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Thursday, March 31, 2016

April 6 Rendezvous Theriault's

To see the dolls in the April 6th auction, click here.

Theriault's Rendezvous, Nights at the Auction, are conducted at Theriault's headquarters office in Annapolis, Maryland. Plan in advance, get registered, and when the auction is set to begin - 7 PM EDT - click the audio/video on button.
Join Theriault's for a fun and fast and fact-filled one-hour auction of great antique dolls. Just have fun and maybe bring home a doll. The dolls are all available for viewing and bidding online. You can leave pre-bids, you can absentee bid, or you can make a reservation to bid by telephone at the actual time of the auction. Or you can be there online when the fun begins and watch the live audio/video feed. For technical help with bidding live online call Proxibid toll free at Theriault's Premier Line at 855-264-8262.
Ravca Dolls, Courtesy, Theriault's

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

R. John Wright Convention

R. John Wright Convention Dinner Event Details | In the Beginning
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Thanks for the mention, RJW Dolls!!
Let us take the planning reins as you let go and take the journey. We have planned out something special for every second of your adventure with us including special programs, Dynamic Dialogues, fun workshops, exhibits, competitions, and themed meal events - all meticulously designed and overseen by your hosts, John & Susan Wright with their charming daughter, Lillian Wright, as Convention Chair
Click Here For the 2016 Convention Details
In addition to regularly scheduled convention activities, there are special breakout activities scheduled for your consideration and we want to tell you about our mouse breakfast:

Friday Jun 24th 8:00AM-9:30AM

Collectors of RJW mice will not want to miss this ticketed breakfast event.There will be special table favors, door prizes, and an entertaining game with prizes! Each table's centerpiece will be a fabulous mouse-sized house available to purchase by a lucky drawing! The event souvenir will be Mr. Mouse - the charming and very limited 40th Anniversary mouse. His companion, Mrs. Mouse, will be available to order. Fee including souvenir: $295 - Fee without souvenir: $40 Click here to register!
While we can't reveal the souvenir or the mouse house that we are building for the event, we can share some of our favorite mice that we have built, a couple past production photos, and one of our favorite 'larger than life' mouse houses.
This Mouse House is called the ‘Muizen Huis’ and is in the central library in Amsterdam.  It really is fabulous with over 100 little rooms and so much attention to detail.
Want to join our Facebook Event group for the 2016 Convention and stay up to date on everything in the works? Join below and invite your friends!
Join the Facebook 2016 Convention Event Group

Click below to read our latest blog on the RJW Design Journal - special guest blog by Ellen Tsagaris of

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Bebe Gigoteur

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Bebe Gigoteur: This is Ellen, Dir. of Social Media for ADC Magazine.  I guess it's true good things come to collectors who wait.   At a recent antiqu...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Dolls Poppin Up Fresh!

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Dolls Poppin Up Fresh!: Dr. E’s Doll Museum   Dolls keep popping up for me, literally everywhere.   Last night, on the old Tonight Show rebroadcast from...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Μουσείο κουκλών του Δρ Ε στα Ελληνικά : Mr. McGregor's Iowa

Μουσείο κουκλών του Δρ Ε στα Ελληνικά : Mr. McGregor's Iowa: Πήρε ένα ταξίδι σπάνια σήμερα με τον μπαμπά μου. Παλιά ταξιδεύαμε όλη την ώρα όταν η μαμά μου ήταν μαζί μας. Ήταν γλυκόπικρη και νοσταλγι...

From the R. John Wright Blog

Here is a link to R. John Wright's Blog, where I was privileged to be a guest blogger.  Thanks so much!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Peter Playpal

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Peter Playpal: I lucked today at an estate sale in my own neighborhood!  I found a Peter Playpal, undressed, hands need reattachment, with shoes and socks,...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dolls are In and then Some; Happy St. Patrick's Day; here is a Free Newsletter!

Spring, Rendezvous, St.Pat's and More!
This week is eventful indeed, there has been another great Theriault's Rendezvous, and another major auction coming up in about a week. There are doll shows starting up, one in Eastern Iowa and one in Western Illinois next week.  St. Patrick's Day makes me want to study all things Celtic and Irish, including wonderful dolls and statues: Irish Dancers, Leprechauns, and St. Patrick Himself.  Below are thoughts on some of the trends I've observed and dolls I have enjoyed.  Thanks again to readers for ideas of what you would like to read!  Keep it coming, and also thanks for your kind words.  Happy Collecting, and write to me at  This will publish on the Ides of March; beware!!
Ellen Tsagaris
Doll Collecting Expert
Porcelain Bride
Mass Produced Porcelain Dolls; Still a Piece of Doll History  
Here is an encore performance of a post on modern porcelain dolls, still controversial in the doll collecting world.  The interesting thing is that I see prices for them slowly increasing on ebay and other online auctions and buying sites.  They also are selling fast in our local thrift stores, and climb a little in price there.  I'm just reporting on the "state of the dollhouse", not encouraging any sales!
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Steiner Bebe Kicks her way to the Top!  
An unusual bebe with two rows of teeth operated by a gold key steals my heart and joins my collection.
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Spring Antique Show Features Dolls for All Seasons  
Dolls are reappearing at antique shows and selling well. Dolls from vintage to antique to 1990s Barbies are making a splash this spring at antique shows and doll shows.
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Composition Doll Memories; Durable and Loveable Companions  
Composition dolls were among my first old dolls; they are still fun to collect and to study.
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Monday, March 14, 2016

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Inaugural Blog

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Inaugural Blog: Welcome to my museum blog. This blog is about the process of creating a doll museum, first in web form, then as a brick-and-mortar attractio...

Μουσείο κουκλών του Δρ Ε στα Ελληνικά : Καλώς ήλθατε στο blog μου Μουσείο.

Μουσείο κουκλών του Δρ Ε στα Ελληνικά : Καλώς ήλθατε στο blog μου Μουσείο.: Εναρκτήρια Blog Καλώς ήλθατε στο blog μου Μουσείο. Αυτό το blog είναι σχετικά με τη διαδικασία δημιουργίας του Μουσείο κούκλα, πρώτ...

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: April Sneak Peek!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: April Sneak Peek!:     For fashion doll collectors Paris was and remains, even to this day, as the magnificent focus of our collecting.  As a studen...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Musings on the State of the Doll House!

Et, tu doll collector!  Or, so I've wanted to say for the last two months.  The slings and arrow of doll collecting fortune have come flying to my cyber door!  So, here are my thoughts on the state of the doll house.

As you know, this blog is meant to be a chronology of doll history.  We've covered dolls from prehistory to the 21st century.  My other blog covers all things doll as well as doll trends and toy topics.  Every other blog I write has something to do with dolls, and my site on Doll Collecting yields a free weekly newsletter which I often post here and on my other blogs.

These are just my musings.  Blogs are places to inspire readers, and to get them to follow up on research and to build on the subject.  I'm not ever going to argue there is a right or wrong way to blog.  So my .005% critics may take that and file it wherever they feel appropriate amid their moldering receipts and paper dolls.

Why do I get the page views I do, over 4 million by now?  Because of the variety.  I began to collect avidly and, yes, seriously, when I was 3.  My parents and family helped me.  We got better and better at choosing dolls, and increasing the quality of our collection, but we also recycled and rescued dolls we liked, made them, repaired them within reason.

My collection began with "tourist" dolls from my grandmother's house.  This was how early collectors seemed to start, with souvenirs of their travels, and it was how Miss Bolin's collection at Eugene Field began.  BTW, if any one knows where the remnants of Miss Bolin's collection are, please let me know.

Early Doll authors: 

I think we can find mention of dolls on cave paintings, if we can interpret what we see.  The earliest "texts" on dolls, if everything is indeed a text, are the Venus figures, dating 40,000 years back.  Plato writes about Shadow Puppets in his "Allegory of the Cave." Someone did the 14th c or so woodcut of the doll and puppet makers, and their are many Cranach and other paintings of children with dolls and toys from Medieval times through the Baroque era.

Mr. Haddock's Androides is free on Google books, and dates from the 17th century.

A Study of Dolls by psychology pioneer G. Stanley Hall and Caswell Ellis dates from 1897, the year my grandpa Steve was born, the year Dracula was published.  I assure you, dolls, are associated in both.  Works of fiction have mentioned dolls, figures, and statues even before that; see my A Bibliography of Doll and Toy Sources.  And don't spend tons  of money on it.  It's only $9.99 on Kindle.  I will eventually publish a 2nd ed. hard copy, too.

Laura Starr wrote The Doll Book in 1908, and this is a great cultural study. Emily Jackson wrote Toys of Bygone Days I believe the same year.  These, too, are on Google free.

Max von Boehn wrote Dolls and Puppets in about 1927, and Becky My First Love appeared in the 30s. Janet Pagter Johl wrote in the late 40s.  Mary Hillier, Helen Young, Manfred Bachman, Carl Fox, and more wrote int eh 60s and 70s.  Pat Smith began to publish on modern dolls in the 70s, as did Johanna Gast Anderton.  My friend R. Lane Herron was the first to write on paper dolls in the 60s and 70s, and among the first to write price guides; he is still authoring doll articles and creating dolls. The Coleman's really took off writing about dolls in the late 60s.

They were historians and worked with what they had.  Like Genevieve Angione and Luella Hart, two other authors, they hoped someone would find any "mistakes" and clarify the research.

Courtesy, Theriault's

No one was confused or befuddled.  As with any other art and science, they expected their field to progress as new technology opened new avenues for research.  The fall of the Berlin Wall brought many new discoveries, as did opening of The Strong Museum, now the National Museum of Play which houses the Toy Hall of Fame and much more.

Many today use the term dealer and collector interchangeably. I don't.  Many confuse doll snobbery with doll knowledge.  Harvesting marks to make money is not collecting, and isn't always good business, either.  You can price yourself out the market.  Buy bonds, or day trade.

Don't discourage anyone in what they like to collect, whether it's dolls or used lottery tickets.  In the immortal words of Sly Stone that I've often quoted, "Different Strokes for Different Folks."

Hobbies are not meant to bankrupt people.  We can collect what we like, but for the record, there is a brisk business in my area on Cabbage Patch dolls, even undressed, out of box, naked Barbies, any type of old doll, damaged or not, German Bisque dolly faces, and use, the ubiquitous "Waldas" and mass produced porcelain dolls made in Asia. Prices for these dolls are slowly going up on online auctions; just surf for yourself.

But, that still does not matter.  Doll collectors started 'specializing' because dolls were getting too high.  Variety began to die.  I have seen million dollar plus collections that bored me to tears; there was nothing diverse about the dolls there, and all were clearly an investment, like blue chip stock.  They were an accumulation, to borrow a term from author and artist, Helen Young.

Oh for the days of Kimport, and the wonderful, seemingly infinite variety of dolls in "Doll Talk."

So, just my thoughts.  I love all things doll, from the sublime to the ridiculous.  I will till they lower me into the ground in my own doll box.

Till then, let's keep at it, and all doll divas, please check your dolly egos at the door of the doll house!

Protecting Dolls, Strawberry Shortcake, Dolls with Teeth and Domes; Free Newsletter

Sweet Strawberry Shortcake and Her friends Rethought!
I thank M, one of our readers, who suggested our first piece on Strawberry Shortcake.  What a lovely idea with spring just around the corner!  This week was a bustle of pre-spring activities, including our March Antique show and the first ads for our spring flower show.  Don't we all want to go to the sun!!  Our next post deals with tips on how to insure and protect dolls.  While I'm no expert in insurance, this is food for thought for us collectors.  Another wonderful reader inspired our post on types of dolls to collect; she had some very interesting preferences that were inspiring.  Doll collecting seems to be enjoying a Renaissance this spring; many new dolls were introduced at The New York Toy Fair, and many great doll shows are springing up everywhere.  I plan to write more about our antique show, but there were many dolls and similar items available, more than I have seen in years. I did very well there, and also well at a retirement sale of a shop that featured Boyd's Bears, Wee Forest Folk, Steiff, and more. One lovely object at the antique show from Summer Kitchen Antiques was a very large dome, about 2 feet in height or more, that contained a scene made of tiny French fashion type dolls that had bisque heads and limbs, but tiny bodies of steel springs.  They danced along a grassy flowered, slope to music.  Just fantastic!  I also note that current issues  of Doll Castle News and Antique Doll Collector Magazine feature very unusual mechanical dolls, primarily made with metal and composition and papier mache.  With spring comes a lot of doll variety, so have fun choosing and collecting!  Remember to write at
Ellen Tsagaris
Doll Collecting Expert
strawberry shortcake
Sweet Strawberry Shortcake and Her friends Rethought!  
Strawberry Shortcake, now 35 and counting, and her doll friends, continue to be popular with collectors. And, they smell as good as ever!
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Caring for Dolls and More; How to insure Our Treasures  
Here are some ideas for protecting and insuring your dolls for posterity. Dolls should be safe from damp, heat, and destruction!
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Leo Moss
Focus on some Dolls to Collect, suggest by one of our Readers  
A Reader's Request leads to Tips on Buying Dolls, including Dolls with Teeth! Here are some ideas for collecting some unusual dolls.
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Miniature Doll Worlds encased in Glass  
Glass domes were all the rage in the Victorian Era; they housed everything from tiny dolls to wax fruit. I saw one this weekend that was priced at $12,000!
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