Dolls are a very popular passion for collectors and for a good reason: they are beautiful and charming as well as nostalgic for their connection to peoples' childhoods. Listing and finding dolls can be easier due to their brand names and/or their style which helps to identify the type. Cabbage Patch dolls instantly recalls memories of shortages when every kid wanted one for Christmas.
However, when the term apple head doll or apple doll is mentioned, the aforementioned brand names are absent. Most are hand made and unique. The approach of the dollmaker to the doll is what makes the doll remarkable.
My mother Mary C, Winsheimer became fascinated with the method and the niche in the 1970's. She researched the method and mastered the technique. As the number of apple head dolls-- many characters from Kermit the Frog to Pope Paul II-- rose, she soon needed an outlet for her craft. She gave away many to family and friends as gifts and sold many at fairs and craft shows.
As a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, Mary won a number of awards for the genre. The requirements were that the entire entry was handmade. Her art instruction training and her ability to sew were instrumental to her success.
Due to her success and notoriety, Kim Lemon from NBC affiliate WGAL-TV in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, journeyed to Pine Grove to film Mary's creation of a true apple head doll. The show was later aired on the channel and a feature article in the newspapers followed.
With each doll Mary included a tag that indicated that each was original. Inside the tag a note read: "The Seneca Indians are credited for the first Apple Dolls made in this country. Your doll is a contemporary doll-- my own techniques combined with traditional ideas. The heads are hand carved, and the props and clothing are made by hand. The doll should be kept under a plexiglas cover."
The end product represents hours of careful drying, shaping, painting and decorating the head. Then the body and other decorations are added. I have sold several dolls to both collectors and to individuals for gifts and they have been delighted.
Visit my eBay store Big Bopper's Books and Bounties and check out the category Apple Head Dolls and Toys to inspect the dolls and their charm.
Here's a CPA working at this desk. Must be tax time--again!
Take one home!