Edyth's Feather Trees with Dolls & Bears

Visit Edyth's blog to see some lovely Christmas feather trees with sweet dolls and bears. I spy with my little eye a special doll on the table.  Take some time to visit Edyth's selling blog, as well. She has some lovely large dolls there, such as this papier mache doll below, with long curls. 

An 1851 Account of Where a Doll's Dress Came From

I've been spending time at Google Books searching 19th century books, doing "primary research".  It's interesting to see the illustrations of the time, because they give information about what people actually wore, rather than the idealized and/or simplified versions in our head. This book, called May's Doll: Where Its Dress Came From describes the sources for all the elements that went into May's dress. So for those of you who collect dolls, it's intersting reading about the various countries involved in making May's dress. Click the image below to see the original book at Google Books.

A Sweet Columbian Doll

When I shared that the Maida Dolls Group is having a Columbian Doll challenge, Lorrie Dove kindly shared pictures of her Columbian Doll to post here on Maida Today. Lorrie's Doll has had no repainting that she knows of.  

Using 19th Century Magazines for Design Inspiration

Google Books yields lots of inspiration sources from 19th century primary documents. Primary documents, such as the Les Follets illustrations in this post, show what people actually wore, rather than a what we think they wore.   I'm particularly interested in 19th century children's clothing, so I love searching various topics and finding wonderful graphics.   Look at this outfit for a child in 1863:

A simple white dress 
adorned with red trim 
makes a stylish statement: 

The same color scheme is used in reverse 
a velvet  red dress trimmed with white cording
layered over a simple white undershirt or blouse.  

Thank you to Google Books  for preserving these books and documents so that they are readily available for our research. 

Queen Anne Doll to Be Auctioned
at Withington's October 2012 Auction

Withington's, as always, has some lovely dolls to be auctioned on October 18th, 2012.  This wooden doll is from about 1750 and is lovely.  She was once featured in The Art of Dolls. 

And hands!

Columbian Doll at Lucy's Doll House

This is a smaller Columbian Doll.  I forgot to measure her!   But she has a different body construction than the larger dolls I've seen.  The back, shown below with Emma Adams stamp, is made of two parts.  

The front either is made of 3 pieces or is 1 piece with two darts. 

The chunky legs of Columbian dolls are charming,
and are reminiscent of toddlers. 

Enjoy the rest of the pictures of this sweet doll. 

Topsy Turvy Dolls

Some members of the Maida Dolls Group have been working on Topsy Turvy Dolls.  This was prompted by the invitation hosted by Art Dolls Quarterly.   Visit the Maida Dolls group to see what they're up to, and be inspired by the images of this lovely antique doll I saw at the 2010 Withington's doll auction.  ~ Dixie

MAIDA Dolls Group Featured
in Autumn 2012 Prims Magazine

The Maida Dolls Group's Storybook Character Challenge was featured in the Autumn 2012 of Prims Magazine. There are some great dolls featured individually, so be sure to order your copy at the link below:

Tasha Tudor Dolls?

If you like all things Tasha Tudor, you will want to visit Edyth's blog to see the lovely handmade dolls thought to be made by Tasha Tudor herself.

Incredible Vintage Wooden 1950's Hitty Doll
with Accessories and Tasha Tudor Letters

Yesterday I went to Lucy's Doll House for my "spring trip".   I usually try to get down once a season, but my spring trip is my favorite because I get to see what's new in the shop.  Sue said she had a special doll to share, and boy did she! Yesterday, when I walked into the back room to see this amazing vintage wooden carved Hitty doll from 1954, my jaw dropped.

Those of you who love the original Hitty will love this grouping of items and the story of how this doll and her accessories came to be made.  The lot is filled with so many points of interest, from the doll itself, to the wardrobe, to a hooked rug, the furniture to the scrapbook and letters from Tasha Tudor included in the scrapbook. Her necklace of pearls and coral was made by Shreve's in Boston.  I was a little overwhelmed at how to document the group, to be truthful.  I want to go back and visit it again, if it's still there.   

The scrapbook that came with the doll tells the story of the doll's making as well as the wardrobe and furniture that are with her.

Heather, the little girl for whom the doll was made, had read her mama's Hitty book, and longed for a Hitty of her own.  Her parents had a local eagle carver named William "Bill" Montville make Heather a Hitty doll. Here are rough videos I took showing the doll and collection of clothing and furniture.  I have a lot to learn about using my iPad for videos! But still, you will enjoy seeing this doll move.   

The clothing with this doll is astounding - all made by Alice Wainwright, the maker of Polly Shorrock dolls.  Lucy's has a group of Polly Shorreck dolls that were also owned by the little girl Heather. 

 The clothing was made from the descriptions in the book.  
Here is the skirt to Hitty's wedding dress. 

What a wedding dress Alice Wainwright made for Hitty!

Below is the typed history of how the furniture was made by Heather's father in his basement workshop, and what each piece was made from.   

Here's a video showing the accessories in this grouping.  The video makes it looks like Hitty's head is moving.  It is not.  My camera skills are sadly lacking, and the poor iPad was trying to refocus constantly while I was moving it around.  Sorry about that!  But still, you get an idea of the collectionof the doll's accessories and the clothing. 

In the video I state all the furniture is made from mahogony, 
but that is incorrect.  The cradle is made from mahogany. 

Here are some additional pictures of accessories:

I believe these small letters may be "Sparrow letters" 
written by Tasha Tudor  from Tasha's dolls to Heather's dolls. 
The scrapbook has some pictures of one of Tasha Tudor's dolls. 


Small eagle carved by William Montville aka
"Bill" Montville of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who also carved the doll.

There is so much here to delight the viewer in this collection. This special group reflects the creation of a one of a kind group of treasures, a family's imagination and the joys of a simpler time.  

Many thanks to Lucy's Doll House for allowing Maida Today 
to share this wonderful group of treasures.