Nellie"s Needles

Monday, January 11, 2010

More Small Dolls

In the past I have dressed other small dolls. Many of them are in my personal collection.
Beginning with the top shelf, these two dolls have the most work put into their costumes. The small doll wearing the smocked dress and bonnet is barely two inches tall.
They are keeping company with the oldest doll that I have. The black doll is so old there is no marking on the back of her porcelain head. Her composition body is jointed. The photos in the background were taken of my husband's aunts at the turn of the last century.
At the other end of that top shelf are a couple of storybook dolls, both of which date back to the era of my childhood ... the kind of dolls I yearned for back then. A doll with a composition head and felt body that I bought on a trip to England is dressed with a smocked frock and hat. She's standing behind old leather bound family diaries that are propped up with a Stieff sheep. There's nothing special about the teddy bears. I collected them for my small dolls to hold.On the middle shelf beneath those dolls is a mixed collection ... from an old celluloid naked baby to a couple that were made by contemporary doll artists to one that was made to be a cat toy. The brown skinned knit cloth one was designed and made by me. I can't recall now why I never clothed her. Under the glass bell is a porcelain reproduction doll that I dressed. She is holding an old porcelain dolly.
On the other side of the middle shelf are several ethnic dolls, an old storybook doll, a silk fabric angel made by a friend, and a very small celluloid doll under the glass bell jar. The old composition doll standing in the corner is wearing a dress made from aged silk that I made. She, too, is holding an old porcelain dolly. The cloth one in front of her is a modern artist's doll.
Beneath them on the bottom shelf is an old Madam Alexander jointed storybook doll with her original skating costume. Behind her is a modern doll that I had dressed. In the bassinet is the original Spanish doll that was copied by many other manufactures for a period of time.
Her dress and the bassinet cover are smocked. And yes, that's an old photo of me in the background.
A collection of modern/reproduction babies occupy the right side of the bottom sheld. There are photos of our now eleven year old twin grandsons along with a colored pencil drawing of their great-grandfather. The crocheted teddy bear was my baby toy made by my mother.
The pretty porcelain bowls that you see among the dolls contain lavender to keep the air fresh and deter any bugs from taking up residence among my dolls.

9 comments:

Merry said...

These dolls are all so special.....thanks for sharing the photos and the information about them.

Judith said...

What a lovely collection, but come on Nellie, you've got some naked dolls. give them something to wear. Your smocking is super. It is something I have never tried.

Kay said...

My mother collected antique dolls avidly for a number of years. Your shelves remind me of hers, but the family photographs are a wonderful addition.

Beverly said...

You've got a wonderful collection- the envy of any small girl who sees it, I'm sure. And I loved seeing the picture of you with them!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What a wonderful collection Nellie! I've only tried smocking once or twice and simply can't imagine working that small with it. Thanks for the tour!

Debra said...

I love collections like your doll collection; but, sadly, I don't have my own. The perils of moving too much, I guess.

Julie said...

What a wonderful cupboard of memories, Nellie. I only have 2 dolls from my childhood, a small doll with moving arms and legs that I seem always to have had and a baby doll that I've had since I was about 8 years old. You have some lovely dolls here.

Heather said...

What an amazing collection Nellie - you could start your own Doll Museum. The work on the hat and dress of that tiny baby doll is exquisite and I love that you still have the crocheted toy your mother made you.

Irishgirlsews said...

Nellie,
I'm sitting here with my morning coffee, and WOW WOW WOW, what a wonderful show and tell I have been allowed to see. Thanks for sharing all your lovely work and dolls. Thanks for such a fine and lovely treat!!
Wendy in cold NE Fl.