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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Random Fun- Doll Melange

Some Redressed Ladies

Remembering Spring

Good Breakfasts with Oatmeal Help fuel Doll Collecting Hunts

Vintage Cloth, Yugoslavia

Shindana Toys, 1970s, in a new Yellow Batiste Dress

Hard Plastic, Native American

90s Pilgrim, wood and cloth, Thanksgiving is Coming

Monday, September 4, 2017

Doll Eye Candy, or Doll Porn—

Doll Eye Candy, or Doll Porn—


We collectors love picture books, big lovely coffee table books of dolls like Carl Fox’s The Doll, or Manfred Bachmann’s Dolls the Wide World Over.  Then, there are the books my Marco Tosca, Lydia Richter, Gwen White, John Noble, and others, names from doll collecting past, to be sure.


What’s missing from these lavish photo studies are prices. They are not price guides.  Thy are histories, similar to the books on dolls and puppets by Max von Boehn and Professor Kenneth Gross.  Others scholarly works on collecting include The Collector’s Voice series by Susan Pearce.


It’s wonderful when books on dolls and related objects contain wonderful pictures and great text, but as a scholar and life-collector, I prefer the text.  Our obsession with photos has turned into doll porn.


By doll porn, I don’t mean dolls created for erotic purposes.  They are a whole other study, and this is a family friendly blog.  I mean that over the years, I’ve found editors of all types only want pictures, not history or text.  We want to zoom in on doll marks and mold numbers; we’ve analyzed the dolls to death by their parts, and can’t put them back together. As one of my good friends, Mary Hillier once observed to me, doll folk aren’t always much for reading.


We don’t use photo studies any more to identify dolls as we did with the brochures Seeley Molds and Doll Crafter used to publish.  We are more interested in investment, and price. We also don’t like to read.  We are obsessed with pictures, and not with interpreting them.  So, we have doll porn, which describes the knee jerk reaction we have to big splashy photos of dolls. 


Doll porn also makes us doll snobs.  We have lots of comments on how a do is dressed, its wig, its condition, the doll itself.  In the immortal words of Sly Stone, different strokes for different folks.  Or else, different dolls for different doll collecting folks.


Words paint pictures, too, and words on dolls can be eloquent and historical.  My first doll books were more text than photo; I fell in love with the history behind dolls, and that led me to love all kinds of dolls.


I’d like to see more publications like Doll Talk or Clara Hallard Fawcett’s books, illustrated with small photos or drawings where appropriated, but with meaningful text.  Dolls are not subjects of material culture studies.  In general, we academics actually write, not just create picture books for grown-ups.


No one has to agree with me; but I feel the need to speak.  Doll collecting should not be a creepy habit, but a fun and educational pastime.  It should not just belong to those who can afford the big splashy photos in expensive catalogs featuring dolls that cost the price of someone’s house.


As Genevieve Angione wrote, All Dolls are Collectible.  Every doll’s picture tells a story.  Let’s read it, and study it.  Let’s not just drool over high prices and numbers incised on the back of a doll’s neck.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Museum Categories

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Museum Categories: Enjoy! Below are the categories I would like to set up for the museum. Happy Weekend! Museum Categories of Dolls and Collections *Denot...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: The Power of Dolls, Effigies, and Statues

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: The Power of Dolls, Effigies, and Statues: Lest anyone doubt the power of the human form, we have only to revisit the recent media coverage of controversial statutes and demands to re...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: The Power of Dolls, Effigies, and Statues

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: The Power of Dolls, Effigies, and Statues: Lest anyone doubt the power of the human form, we have only to revisit the recent media coverage of controversial statutes and demands to re...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: September Sneak Peek!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: September Sneak Peek!: September 2017 Sneak Peek   Our cover this month features a beautiful duet of two rare and wonderful Izannah Walker dolls.   The...

Friday, August 18, 2017

“I Only Wanted to Wonder” at Theriault’s Summer Auction Press Release, Courtesy Theriault’s

“I Only Wanted to Wonder” at Theriault’s Summer Auction Press Release, Courtesy Theriault’s

Annapolis, MD-August 7, 2017

The 250 year-old wooden doll named Nellie had reposed silently in an 18th century chest that furnished one of the 50 rooms of the 500 year old Radford House in Plymstock, England. A regal 28” tall, her enamel eyes appeared to shine in wonder on August 1st as she was presented to a roomful of eager bidders at Theriault’s annual mid-summer Marquis antique doll auction which is noted worldwide for offering the finest doll treasures.  Estimated at $26,000-42,000, Nellie soared to $108,300 with competitive bidding from private collectors as well as museums.


The doll had been in the private collection of an important British collector, who also consigned to the auction a remarkable French poupée by Adelaide Huret. Presented with an extensive original trousseau, the doe-eyed doll sold for $53,760 and will be highlighted in an important doll museum under construction in southern Virginia.


Early dolls of papier mache, wood, and wax are presently enjoying resurgence in the doll collecting word, and Theriault’s August 1 auction proved the point well. Especially notable was a beautiful English wax doll by Montanari, replete with detailed and poignant provenance ($12,000-16,000). There was an early papier mache lady with remarkable sculpted coiffure in the young Queen Victoria style and with rare blue glass yes; the elated winning bidder proclaimed, “I sat through 437 other dolls at the auction just to bid on her.  I first saw her in the home of Lorna Lieberman 25 years ago and have dreamt of her ever since.”  The bidder raised her paddle high and never took it down under she was declared the winter at $4900(pre-sale $1200-1500).  Other examples include a 19” German lady with “beehive” coiffure topping at $2500 (pre-sale $1100-1300), a 12” wax -over – papier mache child with  mechanical bellows at $3248 (pre-sale $800-1200), and a 22” French papier mache bride with original elaborate wig at $4032 (pre-sale $2200-2800).


Theriault’s auction also featured the important German collection of Petra Aichele who for several decades had sought rare German art character bisque dolls.  A most endearing painted dye boy by Bruno Schmidt wistfully walked away at $20, 160 (pre-sale $255-3500), Kammer and Reinhardt’s 112 model went to $19, 040(pre-sale $5007500), and her sister, the 109 model known as “Elise” reached $11, 200 (pre-sale $7500-9500).  The cover doll, model 1263, a mere wisp of a child at 12” was $9800 (pre-sale $4500-6500),  while a beautiful glass eyed character girl, model 149, by Hurtle and Schwab topped at $9520, (pre-sale $500-8500).


More than 500 rare and beautiful antique dolls were presented in the eight-hour auction, with cmpetitiv3e bidding from the attending bidders, absentee bidders, telephone bidders, and live online bidders. (Prices won reflect the buyer’s premium). Collectors cheered when an anxious friend won her sought after doll, plenty of laughter was here throughout the day (some at the traditional banter lines of Stuart Holbrook auctioneer and President of Theriault’s), and a spirit of good feelings pervaded the auction room.

To view all the of the doll in the auction visit www.theriault’ The next scheduled Marquis catalog auction is in Scottsdale, Arizona on October 28-29 featuring important private collections.  To receive a free color brochure of the auction call Theriault’s at 410-224-3655 or visit




Lot 17: Named “Nellie” by her original owner, the 28” wooden doll was notable for her size, beauty, remarkable state of preservation, costume, and provenance.  She sold for $108, 300.


Lot 21. The French poupées of Adelaide Huret continue in high demand.  This beautiful example, complete with e, 760 at Theriault’s marquis doll auction and will be featured an extensive trousseau, reached $53, 760 at Theriault’s Marquis doll auction and will be featured in an upcoming museum.


Lot 37: a Mere 10”, the petite French bébé marked A.T. by Thuillier, reached $28,000(presale $800-$
11,000) while here three little pups barked their way to $1400 (pre-sale $400-600) at Theriault’s August 1 auction.

Lot 59:  German Painted Eye Character with Original Clothes. Realized $1300.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Recent Finds for the Museum!

Vintage Bye-lo, artist made, glass eyes, hand made lace gown. Under $10,  18 inches.

70s Bisque doll, original box

My own antique basket of deplorables, with black folk doll from Ruby Lane

Vintage bisque, Royal Albert dolls

Knickerbocker Raggedy Andy

Mini rom scene; Red Riding Hood is an 1860s circa Staffordshire box lid

Dresden and Meissen from a recent Estate Sale

Vintage French Bisque, cabinet size AT type.  Artists unknown.

Argh!! Mini Pirate Shadow Box, for Dolls Channeling Anne Bonney

Look inside my mini pirate scene, complete with tiny pirates and treasure.  I used a book box
labeled Treasure Island, and filled it with nautical miniatures, shells, mermaids, pirates, and more
Ahoy, me Hearties!!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Gallery of Doll Faces

Faces: a Gallery—One of my favorite books of dolls is Manfred Bachmann’s Dolls the Wide World Over.  The book contains an excellent photo study of doll faces from all over the world.  Here are some of the Doll Faces we love from Dr. E’s Doll Museum.  I post them in honor of the National Doll Festival, Theriault’s Auctions, and UFDC Convention taking place this week in Orlando, Fl:


Monday, July 17, 2017

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: August Sneak Peek!!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: August Sneak Peek!!: I love August, season of doll shows and dog days of summer!  This month's lavish and beautiful issue is sure to delight.  Below are some...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Doll Museum: Dark Net, Dolls, and Automatons = More 21st centur...

Doll Museum: Dark Net, Dolls, and Automatons = More 21st centur...: I am reading a terrific novel on my Kindle called Dark Net.  Chapter 17, in particular, talks about automation being used to run mega corpor...

Dark Net, Dolls, and Automatons = More 21st century

I am reading a terrific novel on my Kindle called Dark Net.  Chapter 17, in particular, talks about automation being used to run mega corporations, and to creating artificial people and voices to answer phones, send emails, mimic the patterns of the person modeled so that those on the other end of the line don't even know they are talking to a machine. I'm getting calls like this that are telemarketer calls, probably scams, from Emily, tour director of the last cruise I took [I haven't been on a cruise since I was 9; that was in the Aegean, and there was no Emily!]. 

It gives us all an idea of how far the technology behind automatons and mechanical dolls has come.  Uncanny Valley indeed!  It's now an uncanny universe.  I recommend the book, and also note various stories about cute robots delivering pizza and helping airline passengers to navigate the security counters more easily.

Maybe dolls will take over the world--

Product Details

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Happy 4th of July!!

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Happy 4th of July!!: The Star Spangled Banner Find all things patriotic at Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly w...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Promise Dolls

Keeping Doll Promises


We collectors are like elephants [another collection of something I don’t collect], we never forget a promise someone makes to add to our collections.  Alas, if that promise is not kept, we suffer.


I remember promises of dolls made to me when I was a toddler.  A relative who promised to give me a Greek costumed doll bought on a long ago trip, another aunt vowing to take out her storybook dolls to show to me, these doll dreams never materialized.


At age 10, someone told me Mom he’d brought me a doll from Africa.  Needless to say, I’m still waiting for it.  Along with the ruby glass vases that were supposed to be my birthday gift 12 years ago.  No rose colored glass for me J


I’ve heard tantalizing tales of vintage Barbies, maybe even No. 1, all bisque beauties with glass eyes, mysterious antique dolls living in suitcases, all just rumors of phantom poppets.  The most glorious myth of all involved the doll collection of my grade school principal, bequeathed to me, but before I could take possession, I was told the dolls had disappeared from our school basement.  Woe was me!


Polite mother and child that we were, my mom and I never called anyone on these broken Bebe promises.  Our philosophy was, there will always be another doll.  Besides, it isn’t like I don’t have any J


I dedicate this post to those who kept their dolly promises, as I have tried so hard to keep mine.  Many of the dolls in our museum collection were the gifts of dear friends, like our own Kimmee, Steph, our talented paper doll artist friend, Mikki, my doll soul mate, and many others.  A lot of doll articles and even small collections have come to me through my wonderful readers, particularly those who were loyal to me at Doll Collecting.  


Generosity and collecting go hand in hand.  I love to find things to add to my friends’ eclectic collecting needs, and over the years, I’ve learned a lot about dirigibles, CPKs, icons, salt and pepper shakers, Dept. 56 houses, paper dolls, paper airplanes, and costume jewelry.   Promises are meant to be kept, and when they are, that kindness is paid forward, and, do I hear a bell ring—another doll has just found its way into a great collection!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

An American Girl Story

The moral of the story is that I am definitely not smarter than a fifth grader.  The backstory is that I received a Girl of the Year, featured at Kohl's, for a Christmas gift from the lovely women who take care of my dad.  I had one of these, but not the doll I received.  I have a lot of American girls dolls, mini dolls, books, paper dolls and accessories.  I love American Girl Place, and I love the other 18 inch dolls that can share wardrobes. 

The ten or eleven year old daughter of one of my friends saw the doll, and fell in love with it at Christmas.  A week or two ago, she told me how much she had loved and wanted my doll.  Here is where I proved how not-smart I am.  "Oh, don't worry", said I, I have another one similar in a box; I will find it and give it to you

Well, this very bright young lady held me to my promise.  I tired to find the doll I bought, but in the stress of everything else, I don't remember where exactly I stored her. What to do!!!  Her mom told me they were going on a short vacation, and I had about five days to find the doll.

To make a long story short, I couldn't find mine in time, bought another one at Kohl's.  The little girl was thrilled beyond thrilled, but I swore everyone to secrecy.  "Just let her think it's my doll", I said.  Little did I know that kids know what copyrights are.  My little eleven year old Miss Marple was reading the book that came with the doll, as well as all the literature in the box.  I think I have a curator for my future museum.  "Mom", said she, "The copyright date is 2017!!  This couldn't be the doll from Fall 2016!!"


So I had to confessed, but all's well that ended well.  The new doll will be an heirloom, and there may be a new doll collector in our midst :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Planting, and Cooking: To Everything, there is a season, or a Seasoning!!

We love peaceful Sundays; no matter how bad the rest of the day is, Sunday morning should be calm, and peaceful.  Yet, whenever I sit under my modest carport, with my shabby-not-chic plastic lawn furniture to eat something and to write, the peace is shattered by someone's lawn mower or trimmer  The same thing happens at dusk.  I'm sure I've come home late and banged a door, and I can't control with my Dad's cleaning lady comes, or when the lawn folks show up to help.  I'm terribly grateful to both because I can't that kind of heavy work any more.  Yet, we do what we can, and I'm happy for even a tiny moment of tranquility.  Here are some photos from this week's work.


This was not the year again for planting or experimenting.  I was lucky to get a gift of Blackout pansies from my neighbor and friend, LJK, and I bought variations of flox.  They work in fairy gardens and are colorful in my pots.  The cold weather and torrential rains we had more or less wiped out the flox, so I’ve gone to begonias.  The rains pelted down everything, even my prairie grass.  The aftermath reminded me of an essay in The Norton Anthology of Nature Writing about carnage in a garden after a hard rain.


This year, we hope our black Holly Hock will finally bloom.  I’ve set up tiny fairy gardens, and the simple gnome village in back. I have my tables out, and one large silk plant that I use as a seasonal tree.  It is decorated for the seasons, and sits under my carport.  I love my lawn ornaments, and they are out, though I’ve bought nothing new this year.


Summer is nearly upon us, but it still gets cool.  The trees are beautiful, all green shade.





My Thorny Rose

Our violets came and went in all their wild and hybrid varieties, and I have one rose that is holding its own after being rerooted, and one glorious poinsettia indoors that is rising like the Phoenix, thanks to the care of my friend, KLN.  My avocado seed experiment is not going so well, even under the fluorescent lights of my office.


There are Angels Among us, Everywhere

Memorial Day on The Yellow Brick Road

Sharing the Harvest, Vintage Painted Wood Lawn Art

When Bacchus Rests

Rock a bye Baby Ducks with Vintage Doll Buggy

Morning has Broken

This Week's Begonia

I was also given to Cana Lilies, and these are growing very well.  I hope my Belladonna vine grows; it is wild, and can’t hurt the birds.  Animals know better.   My holly is still blasted, but it is coming back.  It’s only one bush, but I refuse to give up.  We have black Irises, and purple one’s,, and we will soon have lots of daisies, and maybe bee balm and some of the  wild flowers I’ve planted.  My Hibiscus is coming up, and all the wild, thorny little roses and strawberry plants of past years are flowering.  We’ll see.  I am trying to replant a “volunteer” pumpkin I’ve managed to save as well.  There were successful pumpkin years where I could make pumpkin soup from scratch, and give my own gourds as gifts.  I was even able to experiment with growing gourds in soda bottles to get the shape.

Purple Iris

Black Iris

Domestic Matters


This part of the post is more about not wasting food and convenience than green living.  I must say that the books and magazines out, some free, on eating local are mind boggling.  It’s very hard to keep up, though very interesting.


For me, I have found little ways to get around things.  Of course, if  I buy take out chicken, I take the skin off the leftovers and make chicken salad.  My recipe is simple, real mayonnaise, or paleo mayonnaise, a little salt, pepper, chopped green olives, and if I have them, green grapes, or dried cranberries.  Walnuts or almonds are great, so is a little celery.


A fun variation is to add chopped Kalamata olives and Feta cheese crumbles.


This recipe can be used for tuna salad, or shrimp salad, or salmon salad.  I like to poach salmon filets,   I just use a Corning ware glass baking dish, fill it about half way with water.  Season the salmon, salt pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning.  I like garlic, but my husband does not. I slit it, and put in a dollop of I can’t believe it’s not butter, or a small square of real butter.  I time it between 20 and 3 minutes at around 375 degrees.  Sometimes, I’ll top it with salad shrimp.


A variation of these salads can make a great sandwich loaf as well.  There are great recipes in all kinds of 50s and 60s cookbooks, or look online.  Basically, slice a loaf of bred in three, and in between, spread three different salads.  “Frost” with whipped cream cheese.  Decorate with green or black olives and maybe springs of mint.  Refrigerate, and slice.


I use cooking sauces premade times; I found a nice wine and mushroom gravy, great with sautéed skirt steak or thin breakfast steak sliced, and served over rice or linguini.  There is a great curry sauce, awesome with shrimp over egg noodles.  Use the store brand; sometimes they are half the price of other name brands.


To use up the zucchini and eggplant in your garden make a quick moussaka or eggplant parmesan.  These can be vegetarian, or even vegan if you shop for the right ingredients. I take a large glass pan, oil it with olive oil or with cooking spray.  Alternate sliced potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, or other vegetables.  For moussaka, add one can of tomato sauce, tomato soup, V-8, juice, or home made tomato sauce.  Pour it over the vegetables, add herbs like basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Sliced onions are good, too.  You can add browned ground beef, or tofu crumbles, or ground turkey, etc.   Sprinkle with about a cup of mdzithra, parmesan, or Romano cheese.  Bake at around 375 degree and watch the oven, about 25 minutes.   Check the vegetables.  If tender, you can take out and enjoy.  Or, melt more shredded cheese on top.


If not cooked, put in another 20 minutes and keep checking.  If you like,  make a Béchamel sauce to pour on top the last 10 mins or so that the dish is baking. 


For the parmesan dish, you can limit to eggplant, tomatoes, and onions, or include the other vegetables.  Cover with the tomato sauce and seasonings.  Bake as above, but top with a cup of grated parmesan.  About five minutes before it is done, slice fresh mozzarella and lay on top.  Let it melt.  Serve with pasta, if desired, or polenta.