Response to articles on doll restoration

Response to articles on doll restoration

A response from Dorothea Thompson in issue 7

Dear Editors, 

I was very interested in David Barrington's article on restoration. I agree that one should ask the question "What am I doing?" when faced with a job of restoration.

When I became interested in old dolls, I restored for my own personal collection, mainly because I could not afford anything else. I started as Peter Strange suggested with a bag of pieces.for an S.F.B.J. head minus a wedge shaped piece for the forehead. I completed it to my satisfaction, acquired a suitable body and felt very pleased with myself.

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Over the years my ideas have changed with my deeper knowledge and understanding. Recently I looked again at my S.F.B.J. and became quite disenchanted. It is now in its original 13 pieces, waiting for the day...

Hairline cracks are like the wrinkles on the human face acquired by the passage of time; and have their own particular charm. I remember watching a very beautiful actress performing the part of a young girl. Close up her skin resembled a crumpled piece of fine quality tissue paper that had been smoothed but the fine crease were still apparent. This to me did not detract from the actress's beauty, but rather enhanced it. The same applies to old treasures. They are unique, therefore the restorer's task is rather one of conservation. As Mr. Barrington says, we are just custodian

If someone wants me to do a complete cover-up job, I usually guide the person to someone who would be happy to do this. I do not have a wife and two children to keep, and can indulge myself a little! On the other hand, when I am faced with someone's treasure and I am asked to do what I feel is best, the satisfaction is very rewarding.

 Dorothea Thompson,  Cheshire.

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