Monday, November 10, 2014

An Inteview with Marina Tagger

 Below is another of our series in the writer of the month interviews:
Creche Figure, Marina Tagger Collection

When did you start collecting?

---In my heart, I  think I have always been a collector.  I remember spending time with my grandmother’s friends, and not being able to leave the bedroom, where two antique dolls were prominently displayed upon a large bed.  I even remember that friend telling my grandmother to “please keep an eye on Marina so that she does not touch the dolls...they are of great value!” I can still vividly recall their faces, which looked very much like the K*R 126 children.  There were many persistent questions for that friend about her wonderful dolls, but they were very quickly dismissed after only a few were answered, due to me being too much of a nag and not allowing the ladies to socialize. 

Another recollection that I have, is of the time when my family and I immigrated from the Ukraine.  We spent half a year in Vienna, Austria awaiting our papers.  I cannot recall the name of the hotel we were staying at, but I clearly recall a shop on the first floor, just outside of the hotel doors, where I spent my days staring inside of a window of a toy shop. In that window, was a large display of Barbie dolls (the first dolls to grace my collection), all dressed beautifully and going about their business. Oh how I wanted a Barbie doll! We were of very little means at the time, but my mother managed to put away some coins during our stay in Vienna, and one day she surprised me with a beautiful Barbie doll!!  What a joyous day that was for me!  I am sure that somewhere in that window, there is a permanent imprint of my face and hands!  

However, I think my ‘collecting’ turning point occurred when I was about 16 or 17 years of age.  My mother was quite concerned about my playing with dolls at such a ripe age. She proceeded to state to me that I should pack them up and give them away, since I was too old for this nonsense!  An immediate meeting was called with my grandmother on this matter! For you see, my grandmother also had a deep appreciation of dolls. As fate would have it, she also had two beautiful display cabinets, which were promptly offered to me for ‘doll display purposes’.  I remember coming to my mom and telling her that I no longer ‘played’ with dolls, but was becoming an official collector!  I was able to keep my dolls, and the rest is, well, history.

Have your tastes changed over the years?

--Yes and no!  My priority and passion in doll collecting is and always will be focused on the Kestner Co. made dolls. I think they are ingrained deeply in my soul.  However, I have never met a doll I didn’t like! With that said, I have developed interests in very early dolls (one of my dreams is to own a French court doll), such as Creche and woodens, as well as early Steiff children.  I think my tastes and my desires for a nice cross section of the doll world are ever evolving.

What are your favorite types of dolls?

--Kestners, Kestners, Kestners!!  I am hopeful that in a not too distant future, I will finally complete the Kestner book that I am working on, as well as a nice cross section of the dolls and items that were offered by this prolific company. 

What are the characteristics that attract you to a certain doll?

Ethnic Soldier, Marina Tagger
--Their craftsmanship, soulful eyes and personalities. The Kestner Co. is well known for their hauntingly beautiful children.  Of course I also very much enjoy the historical aspects of these dolls; where they were made, who made them, what other historical events surround that time period, etc.

Do you sew for your dolls?

--No! I am embarrassed to say, but I am the black sheep of the family when it comes to sewing.... My grandmother was a seamstress, specializing in women’s intimates. My mother sews beautifully as well. For me...let’s just say ‘it’s not my calling’. I can however do it if I am pressed to do so. :)

Are you looking for anything in particular?

--ALWAYS looking!!  I would love to add some early woodens to my collection! But once again, I will stick with my motto...”I’ve never met a doll I didn’t like!”  Having said this...there is always room for ‘one more’....

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