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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

UFDC Special Exhibits Convention 2012

The 2 Japanese dolls (about 36" tall) are 2 of 27 Friendship Dolls sent from Japan to the U.S. in the 1930's. During WWII they disappeared, and are gradually being discovered and restored.

UFDC Convention 2012 Special Exhibits

Here are a few pics I took at the special exhibits at the UFDC Convention in New Orleans.  More to come.

Rock Doll (Who Knew One Existed?)

Here is a rock doll (yes, that's right - made from a rock) that has won ribbons in competition.  Amazing.  It was made in the early 80's by a member's mother.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Finding a Doll Treasure, a Discarded Izannah Walker

While traipsing horseback through an open clearing on a hot Summer day in July of 1975, my sister, my cousin and myself stumbled upon an unusual sight—a ravine filled with treasures from days gone by. We couldn’t believe it; we climbed down into the opening and began a thorough search of its contents.
There were letters sent from family members from the turn of the century which warranted a few minutes of reading, but almost immediately my eyes caught on a dirty little doll that had been abandoned among all of these things and I knew it was my duty to rescue the poor thing. Unfortunately she was wearing a filthy little white dress and my Mother refused her entrance into our car for the drive home.
I managed to sneak the doll into the car as we were leaving and surprised my Mother with her when we reached home. I was given a reprieve and allowed to keep my new found doll. We discovered from my aunt that the property upon which we had been riding was being used to dispose of the contents of several older homes which were being torn down and replaced with apartments in Ft. Worth, Texas area.
A few months later my family moved to Amarillo, Texas. My Mom decided to surprise me and find out something about my newly acquired doll. The doll lady she consulted was so excited to see the doll. She told us that it was an Izannah Walker Doll.
At the time there didn’t seem to be too much information available on her, but the doll lady said she was worth several thousands of dollars. We couldn’t believe it! It was like I had found a real treasure! You can’t even imagine the surprise we experienced in our little family to have found something of such value. I was so excited to have rescued her!
The doll lady asked to take my doll—who by that time had been christened Tabitha-- to the UFDC Region Six Meeting in May of 1976. My Mom sewed Tabitha fresh new undergarments of batiste and a calico dress by hand. My doll won a second place ribbon at that meeting, but she has a first place spot in my heart even today. She has been a member of my family now for 37 years.

Sent in for the blog by reader and follower Kathy Bahlmann.

Note:  Several readers have noticed that this sweet doll has probably been repainted, but still a heart-warming story and a very loved doll.

FYI:  Izannah Walker made cloth stockinette dolls, with pressed mask face, oil-painted features, applied ears, brush-stroked or corkscrew curls, stitched hands and feet, some with painted boots. 1840's-1888, Central Falls, Rhode Island.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Carved Wooden Hitty Dolls by Sharon Kirby

We are so proud of our club member Sharon's wonderful carving and painting skills.  Here are 5 of her Hitty dolls, approximately 6 l/4" tall,  which are for sale at $350.00 each - 2 regular Hitty's (1st and last pics), one with stained instead of painted hair, an Asian Hitty, and Little Lulu.  Contact information:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Old Doll Quilt (1903) from Penalosa, Kansas

Here is a very old (1903) doll quilt, 18" x 14".  It is a crazy quilt with embroidered letters "Penalosa, Kansas" and numbers "4" and "03".  Also something that looks like "8," which could be the age of the maker.  Her initials could be "E" and "W," which are also on the quilt.  I emailed the city officials (population about 20) to see if they know who made the quilt.

If anyone else has an old doll quilt for the blog, please send pics to me at

BTW, this old cradle is probably about 1880, and the twin Armand Marseille dolls, 8" long, are probably from about 1910..  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Black Dolls from Africa

Here are 3 dolls from Africa made for tourist trade.  The first is straw-stuffed cloth, the second is cloth with bead decoration, and the third is carved wood.