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  • Antique dolls and Teddys on the Isle of White

     Where ever one goes,It is funny how one always manages to find the place to see antique dolls and bears! Here we are, house/cat sitting on the Isle of white, only to find that 10 miles down the road, is Lilliput doll and toy museum.I only had about 10 minutes to spare, but I managed to have a quick look around and take a few photos to give you all a taste.Dismal Desmond

    Although my pictures do not reflect it, one thing I really liked was the fact that the dolls and bears were mostly mixed together, and they really made a good display. I don't know what anyone else thinks, but I find it much more interesting, and easier to take in if displays are mixed. When I visit a fair, and there is a table full of dolls lined up like soldiers I find it hard to take to differentiate or even see them as individuals.

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  • Wooden doll c.1690 sold by Sotheby's in May 1984 for £17,600

    A regular feature of Kinloch and Sellers Catalogue was the auction comment. It was written by "Questor". People were very curious to know who this was, but it remained a closely guarded secret. I have had permission to reprint some of these articles, and am starting with this one from 1984. If anyone knows where the dolls ended up subsequently, it would be interesting to find out!

    Wooden doll c.1690 sold by Sotheby's in May 1984 for £17,600

    wooden doll c.1690

    CHOICE ITEMS FROM SOTHEBYS

    Some choice items have appeared recently in Sotheby's sales ‑ the most important perhaps being an English wooden doll, circa 1690, which made a record price for a wooden doll in May 1984 ‑ £17,600. She is 42.5 cm high, and is in very good original condition, including original clothes.

    There is another interesting wooden coming up on October 3rd ‑ a smaller doll of the same period, but in a box with the original wallpaper of circa 1680. She is in mint condition as she has never emerged from her home ‑ her estimate is £5000-£8000.

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  • Wax dolls

    For those of you who do not know, I was joint editor of a popular UK doll magazine for 5 years (Kinloch and Sellers Catalogue). This was long before the days of computers. Claire and myself used to do everything by hand. It is my intention to post some of the articles here on this blog. For the most part they will be doll related, as teddy bears were only just starting to become popular. I have not looked through all the issues yet, but I will try and publish a balanced selection of articles.

    The first was written by Claire Kinloch in March 1985 - Issue 38

    A short history of wax dollswax twins

    Waxed dolls were made from the 18th century onwards, but the earliest dolls a collector is likely to come across are the 'slit heads', which were made in quantity from the 1820s. These dolls, with their alert, smiling, primitive faces, surrounded by bobbing ringlets, are described as 'Mad Alices' by a dealer who is particularly fond of them. The hair is set into a slit on the top of the head, making a centre parting, and roughly glued to an unwaxed papier mache area of the head. Usually the eyes are fixed and of the black pupil less type, but some have early sleeping eyes, with waxed lids, which are operated by pulling a wire which appears discreetly down by the doll's hips. The other colour used at the time for eyes was a brilliant cornflower blue..

    Most early waxed dolls are heavily crazed with hairline cracks, as the heads were made of papier mache or composition (a mixture of sawdust, rags, glue and anything else available), the mixture pressed into a two part mould, and when complete, gessoed or painted with a base coat, and then the features were painted on fairly simply   no fine details such as eyelashes   and then the head dipped in hot wax two or three times until well covered. This wax coating expanded and contracted at a different rate to the composition base and is very rarely found in perfect order.

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  • A buying trip in brugge

    bruggeOne of the pleasures of selling antique dolls and teddy bears, is the hunt for them! Over the years I have been lucky enough to go on quite a few overseas buying trips. Sadly, with the exchange rate the way it is, these trips now have to be looked on more as a nice weekend away, as opposed to a treasure finding hunt.

    Last weekend I set went on a very pleasurable trip to Brugge. Once a year, they hold a doll and teddy fair there, right in the heart of the old town.

    This was about my third visit to this fair, and I have to say there was very little there for me to buy. I came home with lots of dolls wigs a few Steiff animals and a Pedigree doll in a box. However, the sun was shining and we had a glorious couple of days.

    If you fancy going to this fair next year, the organisers have a website. They hold several fairs in other cities. I suspect, that they will all be much the same. Fun to visit, but not much to buy.

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  • Doll animation

    For those of you who have not seen them, here are a couple of animations that I made using dolls, and a bear in the second one. If I had the time I would love to make more.

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