|Flat-top china head, original dress, orange boots.|
I began collecting dolls when I was three years old. I won’t tell you how many years ago that was! I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house, and they and the rest of my family travelled all over the world and the
|Diminutive F.G., photo courtesy Fiona Jackson, Ruby Lane|
She reminds me of Marchpane from Rumer Godden's
A Dolls' House
Have your tastes changed over the years?
Like Genevieve Angione, I have to admit that I think all dolls are collectible. If am being honest, I have to reply that I never met a doll I didn’t like. Having said that, however, I’ve come to focus on metal and mechanical dolls especially antiques. This interest came as result of researching and writing With Love from Tin Lizzie; A History of Metal Dolls, Dolls With Metal Parts, Mechanical Dolls and Automatons. I also try to zero in on unusual china heads, French Fashion dolls, especially Huret, wax dolls,
|Unis Late French Bebe, all original|
Do you sew for your dolls?
|The Coleman Walking Doll with cage body on display. |
Just behind her is a vintage automaton. They were
part of a museum display of my metal and mechanical
dolls called "Hinges and Hearts," based on my book,
With Love from Tin Lizzie . . .
|Vintage Japanese Dolls|
When I had the time, I sewed for them quite a bit. I learned to make bodies for antique dolls from my friend, Violet Ellen Page, who was a doll artist and doll maker, and I learned to make doll clothes from my mother and grandmother. I love patterns, but learned from another friend who was a theater major how to create doll clothes without patterns. I prefer hand sewing doll clothes, but love sewing machines, too. I have an antique one I used to use the years I was in graduate school. My late mother loved to dress dolls, and started a tradition of taking one doll from the colleting to redress each Christmas. Sometimes, she would use my old clothes, too. I still love collecting vintage and antique lace, clothing, pieces of jewelry, buttons or trim for doll dresses. My grandmother dressed many dolls for me; if I left a doll without clothes lying around the house, the next morning, it would have an outfit. She couldn’t stand to see an undressed doll. When she was a little girl, my grandmother didn’t have dolls. Her father died when she was around six. They were living in
I would love to find the pewter headed Huret, a Rochard, and an Edison Phonograph doll. I’m also looking for an old Bunraku Japanese puppet. I always look for antique dolls, whatever their condition, because they are finite in numbers. Though there are many of them, they will never be made again. Good wax dolls are always on my list, too. Vintage dolls from 1930 to about 1970 interest me and I’d like to find Hugo the Man of 1000 faces and certain Ruth Gibbs and Nancy Ann Storybook dolls. Also, the dolls Kimport sold through Doll Talk fascinate me, especially their dressed fleas from