Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Thursday, September 23, 2021

2021 Asian Lantern Festival - Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

I still have a couple of short doll show related posts to write up, but until I get everything set for those, here are some pictures of the Asian Lantern Festival this year. If you want to see my pics from 2019, go here.

This beautiful butterfly display was near the front entrance. The colors on the bigger butterflies were constantly changing, and the small butterflies' wings were moving.

There was a lot of color changes and movement going on this year.

That was at the entrance. After you came in, you could go through this beautiful tunnel of wisteria.

There were some lights shaped like different animals. They were pretty, but I didn't find them as interesting as other displays.

Ju-Ting came along to be my doll model. Since we only went through the zoo in the dark this year, it was hard to get pictures without her being too backlit. Here she is underneath a morning glory lantern.

Here she is in a walkway lit up on each side by red and white lanterns. The breeze was blowing her hair in the first picture, and I like the effect.

This year there were moving light effects on the ground.

And this peacock display was magnificent.

It was another enjoyable trip!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Doll Show Buys - Furniture

I picked up three pieces of furniture at the doll show, all at good prices. Let's start with the least interesting. It's an miniature old-fashioned icebox, a predecessor to the refrigerator. I got it for $5, but it's in worse shape than I thought when I first looked at it at the show. I might just use it as a sort of model for making my own icebox. I'd like one that could work with other scales, like 1/6, or mini Samantha's scale. She is in the photo because the icebox is from her era, but I think it's a little on the small size even for Madeline, judging by a real icebox that I saw at an antique store back in June.

Next is a chair. It's a bit large for most of the dolls in my collection, but I bought it because it was only $3! Samantha can sit on it, or it looks okay for posing one of my Pullip dolls.

Lastly, the best find of all, Samantha's Pleasant Company washstand, which I bought for only $25. I discovered that it is missing the drawer pulls for the drawer, but otherwise it is in fine condition. In my Pleasant Company catalogs from the 90s, the washstand would have cost you $38. There was also a "nighttime necessities" set for sale, which included a towel, a mini version of the book The Wizard of Oz, and a washbowl and pitcher. I bought the washbowl and pitcher secondhand years ago. The towel and book would be very easy to make myself. The drawer and doors of the washstand open.

Now I want to get another dust-free storage cabinet, so I can display Samantha with her furniture. I also have her bed new in box, although not original Pleasant Company, and a knock-off version of her school desk. It would be nice to have her out with her bed and washstand.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Doll Show Buys - Vintage Items

If you looked at the pictures that I took at the doll show I attended, you'll notice that there were lots of antique dolls, from the 1860s into the early 1900s. If you want to sew them new clothes, there's nothing better to use as a reference than antique items like the Delineator magazine.

The Delineator was a publication created by the Butterick Publishing Co., to highlight its sewing patterns. Unlike the magazines or catalogs that you see in stores that carry sewing patterns today, however, The Delineator gave detailed descriptions of fabrics and trims that you could use to make up the patterns, which are a boon to the sewer of today who wants to learn about authentic historic sewing. There was also a serial story, articles on subjects of interest to the women of the time, and some patterns for needle arts items.

Dresses for ladies:

For misses and girls:

Among the crafting patterns were these for a crocheted wheel and "mould-crochet" edging.

The magazine that I found at the doll show was the October 1894 edition. I was afraid I already owned it, but I didn't want to take a chance of missing out if I didn't, so I bought it. Turns out that I do own the Thanksgiving 1894 edition, but I'm fine with that. I did get the seller to take $5 off the price, and I'm glad that I did. I don't know if he didn't know better or what, but he implied that there were doll patterns in the book. There aren't, which I already knew, fortunately for me. There are drawings of people wearing items you could make up with their sewing patterns, but no actual pattern pieces are pictured. I couldn't even find anything about dolls in the magazine, in the quick glance that I gave through the index. Maybe the seller was confused by the images of patterns for girls. I'm interested in fashion in this era for its own sake, so I do own some antique fashion magazines and photos. I'm going to have to make up a list of which issues I do own, so I don't take a chance on double buying again.

While this Delineator is in great shape (considering it's over 125 years old!) I am wondering if I should carefully take the magazine apart so it can be scanned. The binding is already worn out around the bottom of the magazine, and any looks I take throughout will just loosen the binding more. On the other hand, is it okay to take apart a genuine antique piece of ephemera (something made of paper that was meant to be discarded but is now a collectible)?

Butterick is still a sewing pattern company today, although it and the other "big 4" sewing pattern companies, Simplicity, Vogue and McCall's, have been owned as a group for a while, and were sold together last year to a company in the UK, according to my research. 

There were also a lot of antique photos. Many of them were of little girls with their dolls, which was not surprising, but again, there were ones as well simply of people wearing the fashions of the times. Most of the antique photographs (or tintypes, daguerreotypes, or whatever) were too expensive for me, but I did get the collage photo below for $5, framed.

Although this could be two sisters, I get the sense it was two friends at the photography studio together. When I took it out of the frame to scan it, I was irked to see that the cardboard backing had been cut up so the photo could be put into a smaller frame. I'm putting this print at about 1902-1903, and I'm guessing the girl standing on the right is a year or so older, judging by the length of their skirts.

Is there another era in time that you think your dolls should represent? Did you or have you thought about collecting books, paintings, photos or other vintage and antique items to learn more about your chosen time period?