Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pondering Poppets

Amberg Victory Dolls, Featured in Feb. 2015 Issue
Ours is a thoughtful hobby.  Dolls require a lot of thought, research, musing. With social media, we can now muse in public on Facebook groups, Twitter, Flickr, and other social media. Every so often, a controversy of sorts erupts.  In one of my groups on vintage dolls today, there was a fair amount of "doll snobbery" going on for lack of a better term.  Also, rules were imposed about posting that had never been imposed before.

The main bone of contention, or doll of contention if you will, had to do with collectors' preferences in dolls. One member was very outspoken about only collecting for monetary gain.  Others only wanted to talk about dolls that they had as children, and a few were put off by the disparaging remarks about some of the members' dolls.

I like to share information on these groups, and I tend to be encouraging, so I let everyone know which articles I had read, or written on the various topics.

It got me thinking, all this passion over poppets.  I've come to realize that there are as many kinds of dolls as their are people, more really, when we include fantasy figures and anthropomorphized animals like teddies.

In the antique and vintage dolls we collect, the possibilities seem endless, even when there is a finite number of old dolls available. Before dolls became the valuable art items they are now, early collectors valued them as historical and educational objects, cherished for their beauty, homespun qualities, or stories they inspired.

Most collectors probably still choose dolls according to similar criteria.  Look at the articles we feature in ADC that discuss private and museum collections. The variety is staggering, and no two collectors' philosophies are the same.

A few years ago, pincushion dolls, celluloid and metal dolls were considered "secondaries", yet today, they are avidly collected and books are written on them.  Many are now admired as rarities.

The gorgeous vintage early vinyl and hard plastic fashion dolls of the 50s and 60s used to be ignored by serious collectors, but Theriault's is featuring them in Monday's Rendezvous Auction.  They have also been part of the Marquis auctions sponsored by the legendary doll masters.

Certainly, Richard Wright and Dorothy Coleman were no doll snobs.  UFDC categories featured in the upcoming Convention competition are dizzying in their variety; there is really something for everyone.  The writers we feature each month on this blog always produce different dolls for our readers.  The same doll never appears in these collections; all the featured dolls are different.

I think there is always room for conversation where dolls and reasons for collecting them are concerned.  I'm not sure there is a wrong or right.  It is true that dolls educate and tell the story of mankind. 

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