When I was a little girl I hated dolls. Instead I loved to play with my stuffed animal collections. I remember someone had given me a newer reproduction china head doll with a baby buggy. I hated the doll even though I thanked the gift giver. Instead of proudly dressing and caring for my baby doll I left it in my toy box, unloved and ignored. However, I used the baby carriage to tow around my stuffed animals.
One day I was pushing my baby buggy down the block when an elderly lady came over to me and said "can I see your baby?". I lifted up the blanket and she screamed when she saw it was a very hairy Chewbacca doll from Star Wars.
Years have gone by and I have grown to love antiques. What I like most about antiques is they all seem to have a mysterious past.
One day while browsing on ebay I happended to come across an antique bisque head doll on auction. I suddenly fell in love with her blue blown glass eyes and open mouth with a toothy pensive grin. I bid on her not knowing anything about her. I had no idea what her value was and how much to bid. I ended up losing the auction to someone with much deeper pockets. I felt bummed out and decided I must have flipped my lid because after all I hated dolls.
The next thing I knew a very affordable Armand Marseille 370 doll was on her way to my home courtesy of a nice ebay seller. When she arrived I was not sure if I would like her. I took her out of the box and I was overjoyed. She had her original dress, shoes, socks, undergarments and wig. My husband said she looked like an evil doll with sharp teeth and named her "Chucky". I didn't listen to him and then it happened. I got bitten by the doll bug. Since then I cannot get enough dolls.
I do have my likes and dislikes. I love the antique German and French bisque head ones with blown glass eyes. I do not like newer or mass produced modern dolls. For some reason I cannot accept them because I like dolls with a sense of history.
I really feel what may have drawn me to collecting these old dolls were that they were once loved a very long time by a small child. Many times when I add a new antique doll to my collection I wonder a lot about her first owner. What was her name? Did she live a long happy life? Was she passed down to relatives of the original owner? Was this doll cherished and loved? Did the original owner enjoy her?
Antique dolls are a view into a time that was much simpler. It was a time people really valued things much more. They put blood, sweat and tears into everything they did. I really respect the workmanship of long ago. Everything was made with pride and is very different than today, which overly mass produces everything.
Who knows, maybe one day a hundred years from now someone will cherish my old ragged Chewbacca doll and wonder about me.
When I look into the eyes of my antique dolls I see this: beauty, culture, art, & history. These dolls were crafted so well many have survived hundreds of years. They are a looking glass into the past.