Sunday, January 7, 2024

A New Record Set for Izannah Walker Dolls

The 18" brown-complexioned doll in Day One of Theriault's Rosalie auction netted $80,000 (plus buyer's premium). This is a new record for Izannah Walker dolls, passing the auction record set last year for John Thayer. This doll is special amongst Izannah Walker dolls because of her applied wool hair, being the only known Izannah doll with a brown complexion, and having provenance of coming directly from the Walker family (via Maurine Popp to Richard Wright to Rosalie Whyel). 

Robin Wyatt graciously shared the following images she took from the preview period at Theriault's Day One Rosalie auction. 


Theriault's description of the doll: 

"18" (46 cm.) All-cloth doll with stitched-on head with pressed, stiffened and oil-painted facial features, brown painted complexion, black painted pate under original wig cap of tightly curled woolen yarn on linen backing, painted outlined brown eyes, black brows, closed mouth with slightly upturned lips, brown sateen body over muslin stitch-jointed body, brown oil-painted lower arms and legs. Condition: very good, original finish with few rubs on face, some wig sparseness, brown sateen somewhat worn. Marks: Patented Nov. 4, 1873 (ink script label on back shoulderplate). Comments: Izannah Walker, 1873, the doll is wearing its original crisp cotton dress and cotton apron with stenciled design, undergarments, red woolen stockings, brown shoes. The doll was acquired from the Izannah Walker family by noted doll historian Maureen Popp, and it resided in the collection of Richard Wright until its acquisition by the Museum. Value Points; the extremely rare doll, in original costume, of which few are known to exist, was featured in an article by Donna Kaonis in September 1993 issue of Antique Doll World."






Collectors of dolls and makers of dolls alike will be very interested in these images. Thanks go  to Robin Wyatt for giving us this study opportunity. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

A Rare Black Izannah Walker Doll Featured in Collection

Image courtesy Theriault's

NOTE:  Additional images of the doll above were shared from Theriault's preview session, courtesy of Robin Wyatt, at the bottom of this post. 

One of the three Izannah walker dolls to be auctioned by Theriault's  in Scottsdale, Arizona on Day 1 of the Rosalie auction is a doll with a brown painted complexion, described as follows by Theriault's: 

18" (46 cm.) All-cloth doll with stitched-on head with pressed, stiffened and oil-painted facial features, brown painted complexion, black painted pate under original wig cap of tightly curled woolen yarn on linen backing, painted outlined brown eyes, black brows, closed mouth with slightly upturned lips, brown sateen body over muslin stitch-jointed body, brown oil-painted lower arms and legs. Condition: very good, original finish with few rubs on face, some wig sparseness, brown sateen somewhat worn. Marks: Patented Nov. 4, 1873 (ink script label on back shoulderplate). Comments: Izannah Walker, 1873, the doll is wearing its original crisp cotton dress and cotton apron with stenciled design, undergarments, red woolen stockings, brown shoes. The doll was acquired from the Izannah Walker family by noted doll historian Maureen Popp, and it resided in the collection of Richard Wright until its acquisition by the Museum. Value Points; the extremely rare doll, in original costume, of which few are known to exist, was featured in an article by Donna Kaonis in September 1993 issue of Antique Doll World. 

Several things set this doll apart from other Izannah Walker dolls of similar height and construction:  the brown skin color, the shiny surface on the paint, the wool applied hair instead of painted hair, and the brown colored sateen body covering which Izannah used to cover the construction details of the doll. There is also an ink scripted label attached to the back of the doll denoting Izannah's patent date (this writing can be compared to Izannah's handwriting in  a letter found at this post: https://www.izannahwalkerchronicles.com/2009/10/in-izannah-own-hand-letter-to-her.html). There is a number written in pencil below the inked line on the label which is hard to make out. It could have been added at a later date by someone else for another purpose. 

Image courtesy Theriault's

There is a painted line of brown color of the skin on the chest area, and another line of what appears to be varnish of some sort that would have corresponded with the line of the body covering at the chest area when the doll was new. Dollmakers love this kind of detail! 

Image courtesy Theriault's

Additional images taken by Robin Wyatt during the preview session are added here: 








Dixie's note: I've been studying some of the past dolls featured on the blog in the Pictorial Directory, to see if there is a similar face shape which could help pinpoint when this doll might have been made. A fun activity! 


Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Three Izannah Walker Dolls to be Auctioned by Theriault's in January

Auction update: 
Lot #3, brown complexioned doll hammer price was $80,000 plus premium 
Lot #4, Izannah Walker doll with furnishings and accessories, $28,000 plus premium 
 Lot #302, Later Izannah Walker Doll, $28,000 plus premium

Theriault's will auction three Izannah Walker dolls from Rosalie Whyel's collection. The trio of Walker dolls represent a synopsis of Izannah Walker's work: a classic pre-patent 20" doll with ringlet curls in front of the ears, an extremely rare black doll with applied wool hair, and a less often found post-patent doll from Izannah's later work. The three dolls, nestled in a collection of American Cloth dolls, are highlighted by Florence Theriault at 14:15 in Theriault's YouTube video here:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4niwMEtTlA 

Lot #4 - Image courtesy of Theriault's,
auction hammer price $28,000 plus buyer's premium 

The 20" classic doll - Lot #4 of the Day One auction, was featured  in an article written by Susan Hedrick in the Summer 1998 issue of Soft Dolls & Animals. Author Susan Hedrick, who wrote the article "Izannah Walker:  Godmother of Cloth Dollmakers," was the curator of the Rosalie Whyel museum from 1988 to 1998. The editor of Soft Dolls and Animals gave permission for the article to be available here on the Izannah walker Chronicles. This doll is auctioned with her trunk and its contents, and a chair.  

Lot #3, image courtesy of Theriault's
Auction hammer price $80,000 plus buyer's premium

The black doll - Lot #4 of the Day One Auction - will enjoy a post all her very own here on the Chronicles. More to follow on this exciting example of Izannah's work. 

Doll at right, Lot #302, image courtesy Theriault's
Auction hammer price $28,000 plus buyer's premium

Lot #302, from Day Two of Rosalie: A Life of Dolls, is said to be identical to a post-patent doll still wearing her label. Post patent dolls have a different look than the classic folk art dolls Walker is most known for, but they are less often found. 

It would be interesting to be at the auction in person, but for those who cannot travel, Theriault's offers a number of ways to bid, and also to watch the auction via the internet in real time: 

https://www.theriaults.com/buying

(Author's note: Dixie Redmond/Izannah Walker Chronicles is not recompensed financially for dolls featured on this site. The information and images presented here are with permission for the enjoyment of those who love Izannah Walker dolls.) 

  

Monday, September 25, 2023

A Pictorial Directory of Dolls
Featured on the Izannah Walker Chronicles

My mission for this blog in 2008 was to create the site I wished existed - a site for doll makers and collectors who love Izannah Walker dolls to see more examples for study. For many years I researched every day Izannah dolls coming to auction, and wrote auction companies asking for additional pictures. At the time there were very few images of Izannah dolls online, as auction companies didn't put their catalogs online. Sometimes I traveled to document dolls coming up for auction and shared those images here. Sometimes collectors have shared images. There are enough images on this blog to assist any student of Izannah Walker dolls. Please scroll through the back posts. Below the thumbnail images link to the posts on that particular doll. 


Read the article written by Edyth O'Neill and Dixie Redmond
Published in the 2011 Christmas Edition of Early American Life

Putting together the pictorial directory will be an ongoing process.. Some great dolls have been featured on this site over the years. Thank you to the collectors, museums, magazines and auction companies which have shared information and images over the years! 


If you have an antique Izannah Walker doll you are considering selling, please contact me at northdixie@gmail.com. 

   

  

  
 
  
 
  


 




 





 




  




Next Five Dolls are Carol Corson's Izannah Collection:  
(Pictures taken by me, courtesy of Withington's)




 


Other Articles, Documents and Other Information

Articles shared with permission from magazine senior editors.
Some of these magazines are now out of print. 


Monica Bessette articles: 

Doll News, Spring 1994

More to come...




By Susan Hedrick
Summer 1998, Soft Dolls & Animals magazine


Stay tuned! This is an ongoing project to move links from the sidebar to the pictorial directory post. 






A New Record Set for Izannah Walker Dolls

The 18" brown-complexioned doll in Day One of Theriault's Rosalie auction netted $80,000 (plus buyer's premium). This is a new...