When we moved into this house 12 years ago I commandeered the second spare bedroom for myself. It became the home to my doll collection, sewing and knitting supplies and later scrapbooking materials. It’s way too crowded but I manage. Hubby, in a rare act of DIY, put up some shelves for me to display the smaller dolls on. The highest shelves I need to access with a step-ladder. I don’t like standing on ladders much especially as I’ve put on weight in twelve years so once a doll is put up there she tends to stay there. The highest shelf of all I allocated to dolls that I don’t play with. They are costume dolls, mostly national costumes but a couple of historical ones too. You have met some of them. My Chinese cloth dolls and the Chinese baby doll I bought in Adelaide live up there with others you may have seen on my Asian Doll page.
I thought it was time that I dusted the shelf so I’ll take the opportunity to show you some of the other inhabitants of the top shelf while I have them down. I decided to enlist Hubby to help me get the dolls down. I passed the dolls down to him and asked him to put them on the table for me so that I wouldn’t have to keep getting up and down. This was the result.
I gave the shelf a dust and then started to photograph the dolls before returning them to their places. New places actually as I rarely put things back exactly the same way as I find them. There are quite a lot of dolls and some of them are unmarked so I’ll show you a few of them today and later there will be a page with a bit more information about the ones I have managed to find out about. None of these are valuable or expensive dolls. Some are from my childhood, some were bought cheaply at markets and doll shows and others were given to me. A few came from eBay too.
The first one is a doll that came from one of those part series magazines. There was to be a doll with every issue, the first magazine is always cheaper to encourage you to subscribe then the subsequent ones cost two or three times as much. In my experience it usually becomes hard to get the later issues of the magazine and you end up with an incomplete series. Anyway I bought one but I decided that I didn’t really like the dolls that much and didn’t bother to buy any more. I think this one is meant to be in Korean costume. I do like the costume but I don’t find the doll herself very appealing.
When I went to put my Dutch boy and girl back I discovered that the little girl’s arms were loose. It looked as if she had been strung and the elastic had broken. I think she may have been redressed too as although her shoes, apron and cap looked old her dress was made of stretch material and didn’t seem as old as she was. It had been lightly glued to her but I took it off to see why she could not hold her pails. Luckily some elastic from my sewing supplies solved the problem, not that she was grateful. She doesn’t balance well on her clogs and decided to dive off the shelf taking two other dolls with her. All were recovered and returned to their places but this is why I don’t often touch the top shelf.
This next doll is possibly more of a figure than a doll as she doesn’t move. I spotted her in a second-hand shop years ago and paid about $10 for her. She is made of fabric over an armature I think.
As I’ve mentioned in the past my sister has visited Singapore and also Kuala Lumpur a couple of times and she brought these dolls back for me. They are typical of the type doll made for tourists. Their costumes are very nice. The smaller, Chinese one has a label saying that it was made to encourage people to remember their Chinese heritage or words to that effect. I’ve left them in their boxes to keep the dust off them although the Chinese one has come out for her photo.
This next doll is one from my childhood. I believe she was dressed as Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. I’m not totally certain of this because I was about seven years old when I bought her so that’s 50 years ago. She was quite expensive, about nine or ten shillings I think and I had to save up my pocket money to buy her but I loved her dress. She is a hard plastic doll with sleep eyes. Her neck and arms are strung with rubber bands but her legs and body are all one piece. She is unmarked so I don’t know who made her.
Still in the box I got her in, another gift from my sister, is this Peggy Nisbet doll representing Nell Gwyn. She was the mistress of King Charles II of England. You can read about her here.
The last dolls I’ll show you today are two dolls in Native American costume. I don’t remember how I got either of them. Possibly they were given to me, I used to have a Canadian penfriend and the larger doll has a swing tag that says that she is made in St Tite, Quebec. I read that this region is known for both tourism and leather goods. As you can see her outfit is mostly suede leather. I guess she should be on my Canadian doll page too.
I will try to get the rest of the photos onto a page in the near future so they are there for reference purposes. As always if anyone knows more about the dolls I’ve featured than I do I’d love to hear from you. Part of the fun of doing a doll blog is learning from other collectors and solving mysteries about my dolls.