Saturday, February 13, 2021

Hello dollies

" It is a fine thing to preserve and pass on the dolls of the past. And the dolls in native costumes are worth handing down, too, for there may well be a day when native costumes are gone. As countries get divided up and passed around, as people fly all over the world, probably everyone will dress alike, more's the pity."
Gladys Taber
Stillmeadow Seasons 1950 

I have written a bit about Tom's parents moving out of their home into an independent living apartment here. The follow-up is that after a couple years, they moved again; this time into assisted living. They needed help with medications and other things. Last month his step-father died. It was the best death one could ask for. He essentially laid down and after a few days stopped breathing. He was 97. Tom's mother has moved into a smaller apartment in the same building. She's doing well.

One of the things we were given when they made the first move was her doll collection. I spent quite a long time three years ago documenting it in our iPhotos, and have been meaning to do a blog entry about them for all this time. His mother had them catalogued years ago, and I matched the picture of the doll and its place of origin in our pictures. 

I am so fond of this lady!







 




Look how tiny these are









And here are some pictures of them arranged on the shelves.



The family of dolls on the lowest shelf were played with by Hazel a lot for a couple years. She had this special voice and made up stories about them.



 Because there wasn't a doll from South Korea, I went online to buy one. She is taller so she gets a shelf all to herself

And these two are my very favorites. They are from Hungary. The expressions are so great.

And I love this woman!



 We are so, so happy to have these dolls. And someday, they will go to Hazel. I thought I might have prints made of the information and the dolls and put them in an album. 


33 comments:

  1. What a fantastic, mint collection Nan - lucky you. As I looked at the shelves, I thought "and the cats didn't try to knock these off yet?"

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    1. I do feel so lucky that we have them! We both get a lot of pleasure out of looking at them.
      And, believe it or not, the cats never go up on the shelves! Nor do they get on the kitchen counters! Unbelievable, isn't it?!

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  2. Wow, so many dolls! What a lovely post and marvellous they have all stayed together. Condolences to your husband on the loss of his step-dad, but a good passing indeed.

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    1. Yes, it is great that his mother kept them over all her years and many moves. She used to keep them in a set of glassed in shelves, but she doesn't have that any more.
      And thank you. He actually died a short time before what would have been their 17th anniversary.

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  3. Wow, that's quite a United Nations of dolls you have there! Well worth preserving.

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  4. Wow - that is an impressive collection! All dolls look beautifully kept and appreciated. Do Hazel‘s cousins play with them when they come visiting, too?
    The eay Tom‘s step father died really sounds like a gentle way to go, like just slipping out of life at the end of many years.

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    1. The boys actually don't, but mostly because they spend their time here playing with Hazel - usually at her house where there are toys! I should say "used to spend". We haven't seen them since November 1. It just seemed the best thing to do with all the kids in school and this seemingly unstoppable virus around.
      You expressed that last sentence beautifully.

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  5. What a lovely collection and so nice that they will go to Hazel.

    I have one baby doll which I was given when I was seven. She still has all her clothes, made by my mother, various aunties and even by me! Unfortunately, my daughter hates dolls, so she won't want her.

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    1. Oh, how wonderful! I still love dolls. I love it that yours had homemade clothes. I had a couple "Ginny" dolls, with some homemade clothes, and they now live at Hazel's house.
      Sorry your daughter doesn't want it, but I bet someone you know would love it!

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  6. What a marvelous collection. It is fun to see all the different types of costumes. It takes you back in time and gives a visual of types of dress from the past.

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    1. It really does, doesn't it. Margaret actually has a Korean dress, a han bok that Hazel has worn a few times.
      Some of the clothes really appeal to me - mostly the Eastern European outfits. They look comfortable.

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  7. How lovely these are and how well documented! If you have the energy, I think an album with pictures and copies of the labels is a great idea so they can be reassembled if necessary. I am sure your mother-in-law is glad they are still well displayed. I am 1/4 Hungarian so especially appreciate the dolls from Hungary. Are you familiar with The Good Master by Kate Seredy? It is set in Hungary before WWII and my mother read it to me when I was about Hazel's age. I think you would both enjoy it and the dolls would be a vivid illustration. My favorite part of the book is when the heroine wears historic costume for a special celebration.

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    1. I think Tom's mother actually paid someone to do all that cataloguing so all I had to do was photograph the tags with the dolls themselves. But it is a good idea to have a "hard copy" (is that the right term?) even though our computer has 3 backups!
      I haven't heard of the book but I will buy it right now! Thank you!!

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  8. What a marvelous collection, Nan! I especially love the dolls from Hungary and Italy. My grandparents used to travel quite a bit when my grandfather flew for Pan Am Airlines and my grandmother would always get a doll to give to me for my birthday or Christmas. My collection was no where near as large as yours, but I had at least a dozen or more from all over the world. Sadly, I no longer have them and I honestly don't remember when or why I decided to part with them. :(

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    1. I had dolls too as a child, on the shelves in my bedroom. Also ceramic horses!

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  9. What an amazing collection. At first I thought the numbers were the year she got the doll. Then realized it was the doll's number. That is a lot of dolls. Did she travel and purchase them in the countries depicted?

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    1. Maybe a couple, but no. I don't know how she got them.

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  10. What a wonderful collection! I think the doll from South Korea is one that I would most like to touch and to see up close. It's lovely.

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    1. It really is, though that outfit wouldn't be nearly as comfortable as, say, the Russian lady! When Hazel wore Margaret's han bok, she didn't want to keep it on for long! Itchy.

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  11. That is a wonderful doll collection and so beautifully displayed. You are lucky to have the room to display them. It is good to hear that your stepmother is still doing well.

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    1. I had to move a lot of books around to use those shelves!! I used to know where all my books were, but now they are scattered into bookcases in other rooms, and I still don't know where some of them are. I am beginning to make lists of what titles are where!

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    2. Tracy, she is Tom's mother. The man who died was his step-father.

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    3. Oh, right, I understood that when I was reading the post, then garbled it. Sorry about that.

      I have a cataloging system for my books, and still sometimes I cannot locate them.

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    4. No sorries! I just wanted to clarify.
      Is your system an online one, or just your own lists? I may not have as many as you do! We'll see how well I know where they are after I've got my lists. haha

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  12. What a wonderful collection and that's so neat that it was passed on to you and then you'll be able to pass it on as well. I love all the details on the dolls with the native costumes. And, I think they love perfect among all the books. Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. We do feel so lucky about these dolls! Thank you.

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  13. I love your inherited doll collection! What fun your mother-in-law must have had collecting them all. Did she personally visit the countries to purchase them? When I was a child, I had a small doll collection. Friends of our family would bring them to me from foreign lands. I wish I had some of them now. They were actually folk art as are yours. I also loved playing with my "grown-up" dolls and, like Hazel, I used different voices and played by myself for hours. I guess I still have a small collection of figures that one might call dolls. I love them, especially the Eccentrics made a few years ago by our talented friend Jenclair at https://bayouquilts.blogspot.com. Thanks for highlighting your collection in this post.

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    1. I really wish I knew more. Tom can ask her and see what she recalls.
      I had some dolls, too as a kid.
      I love the idea of your "Eccentrics". She is a talented woman!

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  14. What a treasure!! I actually have a doll similar to the two on the end of the shelf with the couple from Hungary. My Aunt worked with Seminoles in Florida and gave my mom a doll the women made. Their bodies are made from coconut husks and the clothing is so vibrant! Wish my mom were around to look at this collection!

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    1. One of them has a tag on it that says "Seminole Tribe of Florida". And I do think they are coconut husks. $3.95 in 1970. It also says Hollywood, Florida.
      Thank you so much for telling me this!!

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  15. What an heirloom! I wish I was 40 years younger: I'd start some sort of collection to pass on to granddaughter, inspired by this amazing group of dolls!

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    1. Why not start now! I remember hearing that Thomas Jefferson said that if he knew he would live as long as he did, he would have planted more trees! I think you have a brilliant idea.

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