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I’m Back!

Posted by: adminin Uncategorized

Hello All!  I have made it safely to the Midwest and am settling into my first weeks of work!  The past month has been a whirlwind with my sister’s wedding and the many changes in my life!

I will be back in a regular blogging pattern soon with lots of treasures to share!  In the meantime, enjoy this photo!  It is circa 1920 and shows two little girls with a doll I believe to be by Armand Marseille.  It seems like they could’ve been living in the Missouri/Kansas area as I am now! 

You will find an image of my sister on her wedding day at the bottom of the post, in the gallery.  What a beautiful bride!

Something different today!

Posted by: adminin Uncategorized

I know that this video doesn’t relate directly to toys but it captured my heart! If any of you are “Sound of Music” fans, it is definitely worth a view!

Happy Friday, everyone!

A Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!  Enjoy this photo from 1934 of the first Mickey Mouse Balloon to float above the streets of NYC in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade!

Remember all of your blessings today!

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:




I just love this photo!  Children in a basket on their porch on a sunny day – along with their calico cat and German dolly!  Precious!  I owned a calico cat when I was growing up; perhaps this is why I’m so fond of this image!

Judging from the children’s clothing and hair styles, the photo seems to date from about 1920.  The doll appears to be one of modest price and quality, made by a German firm like Armand Marseille or Cuno & Otto Dressel.  She has a typical “dolly-face” of the period. 

The article below, from, describes the “dolly-faced” dolls made during the early part of the 20th century and explains how these dolls differ from “character” dolls.

The German “dolly-faced” child dolls are the ubiquitous antique bisque dolls that collectors today are most likely to find, produced from 1890 to about 1930, from such manufacturers as Armand Marseille, Simon and Halbig, K*R,  and Kestner. Most of these dolls came from the Thuringia region, which had rich clay deposits used to make the porcelain. Many of the German dolly-faced dolls are unmarked as to manufacturer, and there are many manufacturers that had their names and other details literally obliterated by the World Wars. The most sought-after of the German dolls of the early 20th century are the character-faced dolls, produced in response to consumer demands for more realistic-looking children dolls. Kämmer and Reinhardt, Heubach and Kestner produced many high-quality expressive character dolls which are eagerly sought by collectors today. Also eagerly sought by collectors are all-bisque dolls (head, torso and limbs all made of bisque) from manufacturers such as Kestner, Heubach, and Simon and Halbig.

For German bisque dolls, as with all antique dolls, remember that quality varies widely even within one manufacturer’s products–dolls with finely detailed features (such as feathered brows and individual upper and lower eyelashes) and pale bisque are always preferred over dolls with single-stroke or other simplified features and darkly tinted bisque. Also, today’s collectors prefer closed-mouth bisque dolls, since many fewer of them were produced than open-mouth dolls. Common German bisque dolls of average quality which are unmarked or from Armand Marseille can be found for as little as $200 or $300, with prices for sought-after German characters soaring into the thousands.