A Doll Collectors Biography
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...How, Where and Why in the Wonderful World of Dolls My collectors biography is based upon a love of dolls. For me it started when I was a child. Moving often, starting many new schools, dolls were sometimes my only companions. Reaching adulthood...they were temporarily lost and forgotten. A visit to a desolate ghost town in the barren desert of Nevada in 1969 rekindled my affection for dolls. Only by now, of course, they were "old dolls". In an old house built with bottles...a little old lady, very weathered from the elements...placed in my hand a small bisque doll which I readily purchased and carried tenderly throughout the return trip home by car. HA!...you thought I was going to say covered wagon, didn't you!
A day later I purchased my very first book about old dolls...actually it was the only one available on the market at that time...and it is still one of the very best reference books you can acquire. The Collector's Encyclopedia of Dolls (1968 Edition) by Dorothy, Elizabeth and Evelyn Coleman. A five pound book worth its weight in gold. I read...and reread the multitude of information and pined for the images pictured in the book.
Now that I had the "wish book"...where was I to find more?
We did have a local swap meet. That is where I started the addictive treasure hunt. The search at antique shops did not yield any little bodies for adoption... but they did offer information leading me to the "Antique Trader"...at that time the only way to purchase dolls by mail.
Discovery through the local garage sale ads led me the the local doll president who sold "old dolls". This catapulted me into the first stages of doll collecting.
The first year was a disaster. Advice given by my new doll friend had soon created a very unhappy, confused collector. Wanting to "adopt" with a passion... hindered by warnings and criticism. Every precious "find" that I took to the expert collector was dismissed as undesirable and valueless as it may have had some slight flaw.
Three hundred miles from home I located the doll of all beginning collectors dreams... a 30" Jumeau. In a secluded doll shop...she stood on the top shelf...begging to be taken home. She had a small chip on the lobe of her ear. The constant warnings from the expert had created doubt...so I left her on the counter and drove home to seek support for the purchase I felt I had to make anyway.
I was told "never purchase a damaged doll, the doll is worthless". Not what I had wanted to hear...all I could hear was the call of the homeless doll. Three days later, I drove the 300 miles again... cash in hand...to bring the precious doll home...only to find she had been purchased two days before...by my confidante and adviser.
Disillusioned, this could have been the end of collecting ...even before the start...as doll collecting was indeed not pleasurable.
This sequence of events has only been related as a prelude to the brief encounter which permanently altered and redirected my collecting of dolls.
"A pivotal point"
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