Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Doll of the Week: One

I thought I would start a little "column" on my blog that would showcase my doll collection week by week. I have been collecting dolls since I was six years old with my first Ginny Dutch doll. Since I turn fifty next week (yikes.. can hardly believe it!) and still play with dolls, I guess that collection was the start of a very good thing!

I know a mother is not supposed to have favorites but this is definitely one of mine. I named her Marta (after the littlest girl in "The Sound of Music"). I acquired her from a friend who was visiting Saltzburg, Austria. I have never been but it is a dream of mine to go someday. I asked her to try and find me a unique handmade doll and was I thrilled with her find! She found this family of dollmakers on a side street in the city. I still don't know their name- the doll has the initials B.E.R. written on the back of her neck but that's it. She didn't come with any tags what-so-ever. I think I paid around $200 for her (around 1985) and that was a lot of money for me to spend at the time. Now I wish I had bought two!

A close-up of Marta's beautiful face and blue eyes. Her head is made from a very heavy clay type substance and has lovely handpainted details. Because her head is so heavy, she sits a little hunched over but we can forgive her bad posture.
Her body is softly stuffed cotton stockinette and her clothes are made from old fabrics and lace.

I know this is undignified but I wanted you to see her hand knit underwear and cami.. it gets cold over there in the Austrian Alps!

Her hair is made from flax and styled in a traditional Austrian braid on the side of her head.

Old millinery flowers
and an old wide silk ribbon on her straw hat.

Handmade leather shoes and hand knit stockings.

This will be a great way of documenting my collection and telling a little story about each one, which is something I have been meaning to do for some time but it seemed a little overwhelming. If I approach it week by week, it will be fun. Sadly, most of my dolls are boxed away and have been for most of their dolly life. I have never had a proper space to display them all. I don't know if I would want to display them all at once anyhow. This way they can come out of their box to have their fifteen minutes of fame on my blog!

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