Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waiting for Dolls

I suppose like many of us, I've learned to be patient as I age.  I don't think it is easy to be patient, especially if one is searching for a special doll to add to a collection.  When I became interested in antique dolls at age 5, I quickly learned that most were outside of a grade schooler's allowance. Thanks to the charitable intervention of my parents, I was able to have many old and collectible dolls.  Yet, no one was going to buy a 5 year old a $500 antique doll.

So, I read up, lobbied to be taken to museums and antique shows, made crude paper dolls based on favorite antiques, and waited. 

Below are some sought after dolls that finally joined my collection, after a period of years, if not decades!

I first saw General MacArthur by Freundlich when I was 8.  He was art of now defunct Lolly's Doll Museum, and another example "lived" in an elegant restaurant that included a doll collection as part of its decor.  He showed up in books sometimes, but it was years before I saw another one.  Finally, about 4 years ago, I won him on eBay.  He was worth the wait. 

Recently, I added a Steiner, Figure A, to my doll family. She came to me needing repairs, but I paid 90% of her price, and most of her was in great shape. I took on a pleasant project and fulfilled another dream.  I first became aware of this doll when I was 14.

Also at age 14, I saw "in person" my first composition Scarlett O'Hara by Madame Alexander. I added one to my collection last month.

When it came to the famous prune dolls of Nuremberg, I only had to wait a couple of years.   My German professor, the late Herr Erwin Weber, brought one for me from the Christmas markets, along with an authentic "kitchen witch."

At age 9, I saw a photo of a French devotional wax doll, circa late 18th early 19th century in my friend Mary Hillier's Book, "Dolls and Doll Makers."  Then, 6 years ago, I won a bid on a similar doll online from the old Mary Merritt Doll Museum. 

Sometimes, a special rare doll, like my anatomically correct Frozen Charlie shows up close to home.  My grandparents' neighbor in California used to set up at doll shows.  I bought my Charlie from her, along with a Darrow Rawhide doll.

My purpose in writing his post is not to discourage, but to counsel patience.  It is indeed a virtue when it comes to dolls.  One day, I know I'll find my dressed fleas, former Kimport specials, and a pewter headed Huret, as well as many of the china heads and French and German bisques on my list.  Meanwhile, I sure love the thrill of the hunt!


  1. It's very satisfying when you get a doll you've waited for- I finally got a Mein Leibling 117n after a 40 year wait!

  2. How wonderful! That's great; patience is a virtue!