How I became a doll collector


I think that I got my love of dolls from my mother. She used to tell me about the dolls she had owned as a child in the 1930s. She enjoyed making rag dolls and dolls clothes and I think that she was delighted to have two little girls to play dolls with when my sister and I came along.

I had all sorts of dolls, big hard plastic baby dolls, a walking doll and smaller vinyl dolls. When I was about seven mum got me a Tressy doll for Christmas. I have to confess that although it was fun to make her hair grow I didn’t care for her white hair all that much. To this day I don’t really care for white-haired dolls. I preferred Sindy who had a sweeter expression and Tammy and funny faced, freckled Patch.

We also had dollshouse sized dolls. dolls in costumes and even paper dolls.

I played with them all well into my teens when fear of ridicule made me put them aside. Many were given away but a few special ones stayed with me through the years.

For the next few years mum and I would often go and look at the dolls if we were shopping in the city together but she eventually accepted there would be no grand daughters to play dollies with.

Eventually I started to buy dolls for myself, furtively at first hoping that shop assistants would assume I was buying them for a child.  At first it was simply looking for replacements for lost child hood dolls like my Kader baby and Patch, or dolls that I wished that I’d had like Sindy’s boyfriend Paul.

Then eBay came into my life and suddenly dolls were coming from everywhere. I had become a collector.

christopher.jpg
Christopher a 20″ baby doll made by Kader in Hong Kong.
60s Hard Plastic Baby Doll
Theresa, my first baby doll given to me about 1960
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10 comments

  1. Hello. Its nice to hear your story. I completely empathise with the business of hoping the shop assistant thinks that I am buying dolls for a child – I’ve been pulling that bit of play-acting in shops since I was in my late teens :-/ I gave up collecting in my mid twenties and went back to it (like you, because of eBay and also photo sharing sites like Flickr) a couple of years ago. I think its wonderful that the internet has allowed the creation of virtual communities for doll collectors of all kinds, and I enjoy seeing what other people like. Best wishes 🙂

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    • It’s so nice to know we’re not alone isn’t it? I’ve been sharing on Flickr and a few doll forums for years now but recently started to share the odd photo on Facebook after being encouraged by positive reactions from people I’ve shown the doll room to.

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  2. Reblogged this on Dolls, Dolls, Dolls and commented:

    This is the first post that I published on the blog three years ago so I thought that I’d reblog it. I think that I have come a long way from my early collecting days. I am happy to tell people that I collect dolls and would welcome the opportunity to show them off at a community event if I were asked. I recently looked around the doll room and wondered how much I’ve spent on them over the past twenty years or so. Some people would say way too much for dolls that are not especially valuable but I think they have been worth every cent for the enjoyment I have had from them.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your origin story again. I hope you continue to share your love of dolls and their fashions for many years to come.

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    • I hope so too. I get a lot of enjoyment out of writing the blog and being able to share my dolls with others. Having lasted three years I hope that I’m set to keep going for many more now.

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  4. Amazing ! You still have that baby theresa doll from the 1960’s? The memory that came with the doll indeed is a treasure! My early childhood dolls didn’t last, they became brittle over time. I love your old dolls collection!

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  5. My Mom is a Doll Collector and has been for some 40 years now. Her apartment is filled to overflowing with her beloved dolls. I have created pages on Pinterest and more recently Facebook called Joan’s #DollHouse showcase her dolls. Please stop by and take a look.

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