Friday, May 29, 2015

The Rival Queens; Just in time for our June Issue!

See below, our June issue includes M. Theimer's excellent article about the rare Marguerite de  Valois portrait doll.  A new book about her and Catherine d' Medici is coming out later this month.  See below the Good Reads Review:

 The Rival Queens: Catherine d' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  23 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century.

Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.

Catherine de' Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control.

When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family.

Rich in detail and vivid prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery form the background to a story that includes such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.
Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: June 23rd 2015 by Little, Brown and Company

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Unity's News Announcement
The Summer edition of the Unity's Newsletter is now on the UFDC website

Volunteers are needed for the UFDC convention this July; please follow the link and consider volunteering where you can.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

June Sneak Peek!

June Cover
Our collector friends from Norway have shared another of their passions: Steiner bébés. Alf Ertsland writes about the adventures he and his partner Svein have enjoyed as they traveled to fairs, shows and auctions and the strong attraction they felt for the delightful Steiners with round faces. As always Alf’s excellent photography captures the essence of each doll.
François Theimer tells us the story of a remarkable poupée discovered this year bearing the inscription on the neck “Marguerite de Valois” who was married to Henry IV, the first of the Bourbon line. Three other examples lacking the inscription have been seen, however this example is unique and obviously made for an individual of great importance. 
In honor of June, the most popular month for weddings, Laurie Baker gives us an in-depth look at an antique haute couture bridal gown that boasts many of the accoutrements contemporary French brides would have enjoyed.
Lenci doll expert Nancy Lazenby writes about an extremely rare felt banner measuring 21-feet long, depicting children that resemble Lenci dolls made during the 1920’s and 30’s. It is an extraordinary piece of art, depicting the children as they age and play outdoors in the changing seasons. 
In 1877 the Jumeau factory offered a new material for use in making doll heads. The new dolls were called incassable meaning unbreakable and they actually sold for more than their bisque counterparts!  Ginger Strain shares her collection of small size incassable children.
Colorful pictorial broadsheets that narrated a story were a popular form of entertainment for French girls during the 1800s. Called epinal prints, they taught moral lessons as well as amusing young children. Melanie Luther gives us their fascinating history.
All this plus auction results and much more!
Happy Collecting!
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

An Interview with Collector Rebecca Hawkins

When did you start collecting? 
I have always loved dolls and, as a child, took very good care of them. Then, as now, I find magic in each one. I can remember the excitement of receiving a Barbie doll for Christmas sometime around the third grade. It was my most exciting gift ever. I still have her and all of her clothes. She just happens to be the #1 Barbie. The excitement never went away and after college, marriage, and children I found dolls again. I have been seriously collecting for 20 years.
Milliners Models: all original wigged African American milliners model with brown leather body and black wooden arms and legs. The shoes are painted blue. To the right is an all original boy with molded hair with a side part.

Have your tastes changed over the years?
My first antique doll was a JDK baby doll. I then found dolly face dolls, but the love of my original Barbie and her clothes peeked my interest in fashion and china dolls. I fell for the older dolls and their beauty. As much as I loved the dolls, their wardrobe fascinated me. In addition to fancy lady dolls, I also collect cloth dolls. I was born and raised in Alabama, so I was naturally drawn to Ella Smith’s dolls. The artistry and construction of her dolls are wonderful, and the Alabama doll is definitely my favorite cloth doll.
An 1840's exposed ear China lady. She is on a leather body

What are your favorite types of dolls?
I collect antique dolls of all types, and do hunt for the unusual and odd. Early bisque and china dolls are a large part of my collection, but I do have cloth, wooden, and papier-mâché. Since male dolls are more rare they appeal to me in a unique way and I collect them in all mediums.
Izannah Walker boy doll. He is original in his boy outfit of the time. To the right is an unusual one of a kind Alabama Baby. When purchased from the family, it was said that the doll was made to look like the grandmother’s son. She was from Roanoke, Alabama and worked for a lady who made dolls.

What are the characteristics that attract you to a certain doll?
I am drawn to the unusual or different, but first it has to “speak to me”. I love to find a doll that has the look I want, and then find clothes to bring her (or him) back to the way they originally looked.

French fashions: a character Terrene poupee with kid over metal body and bisque hands. To the right is a Clement poupee with a hollow leather body.

Do you sew for your doll?
No, but I do repair their clothes. I like to keep them as original as possible.

An 18 inch "so called" English China child. She has China arms and legs. It is now believed these dolls were made in Germany. To the right is a swivel neck Rohmer poupee.

Are you looking for anything in particular etc.?
I’m always looking for unique dolls. My next purchase will be a surprise to me, and I won’t know until I see it!  

On the left,  a hand carved wooden doll. Her arms are cloth with a metal slave band on one arm. The body is wooden and jointed at the hip and knee. To the right is a male Mason & Taylor. It is believed to have been made to drive a buggy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Highlight from May 2015 Issue, Hammer Prices at Theriault's January 10-11 Auction.

A Glorious May day to everyone!  I've signed us up for Stumble On and Reddit, so look for our posts and other relevant information there.

I've posted a few of the prices on my favorites from Theriault's January auction.  As  you know, there is another Theriault's Auction, "What Frolicks Here!" this weekend.

1. French Bisque Bebe by Leon Casimir Bru, $28,000.

2. French Bisque Art Character Doll by Albert Marque, $280,000.

Albert Marque, January Cotillion Auction,Courtesy, Theriault's

3. French Bisque Bebe A.T. by Andre Thullier $58,000.

4. Googly Model 165, Size 13 by Hertel and Schwab $13,000.

For more prices and auction information, see our May 2015 issue, Antique Doll Collector's website, and Theriault'

Also note our new Flickr page, Antique Doll Collector, along with the original page on Flickr, and our Facebook site Antique Doll Collector, and Facebook page Antique Doll Collector Magazine.