Wednesday, March 22, 2017

April Sneak Peek

This month, we have a veritable buffet of dolls for you to enjoy, plus our regular features.  There are also the usual great auction reports, doll shows, and wonderful information for those who love to collect antique dolls.
We feature an incredible doll collection, that of Vicenza Fedele, Part I, in a terrific article by our own Lynn Murray.  These collector profiles are always inspiring and great fun to read.
Our collectibles column features fairy dolls, for all those inspired by fairy gardens, fairy tales, and fairy art.
Miniature lovers will be intrigued by the article “The Small and Cozy World of Walfrid Victoreen”, while those who love small dolls will enjoy “The Artistry of French Mlle Riera Dolls” and  “A Glimpse at Savoie.”
“Toy Ahoy! Floating Bisque Novelties of the early 1900s” will make everyone long for the beach and all that summer brings.

This is only the tip of the iceberg; there is much more!
Enjoy our beautiful April issue, and enjoy your spring doll collecting adventures!!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Interview with Gloria Kimmel

I first met this month's interviewee when I was living in San Jose.  We had a mutual friend in Mrs. Ruby Sargent, the former owner of the local Nice Twice Doll Shop.  Gloria was an inspiration to anyone who loved dolls, and she had wonderful ideas for collecting.  It is an honor and a pleasure to share her thoughts, and her historic doll, here:

Interview Questions for Antique Doll Collector

When did you start collecting?

I started collecting for my oldest daughter in 1977. We were a military family living on Okinawa and I bought her a Japanese doll. I told myself that I was collecting for her in those early years but in reality, I was a fledgling collector for myself.

I bought  Composition Madame Alexanders, Ideal, Artist dolls such as Robin Woods, Dolls by Jerri, Heidi Ott and even some of those home shopping network ones in those early years , but then everything changed.

In the mid 80's I was browsing in my favorite antique shop in San Jose and they had just bought an antique doll collection. I bought my first doll book that day, a Jan Foulke Guide,  and started learning about dolls. The next few weeks, I bought the Coleman's Encyclopedia and devoured every word.  Then I went back to the doll shop to see if any of those dolls were left.

 I saw one that I just loved and I bought her. Her label said that she was an AM but when I got her home, I discovered the numbers 1123 1/2 on her shoulder plate. In a few minutes I knew that she was an ABG. She was a 28 Inch Beauty and I have been hooked every since.

Have your tastes changed over the years?

My first antique doll was a bisque, but in those early years, I just saw dolls and bought every thing. Now I focus on the Early German Bisque dolls. I think that my eye has changed over the years. When you have the ability to see a lot of dolls, it can't help but change your perspective because you become aware of subtle painting techniques and view the antique doll as an Art object instead of a child's play thing.

What are your favorite types of dolls?

I love the early pale bisque dolls from Kling, ABG and Simon & Halbig.  In my first collection I bought dolls of all mediums because I wanted each of them represented, but now my primary focus are the early dolls from Germany.

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

One of the first things I notice about a doll is the clothing. I was lucky enough in my first collection to have many all original dolls, both mommy-dressed and factory dressed. I am fascinated by the skill it took to make those costumes. If a doll has a story, then that is close to my heart also. I have been lucky enough to own several family dolls and have written those stories to remain with the dolls and for the future generation of care takers.

Do you sew for your dolls?

I should make all kinds of doll clothing considering that I once used to sew for Vanity Fair,  but I have only made one doll dress for a low brow china. The smallness of the patterns is just something that I am not an expert at, although I greatly admire those that have that ability.

In my early collecting days, I was lucky enough to purchase a doll from Mrs Hinz's son,  of K & H dolls. She went to Germany and studied with the Armand Marseilles dressmakers to learn how to sew the clothes for their dolls and I bought one of her dresses.  Here is the dress and doll formerly  belonging to Mrs Hinz. She is a 1278 Dep model from ABG ca. 1892:

ABG, once part of the K&H doll family.  Courtesy Gloria Kimmel

Are you looking for anything in particular ?

I have a desire for a Blue Scarf again. I have had the original ABG one and the Emma Clear one  reproduction from '46 in my first collection.

I did not bond with the Antique one and sold her to my best friend and the Emma Clear has gone to my oldest daughter that loved her, so I am looking for "the" one.

I am what I call a "heart collector". If I want to hug the doll, then that is one that would make it home to join my collection.