Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Interview with Sharon Hope Weintraub; All photos from the Weintraub Collection

When did you start collecting?  As a little girl, I really did not care for dolls.  I much preferred my Steiff animals and plastic horses.  When I was around 11 or 12, an aunt gave me an antique china doll head.  Something about the head intrigued me and I remember even trying to make it a body out of an old kid glove.  That summer we went to Maine for vacation.  My parents always liked to go antiquing (as did I), and I started noticing all different kinds of antique dolls in the shops we visited.  When we got home, I checked out several books on antique dolls from the library and went to my first doll show.  After that, I was hooked.

(All bisque molded combination)

Early all bisque lady with molded underwear, only 4-3/4 inches tall.

Have your tastes changed over the years?  Like all beginning collectors, I began by buying a bit of everything, but even early on, I concentrated on the little all-bisque dolls.   They were of a size, and back then, a price, to fit my limited room and budget, and I have always like miniatures.  At the time, it seemed everyone wanted big dolls.  All-bisque dolls are still among my favorites, but now it seems everyone wants the "mignonnettes" and the prices, at least for the high quality French and German all-bisque dolls, have risen accordingly.

Perfume bottle by Carl Schneider of Germany

What are your favorite types of dolls? As noted, all-bisque dolls are among my favorite dolls.  I also like the Edwardian and flapper ladies, not just for their beauty, but also because they represent important eras in women's history.  Then, of course, there are the bathing beauty figurines and all their naughty cousins.   The majority of my collection now is dedicated to bathing beauties.  There are so many different varieties and variations.  Just when you think you have seen everything, an entirely new example pops up.  Plus, like all-bisque dolls, you can squeeze a lot of ladies into very little room.

The Floradora Girls by Hutschenreuther Porzellanfabrik

What are the characteristics that attract you to a certain doll?  Quality is the first thing I notice.  The detailing of the sculpting, the delicacy of decoration, the fineness of the bisque and china are all very important factors to me.  I also like dolls that are different, unusual, or even just weird.  Beauty is important, but it is the little oddities that can really spice up a collection.   

Hertwig and Company, 5-3-4”. 

Do you sew for your dolls?  I do not know how to sew.  I always joke I am waiting for someone to invent iron-on buttons (but then that would mean I would have to iron!).  That is one reason I like the bathing beauties.  They look lovely "au naturel," while a naked doll can look a little sad and neglected.

A Galluba and Hofmann all bisque, 12-1/2” long

Close up of Galluba and Hofmann

Are you looking for anything in particular, etc.  A MAN!!!  Well, a Galluba and Hofmann bathing beauty man (I guess you could call him a beach boy).  Galluba made several models, but I have yet to add one of these elusive gentlemen to my collection.  Actually, I am interested in any bisque or china beach boy.  William Goebel and Hertwig and Company also made male bathing boys, but like the Galluba guys, they are hard to find. I have a lot of lonely ladies who would welcome a little male companionship!  

Miss Ondine swimming the breaststroke, patented in 1878

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