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There’s no denying the appeal of all bisques dolls. In our October 2015 issue Becky Ourant wrote about the all bisque dolls of the 19th century; in this May issue, you’ll read about the dolls dating from the twentieth century. The variety is amazing…children with toddler proportions, babies, dolls based on storybook characters and illustration art, Kewpies, googlies, flappers and more. We guarantee that you will see all bisques you’ve never seen before including our cover, an amazing flapper with an incised Igodi mark and an unusual swivel flange neck attachment.
Polly Heckewelder dolls are the oldest continuously made dolls in America. Who better to write about them than Mary Brown, the president of the Moravian Ladies Sewing Society in Bethlehem, PA. The fascinating history of the Polly doll and the changes that were made over the years of production are detailed along with photographs of the early dolls and dolls still being made today. Cloth doll lovers will find a treasure trove of valuable information in this article.
Among the earliest dolls in our collections are those made of papier-mâché. Inexpensive and easy to use, it was the material of choice for dolls beginning around 1820. Maureen Herrod has compiled a wonderfully comprehensive article on papier-mâché dolls beginning with early rare coronet hairstyles, milliner’s models, so-called patent heads, Greiners, French-type and more.
Margo Delaughter had never heard of Witherspoon rag dolls until she learned of them from the Theriault sale of the Blackler cloth doll collection. She was intrigued and her research has produced this informative article. Once made as souvenirs for tourists to remember their visit to New Orleans, they are now important folk art dolls.
Most people do not know about Palmer Cox Brownies…unbelievable I know! But doll collectors count these funny benevolent creatures among their favorites. The talented R. John Wright has captured the delightful Brownies and their many personalities in an array of amazing dolls. If you’re like me, it’s impossible to stop at just one!
Also in our May issue, a look at important automata in the upcoming Auction Team Breker action and results of recent auctions.
Those who love antique French dolls are in for a treat with our April 2016 issue, where April in Paris is truly a theme with us! Samy Odin has written a wonderful article called "A Walk in the Parisian District of Early French Fashion Doll Shops." Our byline reads "the author imagines how the areas in Paris where luxury doll shops once flourished must have looked under the reign of Napoleon III."
Samy Odin has done a fantastic job in this article, which is lavishly illustrated, complete with maps. I can't tell how wonderful I think the illustrations and map are. In the late 80s, I was just out of school and researching articles and doll books. We didn't have The Internet at our fingertips, and we certainly didn't have Amazon to track down doll books for us! I wrote a mystery story about a doll maker that involved the Jumeau firm. I couldn't find any old maps of Paris, only descriptions of the Parisian District. My friend, Mary Hillier, tried to help me with great tips and suggestions, and her general recollection of the area. It wasn't easy. To channel another film, the last time I saw Paris, I was 9 years old! At any rate, this article is a must for anyone interested in French Fashion dolls.
Many wonderful French dolls also appear in this month's ads, as well as more great articles, including one on the dolls of Bernard Ravca, "Bernard Ravca's Real People" by Dominique Pennegues. I have my own wonderful memories of exchanging a letter or two with Mr. Ravca, and of comparing notes on this work with my friend and pen pal, R. Lane Herron. Lane is a doll artist and doll author of longstanding. This piece features many rare documents, photos, and dolls of Ravca and his dolls.
So, these are just some thoughts of your Director of Social Media on antique and vintage French dolls, perhaps her favorites of all dolls ever made. Happy Collecting!