Friday, June 20, 2008

A Mystery Indeed...

Reproduction doll or an original Izannah Walker doll that has (ahem) been "helped and helped and helped"?

The seller of the Izannah doll above ended the auction with this note:
"I am ending this listing early due to MANY INQUIRIES on this doll as to what is UNDER HER SHOULDER PLATE fabric. There is a possibility this is an ORIGINAL IZANNAH WALKER DOLL that has had repair with the pink fabric that you see put OVER an existing shoulder plate and blended into the neck and then repainted...This could explain the thickness at her neck. In order to truly check this, I have to end the auction and relist it, with the new buyer only having to RESTITCH the pink material back onto the body. There will be nothing else done to her from the original listing...I will POST all PHOTOS with new ones of what I find."

I love a mystery! We've all read about those paintings that were put under a special devise only to discover a long-lost Rembrandt or Titian. Again, mostly likely this is a reproduction doll, but what if it were an Izannah doll underneath? Maybe one with a crackled face? But I also have an active imagination which may mean that underneath that pink cloth is more pink cloth that's been painted.

Underneath view of the pink cloth of the shoulderplate

Click here to see the relisted doll at auction

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Izannah Walker Doll on Ebay?

The seller said:

"This doll is FANTASTIC!!! I am starting this auction by saying...I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA of the age of this doll but I believe her to be pre 1930. Please bid according to what you know as I am selling her as a REPRODUCTION to be safe..... but I am honestly not sure and she could be please email me if you need me to check something to be sure.......I have never personally owned or seen a real antique one.... She has an INCREDIBLE LOOK and to me she LOOKS ANTIQUE!!!"

It's interesting looking - the maker has done a nice job of reproducing the body shape. I wonder when people first became interested in reproducing Izannah Walker dolls? In 1930 Izannah Walker dolls would have been like the Ginny dolls are to some of us. It is feasible that someone made a repro doll earlier in the 1900's to bring back the memory of a beloved childhood doll.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Flock of Tiny Izannah Walker Reproduction Dolls

Doll by Mandy Broome of Fiddlestix Studios

There are many wonderful past dollmakers that we dollmakers like to emulate. Emma Adams, Ella Smith, Julia Beecher, Martha Chase are examples. But no other dollmaker inspires like Izannah Walker. There is something about studying a master that informs your own independent creations.

The Coffee with Tea Ebay group had a challenge to make an Izannah Walker inspired doll that is under 8 inches tall. All of you dollmakers out there know what a feat that is! Smaller is not easier. I am so impressed with the creativity of the dolls that came from this challenge.

Click the links or pictures to see what each dollmaker has made.

Doll by Jackie Hendricks of Plain-n-Simple

Doll by Nancy Gerber of Atticbabys

Doll by Dixie Redmond of Northdixie Designs

Doll by Bonnie Cain of Saltforkridge

Doll by Nina Mason Dolls

Doll by Lone Pierette

If I had the discretionary income at this time, I would buy every one of these beauties and line them up. They would be wonderful displayed as a group!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Planning a Vacation - Izannah Walker Dolls in Museums

Izannah Walker Doll
Courtesy of South County Museum
Naragansett, Rhode Island

My family is planning a summer vacation to the Strong Museum this summer and I am planning to visit the Shelburne Museum in the fall. The Strong Museum has eight Izannah Walker dolls, and The Shelburne Museum has four. Be still my heart!

As I've been researching Izannah Walker dolls, it's interesting to read about how the museums came to be. Both these museums were born from the collections of women. Electra Havemeyer Webb's collection of folk art was the beginning of the Shelburne Museum. Webb's family had always been collectors, but had focused on Asian and European art. Webb began furnishing a small brick farmhouse with items appropriate to the age of the house, and that beginning collection eventually grew to be the Shelburne Museum.

The Strong National Museum of Play was born from Margaret Woodbury Strong's collection of common things from middle class America. The Museum's mission is to be a "museum of play". So if you're looking for a museum that will please the antique doll lover in the family and the children, this is a great museum to visit.

I think it would be great fun to make an trip itinerary based on the museums that own Izannah Walker dolls. But I'm the only female in a household of guys, so that may be a tough sell. Either that or I will take the trip with a friend. ;-)

After the trip to visit the Shelburne Museum and the Strong Museum, I plan to take a trip to Rhode Island to visit the South County Museum. The picture above was sent for posting here by Jim Crothers, the director of South County Museum in Naraganseet, Rhode Island. Thus far, the South County Museum is the only museum to offer pictures of their Izannah Walker dolls on this blog for Izannah Walker lovers. South County's generosity is much appreciated. If you're within driving distance, go visit the South County Museum this summer!

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...