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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.