models, and I think one was in the Merritt collection. Lolly's Doll Museum, formerly in Galena, had some nice examples. When I was a child first collecting, wax dolls by these and makers like Charles Marsh, Peck, and others, abounded in doll collections. Now, many veteran collectors have not seen or heard of them.

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Estate Sale of Dean Betsey Brodahl A Call for Doll...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Estate Sale of Dean Betsey Brodahl A Call for Doll...: Anyone who attended this sale May 11, 2013 at Lincoln, NE, may have bought some of the dolls that were part of this collection. The sale ...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Human Doll Cloning?

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Human Doll Cloning?: A lot of artsts have donet his for years, but the Japanese have a special interest in dolls. They have temples devoted to them, and doll...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cloth Dolls

The oldest example still extant is probably the 2000 + year old Rag doll found in an Egyptian tomb with other toys. This doll is featured in Mary Hillier's Dolls and Dollmakers, in my book With Love from Tin Lizzie, and it "lives" today in the British Museum. Those who watch The Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston note that a little girl travelling to The Promised Land, is holding a rag doll. Rag doll often appear as props in all kinds of films, including Pioneer/Wagon Train Sagas. The Young Elizabeth I holds one at the end of Anne of the Thousand Days, again RIP to her mother, Anne Boleyn, executed on May 19th. Raggedy Ann stars in her own films, but also appears as a prop in many other productions including soap Another World, and in works by Mary Higgins Clark. An alleged "haunted" R. Ann is featured on the web Haunted Doll Museum. In Nuts, Barbra Streisand's doll was R. Ann. Visit the Strong National Musem of for more examples and blog posts. Emily Jackson in her book of 1908, Toys of Other Days, found on Google books for free, disucsses other rag dolls, too. There were others in the Ancient World, no doubt, but as Mary Hillier poitned out, they could not withstand the elements. Cloth, especially left over rags, is a simple material and easy way to make a doll. Laura Ingalls Wilder's first "real doll" was Charlotte, a doll her mother made, to be compantion to Nellie, Mary Ingalls' doll. Popular collectible dolls in Cloth are The Izannah Walker doll, and early patented US doll, with a whole blog devoted just to her. These can now sell for upwards of $20,000. The Chase dolls, Martha Chase lifesized hospital dolls, or the toys. These were inspired by Izannah Walker, and there is a tie with Izannag and the Woolrich clothes company. I found a Chase doll for $50.00 ten years ago on eBay. A red letter doll day that was! Dorothy Heizer needle sculpted cloth to new dimensions, as does Lisa Licthenfels. There are other artists who do the same. Bernard Ravca and his wife Frances needlesculpted as well. Lenci used flet, as did Raynal, Norah Wellings, Chad Valley, some Kathe Kruse, and Steiff. Edith the Lonely doll of literary fame is a Lenci. Stuffed animals like Winnie and friends who life at 10 Downing Street, the PM's home in England, are distant cousings of cloth dolls. Native American dolls are often leather or buckskins tuffed with grass. Many doll bodies are also stuffed cloth or leather, with heads of other materials. Successful modern cloth dolls include Holly Hobbie, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, The Levi Strauss Blue Jean Doll, Mme. Alexander's Little Shaver, perhaps her first doll, My Child, Baby Beans,Shrinking Violet, Raggedy Ann and Andy, etc. Many patters have been made over the years by Vogue, Butterick, and McCalls. Folk cloth dolls enjoyed great popularity in the 80s and 90s, and companies like Rantin Raven made great primitive cloth personages. A cloth doll was featured as a family antique on Bewitched. Rag dolls are a staple of craft fairs, and make good projects for Home Ec classes. Dolls of hankies, scraps, and pillowases are also popular. Pre printed cloth dolls like the boy from Arnold Print works, c. 1880, and the various cats, Palmer Cox Brownies, Little Girls, Buster Brown and Aunt Jemima families are found in all great doll collections. Uncut versions are really desireable. Many advertising and celebrity dolsl like The Eskimo Pie kid and Mr. Peanut are pre printed cloth dolls. So are The Ceresota Flour Boy and The Brachs Candy Clown . Living Dead Dolls has made teddy bears and voodoo dolls, both by Mezco. There has been a soft bodied Barbie that "sleeps" and Barbie and Disney pillow dolls. A few years ago, the Wenham Museum featured an exhibition of cloth dolls that included those discussed hear as well as The Columbian Rag doll, possibley The Moravian and Presbyterian Rag Dolls, Bruckner and Alabama Rag Babies. These dolls were also featured on The American Doll Stamps. Rag dolls are always individual in character, and indeed, many are one of a kind. They can be soft or rigid, but are appreciated as homemade objects, comfortable in a rustic or elegant setting. Applause, Sugar Loaf, Mattel, Kruse, and other companies continue to make rag and cloth dolls, and stuffed animals are as popular as ever. Raggedy Ann is still made by various companies, and there is still a festival in her honor. Even Kewpies have been, and are made in cloth, witness Ragsy Kewpie. Cloth is a vital medium for doll makers. Patterns still abound, and Lauura Walsh's doll blog is an excellent place to look for them. eleanor peace baily makes wonderful cloth art dolls and teaches courses in them. Quilt societies make them, too. Even in a techy age like ours, there is room to admire the age old rag baby.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Composition Dolls

Much of this post is indebted to Helen Young's excellent book Here is your Hobby Doll Collecting, GP Putnam's, 1964. Many collectors are also familiar with Ms. Young's The Complete Book of Doll Collecting and with dolls she made for Kimport Dolls. I have found her to be extremely knowledgeable and well-documented about dolls. She also shares ideas for display, repair, and doll making. I share her philosophy that a good doll collection should contain as many different types of dolls as possible, or at least one type of each available doll as possible. She gives directions for making wax dolls, cloth dolls, and wooden dolls to round out good general collections. Young discuss composition dolls in her chapter "Heads of Paste nad paper," Chapter 5. She first gives the history and recipe for paper mache, and the English translation for the French, literally, "chwed paper." Young also gives us the exact language of the first doll patent, that of Ludwig Greiner, March 30, 1858 (57). She credits Lazrus Reichmann of new York City with inventing a composition of sawdust and glue, but without using paper (59). Therein lies the difference between the two materials. As late as 1964 when Young wrote, composition was being improved with resins and toher strenghtening ingredients (59). It is interseting that she writes as late as 1964, there were still compo dolls in the store, something I don't remember at all. According to her Patsy and Shirley Temple are compo dolls "well worth looking for", and she states good compo dolls are nearly as "time proof" as plasic or vinyl dolls. For years, Pat Schoonmaker has been the expert on compo dolls for Doll Reader magazine, and she has authored many articles on the subject. Books by her, Johanna Gast Anderton, Patsy Moyer, Pat Smith, R. Lane Herron, Jan Foulke, and many other authors have excellent sections on composition dolls. These were among the first vintage or old dolls I collected. My first was Arranbee's Little Angel baby doll, bought in 1967 for $2 from The San Jose Flea Market. I was very little myself. My next was bought the next year ni Old Spanish Town, Albuquerque. She is jointed with red boots, painted, a brown mohair wig of braids winding her head, painted features, about 9 in. She wore a severely dirty and faded China Poblana outfit, the woman's national costume of Mexico, based on a story of a Chinese princess brought to marry a native prince. She was so homesick, she created a dress with the colors and embroidery of her native land, which became known as The China Poblana, still worn today. My doll now wears a dress my grandmother sewed for her. It is a pink blend Calico trimmed in gold sequins. Her name is Mrs. Birdie Plantaganet, of Godden's The Dolls House fame, and she lives in my own Plantaganet house with the rest of the family. I had a floor to ceiling wooden cabinet at my parents' home for all the large composition dolls, some of which date to the Greiner period, but which are not PM. I have some very large examples, and some small Frozen Charlottes made of compo. Several Shirley,s Patsies, and Jane Withers make up part of the museum collection. Coleman's walking doll has a composition head, as do three dolls that came as old store stock from a dept. store that closed in Herrin, IL in 1932. Over the years, my dolls have stopped crazing, though some were in pitable shape. My mother used to love to dress them, and one Shirley look a like was her favorite because it was like the doll she had to leave behind in Europe during the war. She had her drying on the bushes after a bath, and my little girl friends and I never noticed. There are many fine miniature doll house dolls made of composition, and even some Steiff hedgehog dolls. They are still plentiful, and will prices went sky high in the late 70s, they seem to be coming down now. I have at least a couple examples over 80 years old that are in mint shape with their original tags. Since many of these dolls are over 75 years old, they are often considered antique, not vintage. Dolls from the 20s and earlier seem to withstand the weather and crazing very well. I am told it is a myth that cold cream, will preserve them, but I used it on my dolls once a year, just a thin film, and few of them ever continued to flake or craze.

Wild Horse Runs Free; a Romance, with a doll or two in it!

My romance about two Apache teens and their Apache and White families will appear tomorrow on Kindle. There is oer 20 years of authentic research in this book, which has become a labor of love in many ways. One of the characters, Red Feather, took over the story, and then ovetook the hero! I hope my readers will find the story enjoyable, and they will enjoy the hero's journey from the Southwest of the 19th century to the cobbled streets of New Orleans and back. Also, the cover for the long awaited book on Metal Dolls is here. The book will be in print within two weeks, and will be available through me, and eventually on Amazon. I have been writing and research dolls and other topics heavily, and hope to have a productive summer. Recently attended a fantastic estate sale of a long time collector, artist, and seamstress. I was amazed at how many things there were and at how clever she was at storage and organization. The newest dolls date from around 2000. All items were labelled, sometimes with the donor's name, but also with date, year, and occasion for the givt. To paraphrase Carl Fox, it is amazing what people quietly collect behind the quiet walls of their homes. I wish I could have had a dialog with this lady. All her dolls were cherished and well-kept, and must have give her hours of pleasure. She had made miniature wedding gowns that had darts and linings where applicable, and tiny shoes and doll clothes for all kinds of dolls. She favored collectible Barbies and modern porcelain dolls, with some vintage artist reproductions of antiques like Hilda by JDK, and other Kestner and German bisque dolls. Many of these were over 30 years old, from a doll show which is no longer held. Also, am beginning research on a writing project involving Hugo and various automatons. We are studying them again in my intellectual property class as well. It is fun to show them to my students, and to tie them in with patents, technology, and robotics. I would love to hear for your doll collecting and writing adventures any time. Look for Wild Horse on Kindle free days as well.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Too Long!

It has been too long, but many things have gone on, and many disappointments. I will be doing a paper on The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Automatons, and my Book on metal dolls, pictured here, is nearly publshed. I am reviewing proofs. We have had illness and disapointment do deal with, as have many of us. I have one romance novel on Kindle, Wild Horse Runs Free, and Ihave entered serveral books in contests. Even in tough times, I try to b productive. I've also started my second YA novel, part II in a series. Last week, I attended a fantastic estate sale for a woman who was an artist, collector, seamstress and doll maker. There were hunreds of Barbies, porcelain artist dolls, Xmas, Halloween, yards ofm aterail and yarn, thousands and thousands of beads, findings and trimmings, all in jars, sorted by color and type, and labelled. The lady's sewing room overlooked a window imn her attic, and there were pink shelves, cupboards and cubby holes every where for her treasures. Her specialty was wedding gowns, doll sized and human sized. They were lovely. She also embellished sweaters, and I found three with exquisite lacework and beads. Her spirit was both kikndred and kind. I felt at home with her house and her things, and I am honored to have been able to bring home so many. Several will be shared with my audience when I give lectures on dolls next year. Perhaps someone will be inspired to collect. I also found paints an miniatures for my crafts, and miniature garage items for my Fisher Price auto garage. There were those who sneered and denounced her as a hoarder; I corrected them when I heard,as did my husband. I looked up the lady's obit; she lived to a ripe old age, was married, and had children and grand children. I met some of them. She was a gardner, golfer, made lawn ornaments of cement, read quite a bit, and was very, very talented. I should be so lucky. The dolls had been organized in large glass fronted china cabinets. I would have loved to see her collection presale. Estate sales sadden me; I hope I'm not seeing the handwriting on the wall. Yet, I feel it is a tribute from one collector to another when some of her dolls can join our museum. Will talk about composition or cloth dolls next for our web exhibits. Thanks for making us nearly 16,000 strong. Anyone interested in the book on metal dolls may contact me. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ancient, Medieval, and Unusual Dolls Revisited

I am researching dolls again, for my upcoming book, but also for a project we do in class. I will post links of some of the articles i have found for them. Here is one on Medeival dolls. This entire site is a treasure trove of life for the Middle Ages and related topics, and is used by those in the SCA or Society of Creative anachronism. I do not post it in its entirety, so go back and look for yourselves. I had a teacher of this period who noted that we often call the early Middle Ages The Dark Ages because we are the one's in the dark. Given some recent finds from this era, which spanned more than 1000 years, from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance, 1400 in some cultures, later in Britain, I think she was right. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ dolls-msg - 3/6/11 Medieval fashion and toy dolls. NOTE: See also these files: Dollhouses-art, dollhouses-msg, toys-msg, child-gam-msg, teething-toys-msg, child-books-msg, baby-gifts-msg, child-wagons-msg. ************************************************************************ NOTICE - This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday. This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter. The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors. Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s). Thank you, Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous Stefan at ************************************************************************ From: Andrea Luxenburg Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls in period? Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 20:22:46 -0800 Organization: AlbanyNet - E-mail info at Deb H. wrote: > Are dolls period? How were they used? As just toys? Or, as someone > suggested to me recently, as a low-cost fashion model? I am specifically > interested in finding more information about the low-cost fashion model > dolls. > > What are some good sources for me to start reading/looking at? > > Kateryn de Develyn > debh at Unless little girls have changed out of all recognition, yes, there were dolls in period. I have seen pictures of jointed clay dolls from Roman times, and recall references to wooden and rag dolls, as well as dolls stuffed with straw. Unfortunately, I can't recall where. I'm sure there were also dolls of the sort little girls still make for themselves out of nuts and sticks and flower petals, as well as the scraps of cloth tied together. In fact, I saw a picture of an old-fashioned bed wrench (that's with an "r"), used to tighten the ropes on a bed, which looked like a clothespin with a dowel through it at right angle to the length of the "clothespin". The whole thing looked so like a little person - head, body, two legs and outstretched arms- if some didn't end up wrapped in a piece of cloth and played with endlessly, I don't know little girls like I think I do. I suspect, though, that you are talking of dolls made on purpose by adults. I'd be interested to know what you find. Gwen Goosefoot From: "L. Herr-Gelatt" Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls in period? Date: 21 Nov 1996 01:38:39 GMT Organization: ProLog - PenTeleData, Inc. A few Pennsics ago I attended a class taught by Mistress Alizoun (Hope I haven't mangled that too much), who hailed from somewhere in New England. She taught quite a class. I'd venture that she would be the expert here (or one of many?). As I recall, the fashion-plate dolls were discovered because a seamstress used broken ones as bobbins to wind thread on (broken arms and all). The family preserved the thread samples, never dreaming of the dolls underneath. They were unwound in this century and found to be real historic "barbies". Unfortunately, they were not children's toys, at least until they were useless to adults. And why would adults play with dolls, you impatiently ask? They were used to ship samples of the latest fahsions to remoter parts of the world. Thus, even during times of war, the latest french fashions in gowns made it across the english channel, no doubt smuggled by emisaries and the like. Or so I learned at the class during Pennsic. I also learned: Other dolls---stick dolls with wire or cloth hands, and wooden bead heads were popular throughout europe. So were cloth dolls, stuffed, which date back to the ancient egyptians. Add to that list rock dolls (yes I'm serious) no doubt invented by some penniless mother who had a hankie and a rock, and tied the corners together to make arms and legs. A wonderful lady made one of these for my two-year old just recently (stuffing instead of rock). It really is a cute and viable and quick/cheap idea. Good project for children. Aparantly, these have been found in the abandoned campsites of armies who fought many of the great wars of europe. I suppose many camp followers were children, esp. when the wars lasted many many years. Add to the list wooden, lead, and tin soldiers, block dolls (painted figure or glued paper figure on a block of wood). Here my memory deserts me. Hope that helped. The good Mistress mentioned above is an excellent teacher and a font of knowledge. I wish I could give you her her information, but I don't have a clue. Sorry! Lady Aoife Finn, Mommy of three little terrors (who are very nice girls ......... when they're asleep). From: Tireachan Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls in period? Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 19:04:43 -0700 > In article <32923C68.41C67EA6 at> debh at > writes: > > >Are dolls period? Missed your first post, but yes they are period. > >How were they used? I won't pretend to know about toy dolls, but Janet Arnold's Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd shows "fashion dolls" that were sent between countries to show the fashions of the era. Really a brilliant way of carrying fashion from one court to another. Wish I could tell you more, but my husband won't let me have my Christmas present early and so I can't open the book to tell you more. Anyone else have a copy that they could look this information up in? I would bet, though, that these ended up as toys after the tailors were through with them. Tireachan From: woofie at Capital.NET (Susan Evans) Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Period dolls Date: 21 Nov 1996 02:07:26 -0500 I have seen an engraving of a period doll seller. Unfortunately the book's in storage. It was in the early 1600's as I recall. You might also try the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY and Doll Reader magazine as a starting point. Doll Reader has had articles on fashion dolls. Perhaps your local library can get the index and articles on microfilm? Shoshonnah Newsgroups: From: Michael Corman Subject: Re: Dolls in period? Organization: Pfizer, Inc Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996 19:43:36 GMT I'm afraid I don't actually have the literature handy, but at the Tower in London I saw "dolls" wearing armor about 18 inches tall as I remember, that were, according to the labels, used as demonstrations of the latest armor styles for those nobles who would like to commission pieces from the armorer. This might actually be a place to start, especially for the "low-cost fashion model" line of research. Mike Corman cormam at From: savaskan at Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls in period? Date: Thu, 21 Nov 96 12:15:37 PDT Organization: Cubic Corporation > Are dolls period? How were they used? As just toys? Or, as someone > suggested to me recently, as a low-cost fashion model? I am specifically > interested in finding more information about the low-cost fashion model > dolls. They are believed to be used as fashion models as well as toys during the 16th century. There are several portraits of children with dolls which are thought to be actually "fashion model" hand me downs.. "Mama's dress is done, here's a new dolly dear"... > What are some good sources for me to start reading/looking at? Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd - Janet Arnold Various German Woodcuts Mistress Julianna From: woofie at Capital.NET (Susan Evans) Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls - book Date: 22 Nov 1996 22:37:16 -0500 Try to find a copy of "The Collector's History of Dolls" by Constance E. King, 1977, Bonanza Books, ISBN 0-517-34801-2. There are chapters on dolls from the Far East (ancient) as well as a chapter on Medieval and Renaissance dolls. There are some pictures. If there's a specific time period you're interested in, please write me directly and I'll glean out some facts for you. I usually just skim over the headings on the digest and probably miss postings. Shoshonnah Jehanne ferch Emrys, OL From: cromabu at Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls in period? Date: 23 Nov 1996 09:27:04 GMT Dolls were used as toys in period. There are many examples in art of both girls & boys shown holding dolls of all kinds, some very elaborately dressed. In the latter periods it seems that little girls were quite often pictured with their dolls dressed in the same out fits as their own. The practice of traveling salesmen carring fashion dolls to sell their goods was started by a designer by the name of worth (I belive), in the mid to late 1800, & not in the middle ages.A good book to start your search with is History of Children's Costume by Elizabeth Ewing plub. by Scribnre's, ISBN 0-684-15357-2. You can also find many books in the library on dolls, doll making, as well as doll history. It is my experance that the history of dolls is best a sideline in the first 2 more than a subject all by it's self. Some costumeing books also deal with this subject. Hope this helps! Lady Cate From: v081lu33 at (TRISTAN CLAIR DE LUNE/KEN MONDSCHEIN) Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls In Period Date: 23 Nov 1996 23:44:45 GMT Organization: University at Buffalo I have a copy of a woodcut of Maximillian I playing with little dolls of jousting knights on wheeled horses... the first "action figures"! --Tristan From: ruthless at (ruthless) Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls In Period Date: Mon, 25 Nov 96 21:38:00 GMT Organization: MIS Saint John v081lu33 at (TRISTAN CLAIR DE LUNE/KEN MONDSCHEIN) wrote: > I have a copy of a woodcut of Maximillian I playing with little > dolls of jousting knights on wheeled horses... the first "action figures"! > --Tristan There is a restored working set of these jousting knight dolls in the Bethnel Green museum in London if you are interested. Achsa From: ruthless at (ruthless) Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Dolls in period? Date: Mon, 25 Nov 96 21:31:35 GMT Organization: MIS Saint John In article <32923C68.41C67EA6 at>, "Deb H." wrote: Are dolls period? How were they used? As just toys? Or, as someone suggested to me recently, as a low-cost fashion model? I am specifically interested in finding more information about the low-cost fashion model dolls. Nope, dolls are NOT period. The word for the child's plaything was "baby" The word Doll comes from the diminutive for the name Dorothy (As in Shakespeare's Doll Tearsheet) Calling a doll a doll was a slightly post period advertising gimmic that caught on, like the word kleenex. There was a German industry in carving wooden babies that is quite period. I've seen a woodcut showing a man carving them. They were especially sold in England on St Bartholemew's day, thus the term "Bartholemew baby" used if you had to make a distinction between the live baby and its doll. Proportions of these babies were more adult than babish but they were sold with the intention of being mothered by children. In Breugal's children's Gavmes some of the doll furniture is also shown. Doll's were common cheap trade items. Sir Raleigh carried trade goods to the Americas including beads and metal knives and babies and some of these babies were apparently presented to some little Native-North-American girls in Virginia. I understand that the Spanish Queen Isabelle send a complete set of babies in copies of her wedding party's clothes to one of her relatives but I don't remember which Queen Isabelle. I hope this info is of use. Achsa (Ruthless at From: eddval at (EDDVAL) Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Animals ..and Barbies Date: 4 May 1997 14:59:30 GMT For dolls in period dress check out: My wife just did the OSU ren fest. I now understand why so many people were taking pictures of the dolls. It would be interesting to know if any of her designs show up for the contest. Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 08:31:45 -0400 (EDT) From: Jenne Heise To: sca-arts at Subject: Re: Toys There's also a section of toys in _Wooden Artefacts from Medieval Novogrod_, including hobby horses, tops (made with a depression on top, not a spindle), toy swords, dolls, etc. > Does anyone know how far back dolls were made (i.e. ceramic/porceline type)? > Is it medival at all? From the Medieval Novogrod book the things identified as dolls were people shapes cut out of flat planks and dressed. (This is all archealogical stuff. They had a number of carved figures in the book too, but those were identified as 'household spirits'.) I'll post a fuller report on the book as soon as I get it back from my friend Kat'ryina, who schwicked it almost as soon as I'd ILL'ed it! Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Shire of Eisental), mka Jennifer Heise jenne at Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 08:54:04 PDT From: "pat fee" To: sca-arts at Subject: Re: Toys According to the research I have been doing there were "baked" clay dolls ar early as the 11th century. These were baptismal presents. There were Italian religous figures in the 14-15 century made from clay, wood, a "bakers clay" and a cookie like dough that was meant to be eaten. These were dressed(wraped in cloth) or undressed, depending on who the doll was supposed to be or the material from which it was made. Morganuse de Berre Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 21:15:03 -0700 From: Edwin Hewitt To: sca-arts at Subject: bakers clay, was: Toys > There were Italian regilous figuars in the 14-15 century made from > clay, wood, a "bakers clay" and a cookie like dough that was ment to > be eaten. These were dressed(wraped in cloth) or undressed, depending > on who the doll was suposs to be. or the material grom which it was > made. > > Morganuse de Berre I don't know what was used in period, but the "bakers' clay" I am familiar with is simply flour, salt and water. When baked, it is as hard as a rock but not particulary good for eating. -- Edwin Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 14:57:22 EDT From: To: sca-arts at Subject: Re: bakers clay I found a good recipe for it on Baker's Clay Submitted by: Johanna This is a NON-EDIBLE cookie recipe that makes lovely ornaments to hang on your Christmas Tree. Ingredients: 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup salt 1 1/2 cups water Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix the flour, salt and water. Knead dough until smooth. Roll out dough and cut into=20 desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Once cool=20 paint with colors, if desired. Makes 5 cups of dough Marged Montague Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 15:33:55 -0700 From: Edwin Hewitt To: sca-arts at Subject: Re: bakers clay and beer HBSJAM at wrote: snipped > Ingredients: 4 cups all-purpose flour > 1 cup salt > 1 1/2 cups water > Marged Montague This 4:1 sounds right. For figurines, we sometimes had to bake the clay twice. Baking once, even for a long time, doesn't seem to always dry it all the way through. I understand that ancient barley hard-tack cakes were double baked for the same reason. The barley cakes were also used as a starter for beer, if I understand rightly. -- Edwin Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 14:39:08 -0600 (CST) From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" To: sca-cooks at Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] handwashing at feasts On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Mercy Neumark wrote: > There is a pitcher-like vessel called an aquamanile (I've also seen it > spelled as Aquamantle) which is normally either bronze or ceramic, that is > sculpted into an animal or I've seen as my pottery Laurel Master Hroar > Stormgengr has made, Knights on horseback. These are primarily used in > handwashing and I have a few period pictures of bronze ones, if you all are > interested in looking at them. I plan on making one this year sometime, on > top of all the other projects. Heh. Well, at least I'm busy. Ah, yes. There's a (I *think*) 14th century brass one which is supposed to be Xanthippe sitting on the back of Socrates, in the book _The Medieval Art of Love. Amongst my books I have pictures of a griffon, a lion, several knights on horseback, the aforementioned Socrates/Xanthippe, and a rooster, one or two of which I think are actually pottery. A couple of years ago I commissioned the aforementioned pottery Laurel to make one for the gentleman who is my love and inspiration. It's a hedgehog, in a 13th century style. There are pictures, somewhere. If he ever finds them again I'm supposed to send some to Hroar. It's a very cute hedgehog. Margaret Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 10:14:12 -0800 (PST) From: Karen Subject: [SCA-AS] Re: Another question about stuffed dolls/animals To: artssciences at Jadwiga asked: <<< Anyone have any info about stuffed dolls or stuffed animal toys in period? >>> There's a Roman doll at the British Museum -- linen, stuffed with rags and papyrus -- use the Compass webpage at to search for it. (GR 1905.10-21.13) I have some information about animal-shaped playthings, if that's helpful -- ceramic, wooden, etc. -- they're linked from Karen To: Authentic_SCA at Subject: Coptic cloth doll? Posted by: "Lilinah" lilinah at urtatim_alqurtubiyya Date: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:50 pm (PDT) Some years ago i found a photo on the web of a cloth doll from Late Antique period Egypt, more commonly (if erroneously) called the "Coptic" period. The doll was made of plain linen, no colors, no embroidery, no wool, no silk, a little lopsided, somewhat worn and dirty. Unfortunately i lost a lot of data in a fatal hard drive crash. And this picture was among the lost. I wonder if anyone has seen something like it. I am not interested in dolls made of fragments of brightly colored, tapestry woven wool. This was unadorned linen with no facial features, no garments - head, body, 2 arms, 2 legs - quite simple. -- Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM) the persona formerly known as Anahita To: Authentic_SCA at Subject: Re: Coptic cloth doll? Posted by: "Ann Catelli" elvestoorder at elvestoorder Date: Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:12 pm (PDT) She was found at the cemetary at Oxrhynchus, and is now on display in the British Museum. The side you see in the pictures has no face because it is the back of the doll; half the face was destroyed at some point between 1800 years ago and now. I'm betting this is the doll you are thinking of. :) Ann in CT doll enthusiast To: Authentic_SCA at Subject: Re: Coptic cloth doll? Posted by: "Heather Rose Jones" heather.jones at heather_rose_jones Date: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:52 pm (PDT) On Sep 12, 2008, at 5:50 PM, Lilinah wrote: > Some years ago i found a photo on the web of a cloth doll from Late > Antique period Egypt, more commonly (if erroneously) called the > "Coptic" period. > > The doll was made of plain linen, no colors, no embroidery, no wool, > no silk, a little lopsided, somewhat worn and dirty. Unfortunately i > lost a lot of data in a fatal hard drive crash. And this picture was > among the lost. > > I wonder if anyone has seen something like it. I am not interested in > dolls made of fragments of brightly colored, tapestry woven wool. > This was unadorned linen with no facial features, no garments - head, > body, 2 arms, 2 legs - quite simple. There's a doll shown on p. 150 of: Connolly, Peter & Hazel Dodge. 1998. The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 0-19-917242-0 that is similar to your description. Despite the book's title, this specific item was found at Oxyrhynchus -- a specific date isn't given, although the context implies it may be earlier than the one you're trying to find. Tangwystyl From: Authentic_SCA at Subject: Re: Coptic cloth doll? Posted by: "Karen" karen_larsdatter at Karen_Larsdatter Date: Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:45 pm (PDT) There are several Coptic cloth dolls, actually -- see for the ones I've found online. Karen From: Authentic_SCA at Subject: Re: Coptic cloth doll? Posted by: "quokkaqueen" quokkaqueen at quokkaqueen Date: Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:13 pm (PDT) The links to the Benaki Museum dolls are broken, try: and then clicking on the 'Online Search through the Museum Documentation and Management System' link ~Asfridhr --- In Authentic_SCA at, Karen wrote: > There are several Coptic cloth dolls, actually -- see for the ones I've found online. > > Karen From: Alexandria Doyle Date: April 14, 2009 5:08:37 PM CDT To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Puppets in Period On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 4:42 PM, Regan Caimbeul wrote: <<< I was wondering if anyone has information regarding puppets in period: what kinds of puppets were used, how to make them, sample shows, or other introduction-like stuff (yes, that's a technical term). Rachel >>> I think that the place to start is with DOLLS AND PUPPETS by MAX VON BOEHM. This is the work that most modern doll historians go to as their source for dolls, and the second half of this book is about various puppets. There's also somewhere an inventory of the things that Mary Stuart brought back with her to Scotland that included a set of marionette dolls that she and her ladies are reported to have dressed and redressed as they pleased. This is not a source I now have to hand as I think it was someone else's book webbed perhaps for a limited time, but I'm sure that a little searching would turn it up. Some books do lump dolls and puppets together, (but in our period they seemed to be two very different things) so looking at some of the doll histories might get you started. If you'd like, I can look at the library at home and see if there's more puppet related stuff mixed in with the doll stuff alex Edited by Mark S. Harris dolls-msg Page 11 of 12

Sunday, April 14, 2013

We are Well over 10,000

We are well over 10,000 readers! Thanks to all! I will dicuss wax dolls of the early 19th c. next, including wax over compo and even metal. There are wonderful examples from Mexico, some a little later, but the breat European doll wax workers often came from there. The Bronte children allegedly played with wax dolls, which makes me wonder just how poor they really were. Wax dolls of German beeswax and small figurines have quite a following. My friend Mary Hillier wrote a great book on wax dolls; she was quite an authority. We have some very old examples, one that is very early 19th c, perhaps 18th, that was originally a religious devotional doll from The Mary Merritt Museum. I have always been fascinated with wax dolls, and used to make my own from candle kits and old crayons. I still have them, and fin d the process fascinating. They are hard to find, but don't leave them out of the realm of your collecting possibility.