Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy 2016!

May all your Doll Dreams come True, and may we truly have Peace!

How Some of my Dolls were displayed in the early 80s!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

An Interview with Paula Walton, doll collector and creator of cloth Izannah Walker Dolls

When did you start collecting?

My mother bought me my very first vintage doll when I was 5 years old.  She purchased it at Goodwill for a quarter.  I still have her!

When did you start making dolls?

I started making dolls when my oldest sons were babies and began selling my work a few years later, in 1986.

#1 –Two early wooden dolls. One waiting for me to make her appropriate clothing and the other for me to restore her.

Have your tastes changed over the years?

Yes.  I’ve always loved dolls, and as soon as I knew that antique dolls existed, I wanted one!  When I was very little, once a year on our annual family vacation, my mother would take me to a doll museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The first antique dolls I was aware of were china head dolls, so they were what I longed for.  Later, when I was in my 20’s, my husband bought me what I would consider my first real antique doll, a bisque Armand Marseille.  I collected a few bisque dolls and then started collecting older dolls. 

Now I prefer early papier-mache, painted cloth and wooden dolls from the late 1700s to the 1860’s. And yes, I do finally have a few china dolls like the ones I wanted as a child!

#2 – Three of my antique Izannah Walker dolls, playing outdoors on a warm autumn day.

What are your favorite types of dolls and why?

This probably is not going to be a surprise; my favorite dolls are early Izannah Walker dolls! Because I’m a doll maker, my favorites are always influenced by the way the doll is made, how skillfully the materials that went into the doll were used, and the workmanship of the maker.

Obviously, Izannah Walker’s dolls are outstanding in all of these areas.  I like that I can see the hand of their maker in the dolls, and that they clearly changed and evolved over her long doll making career. They are also highly evocative of their period in time.  The look and feel of her dolls captures the look of children seen in naïve, itinerant style paintings from the middle of the 19th century, as well as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and other forms of early photography. When I see one of her dolls, these children are immediately brought to mind.

Izannah’s dolls were clearly beloved playmates which did not just sit on a shelf. If you have ever held one of her dolls, you will know that they were made in just the right sizes to fit in the crook of a tiny girl’s arms.  They have a comfortably solid weight that feels just right. I think this is the true magic of Izannah Walker’s dolls.

Running a very close second in my affections are early English wooden dolls.  I have a soft spot in my heart for wood carving, which these dolls touch.  The other reason that I am so very fond of early wooden dolls is their clothing!  In addition to being a doll maker, I’m also a dressmaker. I make historically accurate reproduction 18th century women’s clothing, and given my druthers, I would spend vast amounts of time making hand sewn gowns, petticoats, stomachers, chemises and stays!  18th century clothing is amazing, and on a side note, much more comfortable to wear than you would think.

#3 – Works in progress. These are the dolls I’m working on in my studio today.

What are your favorite dolls to make?

At the current time I would have to say reproduction Izannah Walker dolls. Because of the way pressed cloth heads are made, I find them endlessly fascinating and never tire of discovering the slight differences that the pressed cloth process creates. It makes each doll an adventure! 

I have made many other types of dolls and I enjoy making all of them. It’s always exciting to bring my own original designs to life, and poured wax dolls are simply great, glorious, messy fun to create, but there is just something about Izannah Walker dolls that makes me happy!

For me the intriguing thing about pressed cloth doll heads is the fact that you can actually get cloth to hold the shape of the head!  It is amazing! As soon as I saw my first Izannah Walker doll I wanted to know “How did she do that???” It took me about ten years of trial, error and research to teach myself the pressed cloth process. If you are wondering whether I could make other types of pressed cloth dolls, the answer is yes.  I chose to make reproductions of Izannah’s dolls because I love them!  It’s very rewarding to be able to make reproductions for people who also love Izannah’s dolls, but can’t own a real one. Plus, it allows me to spend extraordinary amounts of time “playing” with my collection of antique Izannah Walker dolls!  My antique Izannahs come out to my studio with me to model as I paint the faces on my reproductions.   They are working girls and together we create my tributes to Izannah Walker’s iconic cloth dolls.

#4 – The antique Izannah Walker doll on the left is modeling for me as I paint the face of my reproduction on the right.  I’m part way through the painting process and still need to finish her hair, add a bit more definition to her lips and apply the final glaze that will darken her paint color.

Do you sew for your dolls?

Yes! I’ve been really sewing since I was 11, but even before I actually knew what I was doing, I would try to make doll clothes.  My mother made me a reproduction china doll and I would save up several weeks’ worth of allowance money, then walk to the store and purchase ¼ yard of fabric so that  I could sew for that doll.

These days I spend more time sewing clothes for the dolls I make, and also making custom clothing for other people’s dolls, than I do sewing for the dolls in my collection.  Currently, I am much better at hoarding fabric for my dolls, with the thought that someday I’ll find time to turn it into new wardrobes. Maybe eventually… in between doll making, teaching, drafting patterns, restorations and all the other things that fill up my days, I will return to sewing for my dolls.

#5 - Four of my antique Izannah Walker dolls wearing dresses that I have made for them.  The rest of my antique Izannahs didn’t get to be in the photo because I’ve only made four dresses!

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

Ahhhh…  A tricky question.  I don’t know if there is a particular characteristic that I consciously try to look for, other than original components.  Replaced hair and bad reproduction or inappropriate clothing are pet peeves of mine.  I’d rather have original clothing in bad condition.

I do know that I am drawn to the types of dolls that are made from the same materials, or made using the same techniques, that I employ in my own doll making. That means cloth, painted cloth, papier-mache, wax, and wood.
I also have a tendency to buy dolls just for study purposes, or dolls that need some help and tender loving care.  What I generally don’t like is perfect dolls.  If a doll looks untouched, then that means it was never played with, which I think is sad and depressing.  Dolls are toys, they should show that someone loved them! 

#6 – This wonderful mid-19th century painted cloth doll with hand rooted human hair and a Rhode Island provenance is right at home in my collection and with my Izannah Walker dolls.

 Are you looking for anything in particular, etc. ?

I am always looking for Izannah Walker dolls and little 18th century woodens that are not too terribly expensive.  Other types of dolls tend to take me by surprise on an individual basis, when they stridently insist that they too MUST be taken home to join my doll family!

Phone 717-517-9217 or 888-800-2588

Editorial Office:
Antique Doll Collector
P. O. Box 39
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Subscription Office:
Antique Doll Collector
P.O. Box 239
Northport, NY 11768

January Sneak Peek

 In our January Issue:
The coincidental occurrence of unrelated events that end with a  meaningful result… that is the meaning of the term “synchronicity” coined by Carl Jung. In our cover article Kathy Crescuillo shares doll stories that demonstrate happy endings, one of them being our delightful cover, a Simon Halbig dressed as a shepherdess.
A UFDC luncheon led Susan Forman to research the early trading history of Japan and the influence that the Japanese ichimatsu dolls would have on other cultures. Not only the dolls that influenced European doll makers but later Japanese dolls that flooded U.S. markets during World War I and later are discussed in this fascinating article. 
Kestner molds 220 and 226 are often confused which can lead to a costly mistake. Marina Tagger compares the two dolls, both adorable, from every angle, ensuring collectors can make an informed decision. 
The national UFDC convention afforded an opportunity to photograph one of our favorite exhibits, one devoted to cloth doll cottage industry production during the 18th and early 19th centuries. What an exhibit it was! 
Join us as we tour the Ram’s Head House, a late 19th century one-of-a-kind English dollhouse in the collection of Ann Meehan. From its simulated stone and brick work to its period furnishings, it is a study in miniature perfection!
We share with our readers two additional UFDC exhibits from the 2015 national convention: “Kimport Dolls from the Whole Wide World” and “Small Dolls, Big Dreams.” Special exhibits brought to attendees through the generosity of UFDC members add much to the exciting convention experience.
Jane Foster writes about the history of the Mary Hoyer Doll Company, the only company in the U.S. that has been operated continuously by the same family. Examples of early composition dolls in their knitted outfits and later hard plastic dolls, exquisitely costumed are included.  
Happy New Year!
P.S. Please visit to take a brief survey which will help us to serve you better.
Antique Doll Collector, P.O. Box 239, Northport, NY 11768
Call us Toll Free at 888-800-2588

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: A Holiday Special!!!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: A Holiday Special!!!: Here is an opportunity to take advantage of a wonderful Holiday Special, see below!  Antique Doll Collector is the best publication on antiq...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Holiday Special!!!

Here is an opportunity to take advantage of a wonderful Holiday Special, see below!  Antique Doll Collector is the best publication on antique dolls available today.  I am a long time collector and author who writes on antique dolls, and I plan to use my copies of ADC to stock my future doll museum library.

A Sneak Peek at our December Issue!

About the Cover
The holidays are beckoning and with that in mind we have prepared a special holiday issue for you. Our cover features a few of the exciting items coming up at Theriault’s on January 9 and 10 in Newport Beach, CA. An extraordinary collection of early wooden, cloth and paper mache dolls, toys and folk art from the Alice Florence Schott Collection which has been housed in recent decades in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, will be offered. Also to be sold a magnificent A. Marque marked number 7 in the series, in impeccable condition and wearing its outstanding original costume from the Ballets Russes series. Rare German and French bebe and poupées and automata round out this special Marquis auction. 
Carol Cameron writes about the unusual and very seldom seen Butcherer nativity set. Only a limited number of these sets were made and their construction is markedly different from the typical Butcherer dolls. 
Christmas Eve in France during the nineteenth century is the setting for Jan Peterson’s entertaining article. Diminutive dolls and poupées act out the evening’s festivities in Jan’s doll cabinet affectionately called Le Château.
Christiane Gräfnitz has thoroughly researched the dolls of Leola and Edgar Schulze, makers of reproduction porcelain, parian, and tinted bisque dolls as well as dolls of their own creation. A treasured June 1959 catalog and fourteen dolls clears up the mystery surrounding the “Lee Ed” dolls. 
Not everyone can stretch their budget to buy a Huret poupée and now at last there is an affordable alternative. An exacting reproduction body and a head mold, both made from antique Hurets are available! We give you all the details!
Samy Odin writes about L’Imagerie de Paris, a 19th century company who published printed cloth dolls, animals and paper doll sheets. Numerous examples from La Musée de la Poupée are shown.
We visit the 2015 Golden Glow convention where we photographed many of the incredible Christmas decorations in the “museum room.” It is sure to inspire your holiday decorating this year.
There’s also more UFDC blue ribbon winners in the competitive category, auction results and a look at the upcoming Morphy doll auction.
Happy collecting!
P.S. Please visit to take a brief survey which will help us to serve you better.
Antique Doll Collector, P.O. Box 239, Northport, NY 11768 Call us Toll Free at 888-800-2588 Email:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

An Interview with Alf Ertsland and Svein Hellberg

When did you start collecting?

I can’t remember exactly when we start talking about antique dolls.  We had, however, a common interest in arts and antiques. Not so strange since we both have similar occupations. Svein is a trained potter and I am a visual artist. We also share interests within music and theater as well.

On a trip to Copenhagen in the early seventies, we noticed some antique dolls in a window. In 1979 I had a shorter stay in Paris, and again, I noticed some beautiful antique dolls.

Trulte, Kestner 111 all bisque googly with jointed elbows and knees

There was something magical about them, but we had absolutely no knowledge. It took another three years before Svein bought a simple celluloid doll at an antique fair in Oslo. Shortly after, we acquired our first bisque headed doll, an Armand Marseilles 1894. It was pure magic.  We finally got the beautiful antique doll we wanted.
Or, so we thought.  I believe many collectors started this way, only to find out that the awakening interest would demand further action. And the doll books we found in the local bookstore revealed a whole new world

Other dolls were added and we started searching for more knowledge on the subject, only to find out that this was indeed a magic world waiting for us to join.

Yvette, Kuhnlenz Bru and Klara, Kestner AT

 Today, when we look back on these first years of collecting, we realized that we had started a journey that would bring joy and excitement far beyond what we could predict.

We had no money, and very little knowledge. There were no clubs or doll fairs in Norway at that time, so this was a project starting from scratch.

I believe this was a good thing. We had no specific goal, and met every doll with curiosity and excitement. We bought what we felt was right and what we could afford. The process was rather slow in the beginning, which I also think was a good thing. 

On a trip to Denmark in the beginning of 1980’s we found our first “French” doll.  It was a beautiful all bisque doll with trousseau. On the lid of the box was written; Mother’s doll from Paris.

Later we learned that this was indeed not a French doll, but a German doll made by Simon & Halbig.  But,  it did open our eyes for the variations of dolls to be found.

Gabrielle, Petit & Dumoutier, size 4.

Have your tastes changed over the years?

After visiting a doll fair in London in 1884, the doll collector gene was utterly triggered.

Agnes, Kestner 221 googly

1988 was the year when things really started to happen.  Another stay in Paris for a few months opened a new world. We were introduced to doll fairs, doll auctions and advanced doll dealers.

Our taste in dolls changed dramatically, and for the first time,  we could afford to buy more expensive dolls.

From a general interest in all kind of dolls, our focus had changed from dolly face dolls, to Character dolls, googlies and French Bébés.

Roger, SFBJ 127 with painted hair, and John Arne, SFBJ 227  with flocked hair.

We never abandoned any of these types, but our consciousness on quality grew, and led to another way of collecting. Even though for a long time the French  had highest priority, we also discovered fine German bisque dolls that could compete with the French dolls, and they could be obtained  at a reasonable price.

    Sahre, size 4 Jumeau, and Gloria, Fils & Schmitt

I suppose these early experiences also made a footprint that was hard to remove. All the choices you made and all the knowledge you acquired certainly led to profound relationships with these dolls, ties that were hard to break.

   Felt doll with Hardanger costume by Ronnaug Petterssen and Maja, our K&R 131 googly with West Telemark costume made by Svein.

In retrospect I can see that other choices in the early years may have lead to other results decades later.  Some dolls were not attainable and other dolls may have been too expensive, leading to other choices.

    Signe, Kley&Hahn, 549 and    Heidi, Kestner 185

Even though our collection is missing some types of dolls, it does not mean that we have no interest in them.  We did choose to focus on character dolls, Googly dolls, early German bisque dolls, and French Bébés, especially from J Steiner. 

    Group of early Steiff Teddy bears and felt dolls. Left bear is cinnamon colored from 1905.

Still, there are many other dolls in our collection, individual dolls of various types, and they get as much attention as the other dolls.

Stella, marked A 11 T, by André F Thullier

We must not forget to mention our interest in Steiff Bears, and toys, but, again, we had to decide what to go for, and in the end the dolls won.

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

There are of course several aspects about dolls that attract one. 
We never had clear defined standards for our dolls, except for quality.  We always bought what appealed to us. During the years some dolls may have been exchanged with better ones. 
It is hard to compare the subtle qualities of fine French bébés and excellent sculptured German character dolls.  Over the years one learns to look for different qualities in different types of dolls.  
There will however always be differences even when you compare two “identical” dolls.   The  way they are decorated, or the way the eyes are cut may be different, altering the entire look of the dolls. So in the end it is often ones personal taste that decides which doll to buy.

Do you sew for your dolls?

Dressing dolls seem to be a consistent theme.  It is not likely that every doll you find is wearing antique or original clothes, even if it very often may look like they are.
Like most antique objects in the market, dolls are results of the century or decades they have survived. Dolls are passed down to next generation, and are often redressed by new owners and dealers.
It is almost impossible to determine if a doll is original or not, unless it comes from a well-known and documented producer.  We must live with the uncertainty about this, but it helps learning as much as possible about the fashions and styles from the time the doll was produced.
Some collectors have the ability to make clothes and redress a doll. To day there are plenty of sources to help creating the right costumes. 
Svein did make this Norwegian costume for Maja, our KR 131 googly.  Norway has many beautiful, regional costumes, and this is one of the more popular costumes from Telemark. Creating it was quite a job, doing it in an authentic way. The brooch is too large. Instead there should be two smaller, circular brooches.  He also has made some beautiful underwear from old fabrics. Unless you are skilled at sewing it is very difficult to do this in a convincing way.
We always enjoyed looking for authentic doll clothes and accessories. This has been as fun as chasing dolls. I believe patience and endurance are the right words. Nothing comes easy in this doll world, whether it comes to finding a pair of shoes for a Bru doll, or a perfect Jumeau wig. But it is possible.

Are you looking for anything in particular?

There will always be something to look for.  Steiner dolls always will be a high priority, and so will googly dolls. Lately our interests in early all bisque dolls also have started to grow.
It started slowly with an aforementioned Simon & Halbig doll. Eventually we found this little kneeling Kestner, and some booted and bare feet German all bisque dolls. A Kestner googly with jointed elbows and knees was an obvious addition to our googly section. 
We have had many dreams through the years, and many plans. Some have been obtainable, and some have faded. When we finally got the opportunity to buy a certain doll, it turned out to be too late.  We had spent so many years looking for the doll, and when it finally arrived, our interest had faded.  This only underlines the fact that one is constantly in flux. You may never know exactly what will trigger you next.
Back in 1988 we wanted so desperately to  buy a Jumeau Triste,  we even went to Paris to attend a specific auction, offering a beautiful Triste.  Our funds however tuned out to be limited, and we did not win the auction.  This has followed us for years, and to this day we have still not found our Long faced Jumeau. And what happens if we do find one, will it be too late?
In a way, we have fulfilled our dream in a most haphazard way this year.
Early in our doll-collecting career, we happened to come across a beautiful AT doll, belonging to an acquaintance, who had inherited it from a friend of his.
It was not for sale, but the doll most definitely set a standard for our further choices of dolls.
More than 30 years later, we accidentally stumbled over an onsite advertisement offering a French doll for sale.
And there she was again, the same doll and even more beautiful than we remembered.
Today she is the obvious star in our collection, and since we are still fascinated by the French Bébés, we can’t think of any other doll that could outshine this bébé, made by Andre Thuillier  (1875-1893) 
Alf and Svein have published the following articles in 
The 900 series of Alt, Beck & Gottschalk.   February 2013
Playing with googlies.                                          July 2014
Bébés in distress.                                          February 2015
Our little family of Steiner dolls.                        June 2015


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Doll Museum: Jumeau

Doll Museum: Jumeau: Jumeau: For 30 years, from 1843-1873, the firm was Belton and Jumeau. When Belton died, Pierre Francoise Jumeau opened his own factory in ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October and November are for Doll Sales and Auctions!!

Don't forget to check out Theriault' and Antique Doll Collector Magazine for a host of upcoming auctions and doll shows, including another of Shirley Temple Memorabilia. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

November Sneak Peek!

Readers will be delighted to see that Chiffonnette graces our cover this month. In her article Sylvia MacNeil, whose patterns and sewing talents have greatly influenced the popularity of the poupée, discusses the fairy-like headgear that woman wore at the height of fashion during the second empire. Poupées naturally followed suit and you will see a charming array of sublime creations modeled by Chiffonnette, as well as a pattern for you to create your own.
Gail Lemmon writes about the mysterious Monica, a doll created by Hansi Share. Inspired by Hollywood starlets of the 40’s and 50’s, she created dolls with a revolutionary new twist…rooted hair. 
Dominique Pennegues poses the question, why do we see dolls said be Mme Paderewski dolls yet we know for a fact that Stefania Lazarska made them? As far as we know, the two women never discussed the fact that the Lazarska dolls were marketed in the US as Paderewski dolls. 
We look back at the wonderful entries in the UFDC Modern Competitive Category beginning with the creative and intriguing study group entries. 
A new name and a new look.  It’s another reason to visit the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, formerly known as the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City. We were fortunate to spend time there during the UFDC convention week.
News, auction results and as always wonderful dolls for your consideration from leading doll dealers and auction houses around the world. 
Happy Collecting!
P.S. Please visit to take a brief survey which will help us to serve you better.
Antique Doll Collector, P.O. Box 239, Northport, NY 11768 Call us Toll Free at 888-800-2588 Email:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

An Interview with Doll Dealer and Collector Gail Lemmon

Thief of Bagdad Dancers by Molly-es

 When did you start collecting?
As a child I was about everything Barbie. I had a large collection and would meet with my friends, playing with our dolls for hours and even doing some trading. The love of dolls was my own but the appreciation for family heritage and history came from my mother. I would listen to her for hours telling stories of her childhood growing up during the depression and her young adult life during World War II. My passion for history and collecting all things antique grew. One day at an estate sale, the two forces merged when I purchased an Ideal Toni and so, the doll collecting began. It wasn’t long before I started selling a few dolls in order to upgrade my collection and support my habit. Nearly 20 years later I am a full time doll dealer, meeting with my friends at doll shows. We still play with our dolls for hours and do a little trading, too.

          Campbell Kids by Effanbee

Have your tastes changed over the years?
Over the years as my knowledge has grown my tastes have not necessarily changed, but they have developed and grown as well. Being the nostalgic sort with a love of history, I find myself progressing backwards with my tastes always turning to earlier dolls. When I began, the main focus of my collection was the dolls of my mothers era, 1930’s and 1940’s composition dolls. Soon, it expanded to earlier American made dolls including Schoenhuts and primitive cloth dolls, then to the wonderful German and French bisque dolls. Now, my interests and appreciation have grown to include all types of dolls.
Effanbee Historical doll

 What are your favorite types of dolls and why?

My favorite dolls are those with a story behind them, character dolls representing historical figures, celebrities or characters from literature. This often leads me back to the composition dolls of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Among these dolls you will find iconic celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, and Judy Garland, wonderful characters from literature such as those found in the books of Marguerite Di Angeli and Louisa May Alcott, even dolls like the Effanbee Historical dolls that chronicle over 2 centuries of American fashion. My research on these dolls has given me a look into American history and it’s culture.
W.C. Fields by Effanbee

Do you sew for your dolls?
My creative talents lie more in sketching, oil painting and wood carving, none of which I have time for these days. While I am not an expert seamstress my favorite aunt was. Although I never perfect the skills I did learn the basics from her, so, on occasion, when inspired, sewing for my dolls provides a wonderful, creative outlet. Most often I am looking for dolls in their original or appropriate vintage and antique clothing.

Marguerite di Angeli / Hedwig dolls

What are the characteristics that attract you to a certain doll?
While we all consider condition and originality when looking at a doll I tend to take a broader approach in that the doll must have some special quality. This could well be the dolls mint condition, it may be an unusual feature, the rarity of the a doll, an exceptionally beautiful face or fabulous clothing. As I scan the tables looking at hundreds of dolls at shows or auctions it is always one of these features that will make me take a second look.

Marie Antoinette Portrait doll by Madame Alexander

Are you looking for anything in particular, etc.?
As my attention has turned to German bisque dolls so has my fascination with the varied body styles most particularly that of the lady dolls. So my most recent quest is for fine examples of the Simon & Halbig 1159 and Kestner 162 Lady dolls. Still, I’m always looking for excellent examples of early composition dolls. One that has always alluded me is “Little Annie Rooney” made in 1925 by Cameo Doll Co. I would love to have her.

Madelaine de Baine by Madame Alexander