Historic Dolls And Figures Information And Acquisitions
Though I have collected period dolls casually for several years, I did not become a serious historical doll collector till I visited an internet site put up by another historical doll enthusiast who specialized in Cleopatra dolls. I used to be amazed at the entire different versions of the Queen of Egypt that had been produced through the years by varied doll corporations and particular person artists. I resolved that day to focus my doll collection and use this passion to help disseminate historical info in an attention-grabbing and pleasant format.
Since my favourite period of history is the historic world, I began by in search of dolls of this period however quickly found, with the exception of Cleopatra, they had been a bit arduous to find. So I expanded my period of focus to any historical period previous to the 20th century, concentrating on dolls who represented particular historical figures. Ebay supplied ample looking grounds and included dolls from vendors in Europe as properly as the United States. I used to be capable of finding unique, one-of-a-sort dolls just like the delicate Bonnie Prince Charlie featured at proper, which was hand crafted using a painting in a e-book in regards to the battle of Culloden as a reference. I nonetheless marvel on the care that went into the detail of this doll from his tiny mohair ringlets tied back with a black velvet ribbon to the intricate engraving on the guard of his sword.
Ebay’s doll choices are so in depth that looking by way of the 1000’s of dolls offered for sale each day can change into quickly exhaustive and not notably fruitful except you slender your search. Since I had not yet learned which doll manufacturers provided historic dolls, I began by utilizing the keyword “historical”. I not solely found some beautifully detailed dolls produced by the U.S. Historic Society however found the vast array of character dolls produced by English manufacturer, Peggy Nisbet. I also discovered that there are primarily two types of historic character dolls – a portrait doll, the place an attempt has been made by the manufacturer to sculpt the options to resemble the actual character, and a costume doll where the costume is detailed but little effort is made to represent the face of the individual, with the exception of the hair model and shade. I also realized that male dolls were extra uncommon than female dolls and have been therefore extra highly sought after and often commanded the next worth. I felt extremely lucky to win a prototype for Nisbet’s Charles II (left).
I additionally learned that doll manufacturers favored to supply series of dolls and certain groups of historic personalities have been extra standard than others. I found the primary Ladies of the United States have been the premise for doll series by quite a lot of manufacturers including Madame Alexander, Nortel, Brinn’s, the U.S. Historical Society, Carlson, and Reese Worldwide whose line of First Lady Dolls have been sculpted by doll artist, Suzanne Gibson. Thus far, I’ve been in a position to add a quantity of these dolls to my assortment and especially like Suzanne Gibson’s Mary Todd Lincoln doll dressed within the gown she wore at her husband’s inauguration. Although the real Mary Todd Lincoln was quite a bit pudgier than Gibson’s likeness, I admire the translucent quality of the doll’s face, the attractive spiral curls of the Civil Warfare-era hair model, and naturally the wealthy coloration and element of the gown.
I additionally tried searching for dolls based mostly on a particular country. I had collected a doll of the Romanov period after i had visited the “Treasures of Russia” exhibit on the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas a number of years in the past then purchased a doll of 17th century Russia after i toured “Stroganoff: Artwork of a Russian Noble Family” exhibit on the Portland Artwork Museum. My seek for Russian dolls proved fairly productive. I found that the artisans of St. Petersburg are now producing some particular historic dolls as well as intricately detailed costume dolls, including a determine of the revolutionary czar Peter the nice (left). I additionally began looking by identify for well-known rulers and members of their court docket. Henry VIII and his six wives have been a popular collection for several British doll makers together with Regency, Nisbet, and Rexard (proper). I find it interesting that all of those doll manufacturers created a portrait doll of Henry but his queens are solely given the costume therapy with the exception of a Nisbet portrait of Catherine Parr, the queen who truly outlived him. His successor, the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I, may be present in a large number of interpretations including a beautiful hand-knitted doll I was fortunate to acquire from a really talented young girl in Anchorage, Alaska, Janet Oliver. At present I have considered one of her knitted Henry VIIIs, an Egyptian priest, as well as Elizabeth. After i bid on her Henry VIII doll I despatched her an e-mail and asked her if he was created from a pattern. As it turns out, he was made from a booklet of directions I had bid on a number of weeks before. I am so glad I misplaced the bid to her since I was only bidding on the booklet for reference. I tried knitting years in the past and at all times ended up making the stitches too tight so determined it was not for me.
I also realized that Marin, a Spanish doll manufacturer mostly famous for their dolls depicting Spanish flamenco dancers and bull fighters, also produces a line of historical dolls for the distributor, Lloyderson. Although I do bask in costume dolls with clothes consultant of a selected period, I hoped I may discover specific people produced by Marin as well. I used to be not disillusioned. Though Lloyderson dolls continuously command a value exceeding $50, I used to be able to obtain a Marie Antoinette for significantly less.
I haven’t restricted myself to just Ebay either. I found a beautifully detailed hand-made assortment of porcelain nativity figures at our local flea market in February 2003. Each face was rigorously painted, mohair rigorously applied for hair and beards, and even tiny jewels applied to the crowns.
At first, I was not going to collect dolls representing figures from American history. Perhaps it simply seemed a little bit too familiar to me or I was burned out by sitting by means of too a lot of my husband’s western movies. However I discovered some dolls with costumes so meticulously detailed, I couldn’t resist. Carlson dolls, initially a cottage enterprise of a Minnesota Indian tribe, produced numerous non-Indian dolls with properly detailed period clothes. After i began shopping for Carlson dolls, I used to be additionally breaking one other of my private taboos–dolls with youngster-like faces. I usually prefer dolls with adult options. Nevertheless, I found their a number of interpretations of George Washington (right) , together with other colonial figures like Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, revolutionary drummers, Frontier men and women, and even Civil War troopers and generals irrestible. I even obtained a Spanish conquistador that I have not seen on Ebay since.
I additionally discovered a line of vinyl dolls by Hispanic artist, Ruben Tejada, depicting genuine Native American gown that I appreciated very a lot. Though he produces a series of costumed kids of different tribes, I prefer his “Warriors and Princesses” line of grownup-featured dolls. The costumes even embrace beading and face and physique paint patterns utilized by members of the tribes.
I also encountered an organization called “Sideshow” that produces wonderfully detailed portrait “figures” (I’ve realized that companies use different terminology based mostly on their target audience. If the target market is females, the term “doll” is used but if the target market is male, the time period “action figure” is used even if the determine is essentially a 12″ doll – the identical dimension as most vogue dolls.) I was particularly impressed by their “Six-Gun Legends” collection, though their “Brotherhood In Arms” (Civil War-era) and “Bayonets and Barbed Wire” (World War I-period) figures are equally impressive. I even bought one of their “King Arthur” figures from their Monty Python line to add dy hair 777 reviews to my medieval collection.