Archive for October, 2010

Just a quick post today as I’m getting over being sick.  I thought you’d enjoy this child’s porcelain mirror I sold recently.  This little piece measures only 6″ high and has a beautiful scene of children feeding a cat and her kittens on the reverse.

Can’t you just see a lovely little Victorian girl’s face looking into this mirror? 

When I saw the frail little boy pulling his homemade toy down the dusty path, I was amazed by his creativity yet heartbroken over his poverty. He had found a discarded plastic milk bottle and attached caps for wheels with rusty nails. “Perhaps this is his only plaything,” I mused. As my week in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti passed, I saw more boys with the same kind of homemade toy. I found it interesting that no matter how poor the children are, they have an innate longing for some kind of plaything.

I met other children at an area orphanage who played with collected scraps cut from old magazines brought by aid workers. They saved the scraps in envelopes and had their favorites. I was given scraps and hugs by these children. How unselfish of them to give me what little they had!

This is a different kind of post today because Haiti has been on my mind. I have a love for antiques but am even more passionate about making a difference in the world. I am participating in a Walk to benefit the “Hope for the Children of Haiti (HFC)” Orphanage and School on Saturday, Oct. 16. I visited this orphanage/school in July of 2009. The need was great then, and is even greater after the earthquake.

The paragraphs below describe the current needs of HFC:

Join us as we raise money for school children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. One of our responses to the earthquake last January has been to make sure that children are able to stay in school. Many children in the city are at risk of losing their academic access, whether the school they were attending was destroyed or the income of their family threatened by the loss of homes and businesses. Despite these challenges, education is a necessary part of looking toward a future for Haiti and the future leaders.

This school year at HFC we are waiving all tuition payments and are only charging registration fees for children attending the Marion Austin School. This means we need to raise at least an additional $40,000, given that the cost of each neighborhood child attending school exceeds $200 per year and we have 200 children enrolled whose families are no longer providing tuition payments.

If you’d like to help love the children of Haiti by sponsoring my walk, please visit the following link:





“Winsome Winnie” is a lovely paper doll from Raphael Tuck’s 1894 Artistic Series. She has three dresses with matching hats and a patented neck design that enables her clothes to have a perfect fit!

This set of “Winsome Winnie” paper dolls is especially special because it includes nearly 40 handmade crepe paper outfits. The set once belonged to a child named Miss Martha Levan Mussina who lived in Williamsport, PA during its golden age. At one time this small city, nestled in the hills of central Pennsylvania, had more millionaires per capita than any other place in the world due to its booming lumber business. Mussina would later become an artist of note in the area. One can tell by the detail she put into the crepe paper doll clothes that even as a child she showed great talent.

The Original Paper Doll Artists Guild offers this brief history of the Raphael Tuck company’s paper dolls:

Beginning in 1866, Raphael Tuck is perhaps the best known manufacturer of antique paper dolls. The company began “by appointment to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Fine Art Publishers, London,” and soon opened branch offices in New York and Paris. Their first paper doll was a baby with a nursing bottle, patented in 1893. Tuck’s German manufacturing facilities were destroyed by bombing in December 1940 and all records, plates and documents were lost. Tuck dolls are easily identified by the trademark and series name and number on the back of each piece. A trademark style of this company is a set of paper dolls with many costumes and interchangeable heads. Tuck also made “regular” paper dolls. Some of their titles include Sweet Abigail, Winsome Winnie, Bridal Party, My Lady Betty, Prince Charming, the popular Fairy Tale series and many more. Tuck made paper dolls several years into the twentieth century.

I sold this one-of-a-kind set to a buyer in France.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

This wonderful boxed set of three puzzles once belonged to the son of an Oakland, CA Fireman. What fun this Victorian youngster must have had putting the puzzles together while imagining his father’s firefighting adventures!

The puzzle was made in 1912 by the Milton Bradley company. This prolific company was founded in 1860 in Springfield, MA and is the oldest game manufacturer in the United States. Ehow describes the company’s history in the paragraphs below:


Milton Bradley is named after the company’s founder, who started it in1860 in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. His first game was called The Checkered Game of Life, which later became The Game of Life–one of the company’s staples.

The Kindergarten Movement

Bradley was deeply influenced by the kindergarten movement in the late 19th century, which stated that children’s inherent creativity helps them to learn. He dedicated his company towards furthering that movement, and made many contributions to local kindergarten schools.

James J. Shea

After Bradley’s death, the company’s fortunes declined until it teetered on the verge of bankruptcy. James J. Shea was brought in as president in 1941 and turned things around by selling a kit of Milton Bradley games for soldiers fighting in the war.


Hasbro purchased the company in 1984. It maintained the brand name and has continued to produce games under the Milton Bradley line ever since.

Successful Games

The company has produced numerous classic games in its history, including Battleship in 1931, Candyland in 1949, Yahtzee in 1956, Mouse Trap in 1963, Operation in 1965, Twister in 1966, Connect Four in 1974, Simon in 1977 and Axis and Allies in 1984.

It is known that the company produced a number of other puzzle sets in the 1910s – including a best-selling line featuring wrecked vehicles which was very popular with young boys.