Archive From 4/2022 Onward




December, 2023
One of our long time members gave a presentation on "Jouets Etrennes." We often give gifts during the holiday season to those who have provided professional services to us, including our teachers, mail carriers, hairstylists, and others. In France, these holiday gifts are called “les étrennes.” Traditionally, the word refers to gifts given to private and public workers (and sometimes small children) in the New Year. In recent years, however, French citizens start handing out these tokens of appreciation in December. This program focussed on the many wonderful dolls and toys that filled French gift catalogs from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Members participated by bringing along French dolls, dollhouses and furnishings, and doll accessories such as tea and dining sets, toilette sets, or other dolls or toys that might have been presented as a New Years gift in France.

November, 2023
Our program was given by special guest Andrew Bullock the Director of the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum. His talk featured some of the dolls in the Museum's collection. The presenter also discussed Native antiques and some of the materials and techniques used by Indigenous craftspeople. Beading techniques and types used in dress was also covered in the presentation. Mr. Bullock provided verbal identifications of dolls brought by members to the meeting. He also invited club members to visit the museum in the future and provided brochures and cloth bags with the museum logo to those in attendance. This was our first meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn in Waltham, MA.

October, 2023
Our October, 2023 program was titled "Cloth Dolls From Across the Sea." Susan Popp presented a program focusing on the work of cloth dollmakers outside of America. These included examples by Kathe Kruse, French cloth dolls, Nora Wellings, Shanklin dolls, Chinese cloth dolls, and others. This was a companion program to the one Susan presented in June of 2022 on American Cloth Dolls. Several members brought dolls from their own collections to share with the group. The meeting was held at the Casta Diva Restaurant in Northboro, Massachusetts.

September, 2023
Summer Finds is always a favorite program as members bring items obtained during the club’s summer hiatus to share. This year’s finds included antique, vintage and modern dolls. Included were All Bisque, French Bisque Heads, German Bisque Heads, All Bisque, China, Parian, Cloth, Hard Plastic, Vinyl, Wood, BJD’s and some “Barbie” movie-inspired items! Artists and manufactures were Bru, Jumeau, Simon and Halbig, French Cloth, Mattel, Alexander, Maru, Tonner, Elizabeth Cooper, Maggie Iacono, and Connie Tognoli, and the UFDC convention souvenir doll by Alicia and Charles Carver. Thank you to all who attended for sharing your “finds”. Reports about the UFDC convention in Bellevue, Washington were given by Liisa, Rosemary, and Diane. The meeting was held at the Casta Diva Restaurant in Northboro.

June, 2023
At our June meeting, our retiring officers (president, first vice president, second vice president and treasurer) presented their annual reports. S. Popp, chairman of the Nominating Committee, presented the slate of officers for the upcoming year. The slate was voted on and approved.

The program for June was an Introduction to Bru Dolls, presented by Liisa. This was a high level overview for those who are not intimately familiar with this ultimate collector’s dream doll, the Bru. It covered the history of the Bru firm through its various owners over the years from poupees to the bebes. Face styles, body types, markings and distinguishing costume features were covered along with reproductions by German firms and modern artists.

May, 2023
Fundraiser, Dolls of New England
This month was the club’s annual fundraiser. Our program consisted of a morning session of Doll Dialogs, presented by members and guests: Pam Berg, Roy Brindamour, Faith Hirsch, Ruth Kajunski, Betty Nett, Shelia Nugent, Sue Popp, Susan Rood and Linda Edward. Their topics included Twinky Dolls of Lynnfield MA, Artist Dolls by Roy Brindamour, Ginny Dolls of Medford, MA, Gail Wilson Dolls of NH, Irene Taylor Dolls of ME, Gertrude Rowlinson of Holyoke, MA and Tynie Toys of RI. Attendees had their choice of three dialogues they could attend and everyone found them fun and informative.

Lunch was a buffet with a choice of chicken or fish along with red velvet cake and tiramisu for dessert. Before the doll dialogues and during lunch, guests could purchase raffle tickets, or bid on silent auction and sealed bid items. The winners were announced after lunch.

The afternoon program session was a presentation on The Wooden Dolls of Springfield Vermont, researched and created by Ivamarie Rideout and presented in her memory by Sue Popp.

The favor for everyone was a doll show kit, consisting of a black light, magnifier card, tape measure, pen and notebook. The centerpieces were doll-sizes versions of games produced by New England Companies: Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley and Hasbro Toys. Everyone was able to take a game home!
                                       
April, 2023
The April meeting, presented by Susan R. was Creativity, Ingenuity, and Inspiration:  Tasha Tudor’s Love of Dolls. Susan gave us a look into Tasha’s life including her fascination with the 1830s. She was an illustrator and writer of children’s books and avid gardener. She illustrated not only books but greeting cards as well. She loved dolls and one of her most popular books, A is for Annabelle, was designed to teach children the alphabet by looking through of Annabelle the doll’s belongs in her trunk. Susan also provided a wonderful display of Tasha Tudor books, dolls and greeting cards. The program concluded with show and tell of Tasha Tudor themed dolls and dolls dressed in 1830’s fashions dolls. Thank you Susan, Rosemary, Julie and Diane for sharing dolls from your collection.

March, 2023
The March meeting was an overview of the history of the Zwergnase handmade German dolls by artist Nicole Marschollek Menzner. Marschollek dolls combine the longstanding tradition of toy-making in the Sonneberg region with innovation and artistic individuality. Born in Rauenstein, near Sonneberg, Nicole was always fascinated by all the wonderful things that were manufactured in the area and this is often revealed in her work. The dolls have been made for over twenty years now and are very collectable around the world. There are two lines of dolls: artist and junior. The artist dolls are larger and have a vinyl head, cloth body, glass eyes, and wigs with human or mohair wigs which are removable. The junior dolls are all vinyl and the wigs are synthetic and are suitable for children to play with. The facial expressions on both lines of dolls reflect a “snapshot” of a child. The program concluded with a show and tell of Zwergnase, Himstedt, and Gotz dolls. Thank you to everyone who shared dolls from your collection.
 
February, 2023
Our meeting was held on Zoom and our speakers were Christopher Bensch, VP for Collections and Chief Curator, and Michelle Parnett-Dwyer, Curator of the Strong Museum of Rochester, NY. Their program was: All Dolled Up: Building an Exceptional Experience at The Strong Museum and Expanding an Outstanding Doll Collection. Here is a summary of what they shared with us:

"Throughout the more than 40 years it has been open to the public, The Strong National Museum of Play has always worked to engage, educate, and delight its visitors. Now the museum is in the final phase of constructing a 90,000 square foot expansion, increasing its already sizable building by almost a third and enhancing its offerings to be even more dynamic and magnetic. When the expansion opens at the end of June 2023, audience projections predict attendance reaching almost a million people a year—considerably above the 600,000 it attracted in 2019. This presentation will provide a sneak peek into these exciting developments. More specifically, we’ll also give you a look at The Strong’s world class doll collection, one of the gems of its holdings. With a foundation in stellar dolls of the 19thcentury, the collection continues to grow and diversify, representing the heritage of dolls over the decades and illustrating the latest developments. And, in the next several years, the museum’s exhibit schedule will include several special exhibitions on dolls. By the time we’re through, we hope that you’ll be eager to plan your next excursion to Rochester."

January, 2023
The January meeting of DSCB was held on Zoom. There was a good turnout to hear Carol C. present her program on the Wonderful World of Woodens.

The program began with English Woodens beginning around 1690 to 1830. The dolls were mostly made from fruit woods with some from pine and oak. The program detailed the dolls’ construction as well as their costuming. The costumes especially help with dating the dolls. In the late 18th century to the early 20th century, other countries started competing with England. These include Northern Italy/Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and France. The first wooden “dolls” were mannequins. The first “dolls” were actually religious figures and may have had a cage like construction instead of legs. As portrait dolls emerged, one could tell the difference between the shoes by the hands and especially the feet. Religious figures had stumps for feet where portrait dolls had shoes. By 1823, villages in Germany were mass producing these wooden dolls and England could no longer compete.

The program also showed ancient paddle dolls found in Egyptian tombs along with 2nd century AD dolls that looked like wood but were actually ivory located in Roman sarcophaguses. Stump dolls were made during the Elizabethan period where the dolls did not have carved legs. Other sources of early dolls were paintings which showed children holding dolls of that time period, which gave a clue as to age and style of the doll. During the time of Louis XVI, there was a series of French Royal Court dolls. Russia made dolls of a triangular shape that were brightly painted as well as “nesting” dolls. From 1843 – 1885 Springfield Wooden dolls from Vermont, USA were made and the hands and feet were made from pewter. There were examples of the popular Schoenhut dolls from 1911 to the 1930’s, considered to be an all wood perfection art doll.

The program concluded with Show and Tell. Thank you Rosemary, Joyce, Mary Lou, Sue, and Debbie for sharing some of the wooden dolls from your collection.


December 2022
The December meeting of DSCB brought the usual holiday spirit with decorated tables, a festive mini-auction, and our annual holiday vignette competition. The meeting program was titled Holiday Stories and was presented by Rosemary. She highlighted winter holiday stores that featured dolls and included celebrations including Christmas, Hanukkah, Saint Lucia, Kwanza, The Legend of the Poinsettia, Luna New Year, and Diwali. A favorite example was the Christmas chapters from Little Women, which had been made into a book, A Little Women Christmas Story. This tale featured the dolls dressed in their Christmas dresses. Others fan favorites included A Nancy Drew Christmas Mystery, A Gift From the Lonely Doll, and The Nutcracker.

This year, members brought in eight vignette entries. All were very detailed and reflected the holiday theme. As part of the Show and Tell portion of the meeting, the member who created each vignette explained their theme and the materials use to create them. Attending members voted for their favorites and prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

November, 2022
This month, members shared some of their favorite dolls, highlighted by key speaker Penny, with a program which focused on some of her favorites: Native American, Russians, Frozen Charlottes and Charlies, and All Bisque. Penny provided a variety of samples in each category along with technical details about each of the dolls as well as explaining how they were acquired. There was also a display of some of the dolls that were in her program.

For the Show and Tell part of the meeting, members brought samples from their collections representing some of their favorites and shared stories of what made them so special. Some were rare, the first doll they purchased of a series, or a doll that best represented what they enjoyed collecting the most.
 
Lia, image from Ruby Lane 
October, 2022
Maria, Kristen, and Ellen - all members of DSCB - presented a delightful program on Ruby Red Galleria dolls along with a large display of dolls beginning with Ten Ping, the first doll launched by the company in 2008. Ten Ping is based on the owner, Ruby Ho, and her life as a child in Shanghai. Ruby had been working in the doll industry for decades and finally decided to create her own company. In addition to making dolls, Ruby Red also makes accessories, including doll fashions and wigs. The doll Lia, from the In Motion line, was the UFDC banquet souvenir doll at the 2018 Convention.

Fashion Friends is the latest addition to the Ruby Red umbrella. They are 14" play dolls dressed in the latest fashions trends and fads. They began in 2019. Dianna Effner created the doll sculpts and Melody Young designed the outfits. In October of the same year, the first three dolls were launched: Bella, Sara, and Hanna. The dolls are 14" tall and have 9 joints. They were a huge hit. Initially planned for America and Australia, they were first released in France and Europe. The line has expanded to include not just line dolls, but limited editions, usually 3 a month, and exclusives. In 2020, Kayla, Maya, Stella, and Lila were added. In 2021 a smaller version of the doll was introduced, Siblies, the sisters and brother of the Fashion Friends.

Many of the dolls from the original Ruby Red Galleria to the Siblies, and dolls created from a children’s design contest, were on display for members to ask about and admire. Clearly, Maria, Kristen, and Ellen are already huge fans.

September, 2022
For September, we held our annual Summer Finds program. This is always a favorite program as members bring items obtained during the club’s summer hiatus to share. This year’s finds included antique, vintage, and modern dolls. Included were All Bisque, French Bisque Heads, German Bisque Heads, All Bisque, China, Parian, Cloth, Hard Plastic, Vinyl, Wood and BJDs. Artists and manufactures were Bru, Jumeau, Simon and Halbig, French Cloth, Kestner, Ideal, Mattel, Alexander, Maru, Tonner, Jennie Sykes, Maggie Iacono, Irene Taylor, Connie Lowe, Steiff, Kish, and Native American. Thank you Lisa, Sue, Laurie, Debbie, Cheryl, Carol, Ruth, Roy, Joanie, Kristen, Diane, Rosemary, Sheila, Susan, Julie, Rebekah, Joyce, Michelle, Faith, and Barbara for sharing your “finds.”

June, 2022
Our very own Sue Popp gave a dynamic talk on the history of cloth dolls made in America. She brought an extensive display from her personal collection and shared the stories behind each of these antique to vintage to modern treasures. Highlights included dolls by Martha Chase, WPA dolls, Izannah Walker, Babyland Rag, Norah Wellings, and Kamkins. For show and tell, members brought along a beloved (or favorite, or both) cloth doll from their collection.

May, 2022
This month was the club’s annual fundraiser. The program was all about dollhouses and the special presenter was Marion Maus-Greer, Past President of the National Antique Doll Dealers Association. The program was presented in two parts: the history of dollhouses and collector’s dollhouses. The centerpieces for the tables were small dollhouses with paper furniture made from dollhouse kits by the club members. Favors for attendees included dollhouse furniture donated by club member Ruth Kajunski and paper dolls of an 1890’s dollhouse family designed by paper doll artist Diana Vining. The other activities includes a raffle, a silent auction, and a drawing for the dollhouse centerpieces. All items were sold!


April, 2022
Our speaker shared a comprehensive program on the history of automatons - mechanical dolls, animals, and objects that move via complex internal wind up mechanisms.

“The Automaton, neither purely a toy nor object d’art but partaking of the qualities of both, embodies in a wonderfully immediate fashion, the artistic and cultural atmosphere of the time” Christian Bailly, author of Automata the Golden Age 1848 – 1914.

Automata began to appear in Europe in the 14th century in monumental cathedral clocks. Very few remain but some still can be seen at San Marco’s in Venice and in the astronomical clock in Strasbourg. In the 18th century, a new type of automation began, the android. The makers of these androids included Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaquet-Droz and Maillaedet: they produced very few in their lifetime and the few that exist today are in museums. The principal makers of Automata from the golden age were Théroude, Bontems, Vichy, Roullet & Decamps, Phalibois, Lambert, Renou And Zinner and Söhn, plus the Autoperipatetikos. The speaker shared numerous examples of these automatons via photographs, videos, and examples from his own collection.






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