Friday, September 19, 2014

Q and A with Donna Kaonis, the Editor of Antique Doll Collector Magazine.

This smallest size KPM has a great hairdo.
As a regular feature of this blog, we will feature a different collector and/or writer each month. Our inaugural Q and A is the our Editor, Donna Kaonis. All photos are courtesy Kaonis collection.

Thanks, Donna, for being the first to take part in our Q and A for collectors.

When did you start collecting dolls?
I started collecting dolls nearly 35 years ago. At first it was Kewpies, then cloth dolls – both commercially made and one-of-a-kind. Gradually I became interested in early chinas, parians and papier-maches.
One of the more unusual molded hats is found on this lovely china.

Have your tastes changed over the years?

The largest size of the Maggie Bessie dolls, made by the Moravian sisters, Maggie and Bessie Pfhol
Definitely yes. While I still think Kewpies are adorable, I sold that collection long ago and gravitated to early dolls. I think I’ve become very fussy over the years with regard to condition, which has, (along with budgetary restraints, kept my collection to a manageable size.
What are your favorite types of dolls?
As I mentioned, early dolls, especially those with original clothing. Chinas are probably my favorite, and I love dolls with molded hats. I tend to gravitate to lady dolls. Peddler dolls with great wares are another favorite. My husband and I love folk art, and so many of the chinas and papier-maches look like they have stepped out of an Early American painting. Lately I have to admit that fashions are calling to me. I adore Hurets in enfantine clothing. I have one but maybe someday another will join her. What are the characteristics that attract you to a certain doll? Originality, rare hairdos, molded hats and condition. It goes without saying that chinas by KPM, Meissen and Royal Copenhagen will always find a warm reception at the Kaonis household.
A wooden shows off her sewing wares
Do you sew for your dolls?
I can’t sew to save my life, in fact I used to sneak things home from my home economics class so my mother could work on them. I think it is wonderful there are so many talented seamstresses out there. Finding an early doll in her original dress, one that is in good condition is a special treasure. Many times a doll has to be redressed and someone with an understanding of period styles who uses antique fabrics and trims is to envied. I think the amazingly talented Sylvia MacNeil and Susan Sirkis, both writers and pattern makers for ADC, are an inspiration to doll collectors.
A wood-bodied china with molded bonnet is only about four inches tall
What doll is on your want list?
I would love to find a porcelain Huret! I better start saving.

A large china with soulful eyes. Her maker is unknown although new evidence indicates she may be a product of French porcelain maker Jacob Petit.

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