Doll Books

I haven't really been in the mood for chatting lately, hence the long absence from posting. However, thanks to an email from a friend over the weekend, I am feeling much brighter, so I decided to share some recent purchases.

These books are coming from the USA so I shan't be expecting to receive them anytime soon, as most of my parcels have been taking well over a month to arrive from overseas.

The first book "A Closetful of Doll Clothes" is written by Rosemarie Ionker. In it she shares her techniques for creating an entire wardrobe of dresses, pinafores, coats and underclothing from a few basic patterns, which are adjustable for dolls ranging from 11.5 to 20 inches.

The second book, "Helen Kish: The Artist and Her Dolls" by Louise Fecher, documents in full colour the extensive variety of Helen's creations, from her earliest porcelains in the late 1970's to the popular vinyl Riley and friends.

Ms. Fecher has also written a biography of the charismatic artist, based on extensive interviews, which is accompanied by never-before-seen personal photographs and examples of her early artwork. This beautiful book is the definitive illustrated guide to Helen's first three decades of work.

I've admired Helen's work for some years and have three of her dolls in my own collection . . . 12" Flora (LE 1997), 7" Fiesta Blue Riley (2005) and 7" Concert Zsu Zse (2006).

Next is a book, or perhaps I should say a catalogue, which features a wide range of beautiful Madame Alexander dolls from the Martha Hester Collection which was auctioned by Theriault's in January, 2009.

Complied by Florence Theriault, it's hundred pages include photographs of dolls which appear just as they were made over a half century ago. These rare beauties are all dressed in costumes designed by Madame herself, each one finished to perfection with ribbons, lace and silk flowers.

Values, which include the amount each doll was expected to reach at auction and that which was actually realised, are also shown.

My own M.A. collection includes two later editions, a "Romantic Dreams" Cissy (2000 Ltd.Ed. Couture Collection) and a 10 inch "Millenium Masquerade" Cissette (1999 Special Edition).

The final book, "Tonner: Twenty Years of Fashion and Design" by Pat Henry, who is well known within the doll collecting community as the creator and editor in chief of one of the industry's top doll publications, "Fashion Doll Quarterly", gives us and inside peek at Tonner's design studio and the former Tonner Doll Company.

Robert Tonner, as most of us know, has been one of the most foremost doll designers in the world. For twenty years he continued to challenge himself and innovate and I am delighted to finally find this book to see how his creations all come together.

Over the past eighteen months I have been so lucky to find a wonderful selection of his dolls . . .  a Tiny Betsy McCall, two Tonner/Effanbee Patsy's (a 2013 Basic #5 and a 2015 "Lacy Summer Day"), a "Bridal Bliss" Sindy, a "Want To Dance" Agatha Primrose, and two Tiny Kitty Colliers (a 2004 Basic Redhead and a 2003 Evening Gala). Each one has been a delight, so beautifully made and dressed I haven't had the heart to re-dress them, apart from the Basic Redhead which is now wearing another of Robert's stylish outfits in the photo below.


Well that's it for today my lovelies, I hope you are all feeling well and are happily enjoying your dolls.

Comments


  1. Hello Xanadu
    What more interesting books and how good you have so many, the one I liked the most is A Closetful of Doll Clothes, I find it fabulous to have such a book, which allows you to make clothes for your own dolls, I hope to see the clothes you make.
    Kisses

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    1. Hi Maribel,
      I have lots of doll books and enjoy reading them all. The first book will certainly make my sewing life easier, sometimes I find drafting my own patterns rather tedious. However, I am more interested in learning about how doll artists find their inspiration. :)
      Big hugs,
      X

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  2. Hi Sandi, thanks for your message. I'm not sure what I said in the deleted comment, but it's great to hear from you. :) Have fun reading all these beautiful books! The Tonner book is on my wish list and I love the doll on the cover. Stay safe! Big hugs

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    1. Hi Linda,
      I was so annoyed with myself for doing that, I really think I need new glasses!! You mentioned wanting the Helen Kish doll designed by Robert Toner, I do hope you find her one day, they are very hard to come by.

      I will certainly enjoy all these books, they will help pass the time while we cope with this second lock down. I purchased them from a really lovely lady on eBay, she was so accommodating with organising my bulk shipment.

      The Tonner book is available here: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Tonner-Two-Decades-of-Fashion-Design-BOOK-Pat-Henry-NEW/223591966540?hash=item340f1ea74c:g:yZkAAOSwWm5dMK3n

      Big hugs,
      X

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    2. No problem, such things happen to me too, I managed to delete several posts from my old blog, by transferring them wrongly, along with a comment from a new reader! Luckily she reacted again on my new blog address. :) Thanks for the link! I'll check it out. The Helen Kish doll is indeed rarely for sale, but I have patience. :D

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  3. Interesting collection, X ­čśŹ I'm more of the recent-doll collector so I find these classic rare ones fascinating that I wanted to create my own version of them, based on the culture I grew up in. Thanks so much for sharing your new additions - sparked so much inspiration for me ❤️

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    1. Thanks Sasha, I'm pleased it sparked your inspiration, we can always do with a little extra inspiration now and then. :)
      Big hugs,
      X

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  4. The books headed your way all look interesting. I have Fashion Doll Clothing by Rosemary Ionker, but I haven't been "playing" with my 16" dolls lately. I don't have any of the dolls that the other books are made for, but I hope you'll let us know how your sewing turns out. Your Kitty looks stunning in the purple outfit.

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    1. I think I will enjoy reading all of these Barb. I haven't bought as many books this year as I would have liked and these were too good to pass up on. I find winter is a good time for reading, so I can see myself settling down in front of the fire, nose in book and quite content. :)

      I haven't purchased any Rosemarie Ionker books before, so I am looking forward to seeing what she has to offer in the way of inspiration.

      Thank you, I lover my red haired Tiny Kitty and have another which I will share soon.
      Big hugs,
      X

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  5. Hola Xanadu, me encantan los libros sobre mu├▒ecas, me parecen interesantes y preciosos porque normalmente est├ín bellamente ilustrados con buenas fotograf├şas. Me gustan todos los que nos ense├▒as, porque tanto Robert Tonner, como Helen kish y Madame Alexander son creadores de mu├▒ecas a los que admiro especialmente. Lamentablemente, estos libros no est├ín en mi idioma.
    Seguro que te proporcionarán muchos momentos de diversión.
    Besos.

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    1. Hola ilona
      ¡Oh, yo tambi├ęn! Leer├ę todo lo que se relacione con las mu├▒ecas, ya sea sobre su historia, su fabricante o sus disfraces, no importa, siempre los disfruto. Tienes raz├│n en que est├ín bellamente ilustrados, lo cual es igual de bueno. . . Dicen que una imagen vale m├ís que mil palabras, por lo que incluso cuando los libros est├ín en otro idioma, pueden ser interesantes e inspiradores.
      Estoy seguro de que lo harán. :).
      Grandes abrazos,
      X

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  6. Ooh, those are some really wonderful books! I'm sure they will be very interesting, and the pictures inside will be gorgeous! I recently bough book about Ruth Handler - sadly, no Barbie illustrations ;).

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    1. Thank you Chiriann, I'm sure they will too. How disappointed you must have been, I thought all doll books had pictures of some sort.
      Big hugs,
      X

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  7. Those are some interesting books you found. The one about doll clothes making seems pretty interesting, despite that, judging by the cover, the clothes don't seem to be my style. I love the idea of being able to make several designs by altering a basic pattern. The one about Tonner seems interesting too. Their dolls are beautiful, even though I don't currently collect them.

    Take as much time off as you need. Sometimes we need a break from blogging, and it's better to come back when you feel like doing so than forcing yourself to post when you're not enjoying it. You will be missed though.

    Take care.

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    1. The one thing about clothing patterns is they can easily be adapted to suit any era, you just need a little imagination. :) Tonner dolls seem to be going through a resurgence at present, there are a number of doll collectors who missed out on purchasing them when they were first released who are keen to get their hands on them . . . me for one! LOL!

      I'm still here in the wings MC, so I'm not going to disappear completely, just sometimes I hibernate for a little while. :)
      Big hugs,
      X

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  8. Lovely set of books. So far I have borrowed some books for the library, when in need. Mostly with history about specific dolls and some patterns for just those dollies. When I was a kid, I could get some pages from the magazines my mum or her lady-friends had, with Barbies and clothes. But during those time, it was mostly paper dolls. Well, anyway. The final book would be lovely to own! :) Hugs!

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    1. Thank you Niina, I just can hardly wait to get my hot little hands on them. :) We don't have many doll books in our municipal library, I actually have more in my own. I'm almost as addicted books as I am about dolls and teddy bears. LOL!

      The Tonner book is available on eBay!
      Big hugs,
      X

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  9. I've seen that first book around when I was looking for books for dolls. It sounds quite interesting and oh my gosh, you got the Tonner book! That is neat. I tried to find that in Australia and someone was selling it but it was very very expensive so I didn't end up getting it. I've been curious about Robert Tonner as I really love his dolls. It's sad I came to the Tonner dolls so late but that seems to be what happens with me.

    I think the weather too is making us all withdraw a little bit and just not be around as much. I know I've watched way too much Netflix lately myself but it's nice to immerse myself and get away from everything happening in the news lately here.

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    1. If you see it again, buy it! Oh me too, as I said to MC there are a lot of us who missed out when he had his website up and running, that are keen to get their hands on his dolls now. We in Oz are often kept in the dark about some of the dolls that are available in the USA and Europe.

      I agree, and now we have Stage 4 restrictions and a curfew, I feel like ankle bracelets for those selfish, ill informed people who continually put others at risk by not following ALL the restrictions, would be a great idea!!

      Coco was booked to be groomed tomorrow, but because his groomer is outside the 5k radius, I've had to cancel and he really needs a trim badly . . . my poor pooch! :(
      Big hugs,
      X

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  10. Those books all seem very interesting, specially the Tonner dolls one. Hope you enjoy them very much and maybe tell us what you thought about them once you read/work with them.
    I've been reading a lot in my kindle, but I never thought of looking up if there was any doll books in it, I might have to look into that.

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    1. Hi Alejandra,
      I'm sure I shall, especially the Tonner book. I'm still waiting on them to arrive and getting a little anxious as shipping is so slow at present. I will share once I have had a chance to read them. :)
      I'm not a real fan of reading books on the screen, I much prefer the feeling of a book in my hand where I can literally turn the pages, but I know for some it suits them. I'm sure there will be doll books available on kindle, let us know what you find. :)
      Big hugs,
      X

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  11. Amazing books! First one and the last are most intresting for me. I hope they will arrive as soon as possible. :)
    I had no idea that Betsy McCall is made by Tonner! OMG, I have one! :)

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    1. I knew the first would interest you Joanna, being a keen seamstress yourself. :) I am trying to be patient, but I cannot help checking the tracking everyday to see how close I am to receiving them . . . still have to wait a little while yet. :(
      Hahaha! Fancy that! Yes, Tonner did make versions of Betsy McCall, mine is 8" tall with jointed bent arms, jointed legs with jointed knees, a swivel head that can be posed in any direction and sleep eyes with eyelashes. She can also stand on her own, but she has no markings. I'd love to see yours when you have time to share. :)
      Big hugs,
      X

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  12. And I have been wondering how you are... I hope you will feel better. Just wanted to say that. No need to publish and reply to this comment, if you don't feel up to it.

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    1. Hi Mia!
      I haven't been ill or anything like that, just moody, but I do appreciate your good wishes just the same and thank you for stopping by. :)
      Big hugs,
      X

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  13. Ooooh what a lovely lot of parcels you're going to be receiving in the post! I have the book "A Closetful of Doll Clothes" by Rosemarie Ionker, it was sent to me many years ago by a friend in the US but I've never actually used it....I have no idea why, but it's been a nice book to look through. I love the Tiny Kitty, she's so pretty.
    I completely understand how you're feeling, the lack of interest in chatting about dolls, as I'm the same. One of my Kaye Wiggs dolls has a new dress which I bought from the US and I've had the intention of photographing her for more than a week for my blog, but still haven't got around to it, I just feel so lazy. Plus it's been so incredibly hot here recently, last Sunday it was 47C, all I wanted to do was sit in front of the air con and sleep!!! xx

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    1. Yes, I kinda went a little crazy on eBay lately, and I don't know if I will use the patterns in that book either, but I thought it might give me some inspiration. :)

      The Tiny Kitty is really lovely and of course Tonner outfits are beautifully finished.

      It's not so much a lack of interest in talking about dolls as it is simply being moody and not wanting to socialise much at all. Plus the fact I have been feeling like hibernating as is normal for me during winter. I would be much happier with 47C Sharon, I love the heat, even though that is hot to the extreme. :)
      Big hugs,
      X

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