Thursday, November 19, 2015

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: A Holiday Special!!!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: A Holiday Special!!!: Here is an opportunity to take advantage of a wonderful Holiday Special, see below!  Antique Doll Collector is the best publication on antiq...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Holiday Special!!!

Here is an opportunity to take advantage of a wonderful Holiday Special, see below!  Antique Doll Collector is the best publication on antique dolls available today.  I am a long time collector and author who writes on antique dolls, and I plan to use my copies of ADC to stock my future doll museum library.

A Sneak Peek at our December Issue!

About the Cover
The holidays are beckoning and with that in mind we have prepared a special holiday issue for you. Our cover features a few of the exciting items coming up at Theriault’s on January 9 and 10 in Newport Beach, CA. An extraordinary collection of early wooden, cloth and paper mache dolls, toys and folk art from the Alice Florence Schott Collection which has been housed in recent decades in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, will be offered. Also to be sold a magnificent A. Marque marked number 7 in the series, in impeccable condition and wearing its outstanding original costume from the Ballets Russes series. Rare German and French bebe and poupées and automata round out this special Marquis auction. 
Carol Cameron writes about the unusual and very seldom seen Butcherer nativity set. Only a limited number of these sets were made and their construction is markedly different from the typical Butcherer dolls. 
Christmas Eve in France during the nineteenth century is the setting for Jan Peterson’s entertaining article. Diminutive dolls and poupées act out the evening’s festivities in Jan’s doll cabinet affectionately called Le Château.
Christiane Gräfnitz has thoroughly researched the dolls of Leola and Edgar Schulze, makers of reproduction porcelain, parian, and tinted bisque dolls as well as dolls of their own creation. A treasured June 1959 catalog and fourteen dolls clears up the mystery surrounding the “Lee Ed” dolls. 
Not everyone can stretch their budget to buy a Huret poupée and now at last there is an affordable alternative. An exacting reproduction body and a head mold, both made from antique Hurets are available! We give you all the details!
Samy Odin writes about L’Imagerie de Paris, a 19th century company who published printed cloth dolls, animals and paper doll sheets. Numerous examples from La Musée de la Poupée are shown.
We visit the 2015 Golden Glow convention where we photographed many of the incredible Christmas decorations in the “museum room.” It is sure to inspire your holiday decorating this year.
There’s also more UFDC blue ribbon winners in the competitive category, auction results and a look at the upcoming Morphy doll auction.
Happy collecting!
P.S. Please visit to take a brief survey which will help us to serve you better.
Antique Doll Collector, P.O. Box 239, Northport, NY 11768 Call us Toll Free at 888-800-2588 Email:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

An Interview with Alf Ertsland and Svein Hellberg

When did you start collecting?

I can’t remember exactly when we start talking about antique dolls.  We had, however, a common interest in arts and antiques. Not so strange since we both have similar occupations. Svein is a trained potter and I am a visual artist. We also share interests within music and theater as well.

On a trip to Copenhagen in the early seventies, we noticed some antique dolls in a window. In 1979 I had a shorter stay in Paris, and again, I noticed some beautiful antique dolls.

Trulte, Kestner 111 all bisque googly with jointed elbows and knees

There was something magical about them, but we had absolutely no knowledge. It took another three years before Svein bought a simple celluloid doll at an antique fair in Oslo. Shortly after, we acquired our first bisque headed doll, an Armand Marseilles 1894. It was pure magic.  We finally got the beautiful antique doll we wanted.
Or, so we thought.  I believe many collectors started this way, only to find out that the awakening interest would demand further action. And the doll books we found in the local bookstore revealed a whole new world

Other dolls were added and we started searching for more knowledge on the subject, only to find out that this was indeed a magic world waiting for us to join.

Yvette, Kuhnlenz Bru and Klara, Kestner AT

 Today, when we look back on these first years of collecting, we realized that we had started a journey that would bring joy and excitement far beyond what we could predict.

We had no money, and very little knowledge. There were no clubs or doll fairs in Norway at that time, so this was a project starting from scratch.

I believe this was a good thing. We had no specific goal, and met every doll with curiosity and excitement. We bought what we felt was right and what we could afford. The process was rather slow in the beginning, which I also think was a good thing. 

On a trip to Denmark in the beginning of 1980’s we found our first “French” doll.  It was a beautiful all bisque doll with trousseau. On the lid of the box was written; Mother’s doll from Paris.

Later we learned that this was indeed not a French doll, but a German doll made by Simon & Halbig.  But,  it did open our eyes for the variations of dolls to be found.

Gabrielle, Petit & Dumoutier, size 4.

Have your tastes changed over the years?

After visiting a doll fair in London in 1884, the doll collector gene was utterly triggered.

Agnes, Kestner 221 googly

1988 was the year when things really started to happen.  Another stay in Paris for a few months opened a new world. We were introduced to doll fairs, doll auctions and advanced doll dealers.

Our taste in dolls changed dramatically, and for the first time,  we could afford to buy more expensive dolls.

From a general interest in all kind of dolls, our focus had changed from dolly face dolls, to Character dolls, googlies and French Bébés.

Roger, SFBJ 127 with painted hair, and John Arne, SFBJ 227  with flocked hair.

We never abandoned any of these types, but our consciousness on quality grew, and led to another way of collecting. Even though for a long time the French  had highest priority, we also discovered fine German bisque dolls that could compete with the French dolls, and they could be obtained  at a reasonable price.

    Sahre, size 4 Jumeau, and Gloria, Fils & Schmitt

I suppose these early experiences also made a footprint that was hard to remove. All the choices you made and all the knowledge you acquired certainly led to profound relationships with these dolls, ties that were hard to break.

   Felt doll with Hardanger costume by Ronnaug Petterssen and Maja, our K&R 131 googly with West Telemark costume made by Svein.

In retrospect I can see that other choices in the early years may have lead to other results decades later.  Some dolls were not attainable and other dolls may have been too expensive, leading to other choices.

    Signe, Kley&Hahn, 549 and    Heidi, Kestner 185

Even though our collection is missing some types of dolls, it does not mean that we have no interest in them.  We did choose to focus on character dolls, Googly dolls, early German bisque dolls, and French Bébés, especially from J Steiner. 

    Group of early Steiff Teddy bears and felt dolls. Left bear is cinnamon colored from 1905.

Still, there are many other dolls in our collection, individual dolls of various types, and they get as much attention as the other dolls.

Stella, marked A 11 T, by André F Thullier

We must not forget to mention our interest in Steiff Bears, and toys, but, again, we had to decide what to go for, and in the end the dolls won.

What are the characteristics that attract you to a certain doll?

There are of course several aspects about dolls that attract one. 
We never had clear defined standards for our dolls, except for quality.  We always bought what appealed to us. During the years some dolls may have been exchanged with better ones. 
It is hard to compare the subtle qualities of fine French bébés and excellent sculptured German character dolls.  Over the years one learns to look for different qualities in different types of dolls.  
There will however always be differences even when you compare two “identical” dolls.   The  way they are decorated, or the way the eyes are cut may be different, altering the entire look of the dolls. So in the end it is often ones personal taste that decides which doll to buy.

Do you sew for your dolls?

Dressing dolls seem to be a consistent theme.  It is not likely that every doll you find is wearing antique or original clothes, even if it very often may look like they are.
Like most antique objects in the market, dolls are results of the century or decades they have survived. Dolls are passed down to next generation, and are often redressed by new owners and dealers.
It is almost impossible to determine if a doll is original or not, unless it comes from a well-known and documented producer.  We must live with the uncertainty about this, but it helps learning as much as possible about the fashions and styles from the time the doll was produced.
Some collectors have the ability to make clothes and redress a doll. To day there are plenty of sources to help creating the right costumes. 
Svein did make this Norwegian costume for Maja, our KR 131 googly.  Norway has many beautiful, regional costumes, and this is one of the more popular costumes from Telemark. Creating it was quite a job, doing it in an authentic way. The brooch is too large. Instead there should be two smaller, circular brooches.  He also has made some beautiful underwear from old fabrics. Unless you are skilled at sewing it is very difficult to do this in a convincing way.
We always enjoyed looking for authentic doll clothes and accessories. This has been as fun as chasing dolls. I believe patience and endurance are the right words. Nothing comes easy in this doll world, whether it comes to finding a pair of shoes for a Bru doll, or a perfect Jumeau wig. But it is possible.

Are you looking for anything in particular?

There will always be something to look for.  Steiner dolls always will be a high priority, and so will googly dolls. Lately our interests in early all bisque dolls also have started to grow.
It started slowly with an aforementioned Simon & Halbig doll. Eventually we found this little kneeling Kestner, and some booted and bare feet German all bisque dolls. A Kestner googly with jointed elbows and knees was an obvious addition to our googly section. 
We have had many dreams through the years, and many plans. Some have been obtainable, and some have faded. When we finally got the opportunity to buy a certain doll, it turned out to be too late.  We had spent so many years looking for the doll, and when it finally arrived, our interest had faded.  This only underlines the fact that one is constantly in flux. You may never know exactly what will trigger you next.
Back in 1988 we wanted so desperately to  buy a Jumeau Triste,  we even went to Paris to attend a specific auction, offering a beautiful Triste.  Our funds however tuned out to be limited, and we did not win the auction.  This has followed us for years, and to this day we have still not found our Long faced Jumeau. And what happens if we do find one, will it be too late?
In a way, we have fulfilled our dream in a most haphazard way this year.
Early in our doll-collecting career, we happened to come across a beautiful AT doll, belonging to an acquaintance, who had inherited it from a friend of his.
It was not for sale, but the doll most definitely set a standard for our further choices of dolls.
More than 30 years later, we accidentally stumbled over an onsite advertisement offering a French doll for sale.
And there she was again, the same doll and even more beautiful than we remembered.
Today she is the obvious star in our collection, and since we are still fascinated by the French Bébés, we can’t think of any other doll that could outshine this bébé, made by Andre Thuillier  (1875-1893) 
Alf and Svein have published the following articles in 
The 900 series of Alt, Beck & Gottschalk.   February 2013
Playing with googlies.                                          July 2014
Bébés in distress.                                          February 2015
Our little family of Steiner dolls.                        June 2015


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Doll Museum: Jumeau

Doll Museum: Jumeau: Jumeau: For 30 years, from 1843-1873, the firm was Belton and Jumeau. When Belton died, Pierre Francoise Jumeau opened his own factory in ...