Wednesday, January 7, 2015

An Interview with Susan Foreman, collector and writer for Antique Doll Collector Magazine

When did I start collecting?  I like to say at birth.  My very first photos show me hugging a doll.  I loved dolls throughout my childhood.  Cissy and Lissy were my best friends.  After my mother passed away when I was 13 my life changed drastically and I set aside the dolls.  Eventually (when I was 19 and in college) my dad sold our house and most things were given away.  So imagine my surprise some 10 years later (about 1977 or thereabouts) when my dad called and said he had gotten some boxes out of storage, one of which was labeled "Susan's Dolls".  As I opened the box, my love for dolls was rekindled.  There was my much loved Cissy, Lissy, and all their Madame Alexander friends.  Also in the box were my grandmother's and great aunt's dolls (circa 1890), and thus my love for antique dolls began.


My taste in dolls as a collector has definitely changed over the years.  When I first started I wanted Big....and I wanted quantity.  Now I'm drawn to smaller dolls of excellent quality and rarity.  My favorite type of doll is the French Bebe.  Tied with the Bebe as a favorite would be character dolls.  And it's the face, especially the eyes, that draw me to a doll.  There is just that impossible to explain emotional connection.


Although I do enjoy sewing I do not sew for my antique dolls...I prefer to have them in either original costumes or clothing of the period.  When I was making dolls, however, I loved to create their clothing.
Max and Mortiz, Susan Foreman Collection


I would say that my dream doll would be an A. Marque.  But since my funds won't allow that, I am still looking for just the right Circle Dot Bru to display with my Brevete and Bru Jne.


I have included a few photos of my favorites.  I love the Poulbots  and the story of how they came about.
Poulbot Dolls, Susan Foreman Collection


The 16" premier/portrait Jumeau called out to me some 30 years ago at a Baltimore auction.  At the time I was sure I would never get her since there was a phone bidder that was determined (or so it seemed).  So imagine my surprise when the bidding ended and my late husband Jay who was working as a runner for George Theriault that day walked out from behind the curtain carrying the doll.  He handed it to me and said "Happy Birthday".

Portrait Jumeau, Susan Foreman Collection


The laughing Jumeau 208 always makes me happy. And how can you not love the mischievous Max and Moritz (K*R 123 and 124)?



Laughing Jumeau, Susan Foreman Collection

Finally the smiling Jumeau 203 makes me smile.


Smiling Jumeau, Susan Foreman Collection

And while I love the bisque dolls, the composition Patsy family...especially Skippy....seem to call out to me as well.  This wonderful little Skippy cowboy was once the childhood doll of Jane Withers.

Skippy, Susan Foreman Collection

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