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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.

1 comment:

  1. Kathy, thank you for posting your doll Tabatha's history! These stories are part of the great fun of doll collecting!