Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Visit with Gigi and Sherry!

This past Monday, I joined my friends from the West Central Illinois Doll Club to visit Gig's dolls and Sherry's Teddy Bears, Inc., a store where doll dreams are made.  Did I say store?  I mean haven for doll lovers everywhere.  Visiting was a doll dream come true for me, as was taking Amtrak to reach our destination.

From Amtrak, we took a limo, with champagne furnished by a member's son, to a restaurant for lunch, Norwood, and then to Gigi's Dolls.

The store is 5000 square feet of lovingly displayed and beautifully organized dolls of every type.  There were tiny vinyl babies of Raggedy Ann for .25 and wonderful Bru and French bisques well above $1000.00.  A wonderful room is filled with racks of doll clothes, all pressed and hung on apprpriately tiny hangers. At least three levels of doll outfits circle the room on each side, and there are hats, shoes, and accessories to match.

Vintage dolls abound, with cases full of composition dolls, vintage Barbies, Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls, ceulloid dolls and more. An entire wall featured various Santa dolls, and another room full of displays contained Steiff bears and animals, and stuffed animals of every type.

The people of the world were represented in doll form from nearly every continent. Only in books have I seen so many antique vintage and Japanese dolls.  In one room the vintage and costume dolls were buy one, get one free.  

Another room of this wonderful shop had dollhouse after doll house, and miniatures of all types, both new and antique.  Japanese re-ment minis are a shore speciality, as are stands for tiny dolls, only 1 inch or so high!

I found a 1930s cloth Egyptian doll, very rare, and a large, over 2' high Ravca fisherman.  Also joining my doll "family" was a 14 inch SFBJ papier mache in perfect shape with a lovely old dress.  These will be pictured in future blogs when photographed.

19” cm Bru Jne 8
Brown paper weight eyes, shading above eyes,
 antique dress, undergarments, socks & burgundy leather boots 
Regular Price: $13,850.00
On Sale For: $10,995.00 
Curtesy, Gigi's Dolls and Sherry's Teddy Bears, Inc.
There is a veritable library of books and paper dolls for doll scholars, a room of parts and bodies for doll makers, cases of antique doll heads in bisque, china, celluloid, and metal, and half dolls by the dozen, all in well-lit gorgeous displays.
In the middle of the main room is a large curio full of the dolls that comprise the shops Doll Museum.  French Fashions, bebes, tiny glass Christmas lights shaped like dolls, a  super large Penny Wooden, china heads and other rare and unusual dolls of all sizes make up the shop's personal collection, which is worth a trip all by itself.

The owners opened the shop just for us on a Monday, and could not have been more gracious.  They provided cookies and coffee, and outside, there was a table of "freebies.'' Gigi's Dolls and Sherry's Teddy Bears ships all over the world and US.  They advertise in Antique Doll Collector Magazine and also carry the magazine in the shop. They have a wonderful website from where one can buy dolls as well.

Visiting this wonderful shop was like visiting a doll museum.  It is a place where all dolls are loved and appreiated, and a place to learn and add to doll collections.  Thanks, so much, for a memorable day!  We will definitely be back!

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