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Author: DOLLS Magazine Contributor

Famous Queens and Martha Washington Paper Dolls

Let’s explore Famous Queens and Martha Washington, a complete boxed set of early portrait paper dolls created by Canadian artist Elizabeth S. Tucker with soft-toned watercolors. In 1895, Frederick A. Stokes and Company in New York used the chromolithography process to print them. Seven women comprise the set: Queen Marie Antoinette from France, Queen Isabella I from Spain, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Queen Louise from Prussia, Queen Victoria from England, Queen Margherita from Italy, and Martha Washington.

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Curious Collector: 1957 Ideal Shirley Temple

Q: A longtime friend of mine recently went through the dolls that her mother left her some time ago. My friend is basically a Madame Alexander collector. She found and gave me this Shirley Temple doll that is dressed in what I presume is the sailor suit from Shirley’s movie Captain January. The doll is about 12 inches tall. She is all vinyl, with rooted hair and sleep eyes, and has her original box as well. I was aware of this fashion being all white and have never seen it in blue, but this one is tagged and obviously is original. What can you tell me?

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Julia Kristal’s Love of Dolls, Art Lead Her to Create Silicone Babies

Julia Kristal has always loved dolls and collected them into adulthood. In college, while she was focused on music and education, she also began learning to draw and loved using colored pencils to draw realistic portraits. She also learned to knit and crochet, and she began making dolls using yarn. When she finally stumbled across reborn dollmaking and sculpting, she had found her niche. Since her love of dolls had never ended, it probably was inevitable that she would eventually become a doll artist.

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Cast of Characters: Esther Manso Sculpts Heroes, Villains of Time-Honored Tales

A catastrophic illness — one that kept her in a medical facility on a respirator for four months — changed Esther Manso’s life and career path in 2010. At the time, she was married, raising a large family, and had been working as a comptroller for a large Miami car dealership — a job she described as rewarding but stressful. Her 30-year career came to an end with her illness.
“It is hard to believe that because of that, I am now able to enjoy my later years in complete happiness and bliss, doing what I was meant to do and what I love the most,” Manso said. “When I became disabled, I taught myself how to sew and make cloth dolls, until I found polymer clay and fell in love. I love how the clay allows me to express myself easier.”

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Dolls Around the World: A Traveler’s Doll Discoveries in Photos

Over the past few years, I’ve had the great pleasure and privilege of being able to travel from Australia to some very interesting places. Nearly everywhere I went I found dolls — unusual dolls, second-hand Barbies and terrible copies, dolls in churches dressed in exquisitely embroidered silks, and modern fashion dolls in one of the oldest cities on the Silk Road. Looking back on these wonderful times, I have been surprised and intrigued by all the different dolls I’ve encountered on the way.

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Enchanted Kreature Kits Specializes in Fantasy Reborns

The idea of Enchanted Kreature Kits (EKK) started at the very beginning of my reborning days. I started reborning in March 2011 under the name Enchanted Moments Nursery. As a “noob,” I had no idea where to find blank doll kits. I didn’t know that there were reborn doll supplies and kit dealers out there, so I found everything I started with on eBay. I was so excited to buy a lot of reborn dollmaking supplies for a hefty (to me) $100. It included three blank kits, a set of used paints, and a Bountiful Baby DVD tutorial on how to reborn. I watched the video three times before I was brave enough to paint my first one. My first attempt was on a Berenger play doll, and my son instantly fell in love with him.

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Silke Sordyl builds fantasy world with Needle-Felted dolls

When German-born artist Silke Sordyl created her first needle-felted doll in 2014, she was also building a fantasy world for her gnome characters to inhabit. “In my imagination there is a special happy nation of gnomes living in the Earth’s interior. I named them Gieblinge, a German fantasy word that just came up in my mind, and it means to me little people who live in the forest under a big tree with many chambers and hallways inside.

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Curious Collector: 1999 Madame Alexander Cherry Twins

Q: I bought this adorable set of matching Madame Alexander 8-inch hard-plastic dolls mint in box at an auction recently. I thought they were older dolls at the time, because they had the bent-knee feature, which I hadn’t seen on the 8-inch dolls in decades. I paid $150 for them and was surprised when I got home to notice the year on the tag was 1999! Did I make a bad mistake?

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Antique Inspiration: Doug James’ 1470 Collection Re-Creates Early Fashion Doll

Somewhere between 1912 and 1925, the Simon & Halbig company produced a 14.5-inch lady doll. She had a small number of head variations but was always on the same body, which was unusual for the period and a small sign of the changing times. This was basically a high-end play doll for children whose dolls usually consisted of babies, toddlers, and young children.

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In the Doll World Podcast Brings Dollmakers into Collectors’ Homes

Imagine a world created especially for doll lovers: a world where you can sip tea and eat cookies while listening to Mel Odom tell the story behind Gene Marshall; Jozef Szekeres explain how his dedication to completing his GlamourOz Dolls led to him staying in China at the onset of COVID-19; and clothing designer Bryon Lars share why he created custom dolls for Mattel. This world exists — ever since my co-host, Georgette Taylor, and I created In the Doll World (ITDW), a doll podcast and YouTube channel where your favorite doll people share stories about their personal and doll journeys in a fun and safe environment.

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Curious Collector: 2004 UFDC Ginny Twins

Q: My mother was an avid doll collector, and so am I. When I inherited her collection, among the mini dolls was this souvenir set of 8-inch hard-plastic Ginny twins. They are absolutely adorable, and each comes with its own wooden rocking horse and a flyer regarding their theme. They use the traditional Ginny molds — I have many of the 1950s Ginny dolls in my collection. Can you tell me more about this special set and perhaps a value? I plan to keep them, but I’m curious.

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Rhonda Ingram Forgoes Factories, Creates Her Own BJDs

In the complex world of doll design, ball-jointed doll (BJD) artist Rhonda Ingram never faced a challenge she couldn’t conquer. Every potential obstacle is an opportunity for professional growth and creative freedom. She’s also not afraid to reinvent herself or pursue a fresh start by figuratively wiping the slate clean and starting over.

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