Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The First Izannah I Saw in Person

In 2007 I saw my first Izannah Walker doll in person.  I didn't know what I was doing then, just that I was thankful to have an opportunity to see this beauty in person and be able to photograph her because of Sue Singer's generosity at Lucy's Doll House.  Now when I have the opportunity to document an Izannah Walker doll, I try to take photos from specific vantage points. I didn't know to do that then.  

I've deleted my Picturetrail hosting and am trying to consolidate all the pictures to do with this blog in the blog archives.  So I'm reposting.  But it's lovely to revisit this doll again.  Enjoy.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Elizabeth Isenburg's Daguerrotype:
Girl with Izannah Walker Doll

Elizabeth Isenburg, who writes Steamboat Arabia:  A Historian's Blog, has generously shared this lovely daguerrotype of Mary Jenks holding an Izannah Walker doll.  I found the image on her blog after doing a search online for  Izannah Walker doll daguerrotype/ambrotype/tintype.   If you visit the  Steamboat Arabia blog you can see the image before it was cleaned.  An amazing difference!  Elizabeth also had Mike (the restorer) take an image of the Izannah daguerrotype without the frame, because it gives a lot of information about the dress of the child and the doll.  

Elizabeth shared that when the image was opened for cleaning, there was "documentation that  this is Mary Ella Jenks (1850-1923).  This was a wonderful surprise because I thought it was Martha Chase because her CDV as a teenager closely resembled the little girl.  I know I am preaching to the choir but Mary is first cousin to Martha and was the daughter of Pardon Jenks in Pawtucket."  

Elizabeth said,  "As you can see by the 2nd photo, I found the documentation for Mary in two places inside the frame.  I wanted these to be seen from the back and they are protected under glass.  The restorer said that the dag must have been opened to cleaned in 1889 when Mary was 49 years old, hence the ephemeral card stock dated 1899.   As I mentioned, Mary did not die until 1923 so I assume this is her handwriting."

Many thanks to Elizabeth Isenburg for sharing this image.   

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Pawtucket and Central Falls Directory of 1877 - Free PDF Download

In the article I wrote for Early American Life, one of the facts I uncovered is that Izannah is listed in the The Pawtucket and Central Falls Directory of 1877 as Miss I. F. Walker.    For those of you who are into researching Izannah, there is a PDF version of it on Google Books at no cost.   There is an explosion of people selling this on Ebay and Amazon, but you can download the Pawtucket and Central Falls Directory of 1877 for FREE  in PDF at this link below.  There are tons of fun antique advertisements in it as well. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Antique Izannah Walker Doll Sells for $2,500

This Izannah Walker Doll sold for a hammer price to a floor bidder of $2,500.00 plus buyer's premium of 15-17%, depending on payment method.   Julia's description reads:
"1860s era cloth doll with molded and painted oil cloth head with separately modeled ears with short curly brown hair, large brown eyes and exposed ears. Arms and legs are painted in the same manner as the head and the legs also have painted black leather boots with red edging at the top. She is well recostumed in an 1860s style cotton print dress with white linen apron. SIZE: 19" (49cm). CONDITION: Head has had some professional re-touch to major areas of face and hair as well as to back of shoulder and around the neck."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Izannah Walker Doll to Sell
at November James Julia Auction

On November 30th, James D. Julia, Inc.  will bring the Izannah Walker doll shown above up for auction.  To read more, visit the James Julia site

To see the other dolls at auction, click here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dixie Redmond's E-book:
Making an Izannah Walker Inspired Doll
Includes Pattern and Tuturials

The E-book is $35.  

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I've traveled thousands of miles in search of knowledge about Izannah Walker dolls. I've taken hundreds of pictures of original Izannah Walker dolls and shared on the Izannah Walker Chronicles while learning about these wonderful dolls.  I designed a pattern and led several sessions of an online class based on the information in this book.  People who've made the pattern in the class left comments about their experience here.   The pattern consists of making a cloth doll over which a one of a kind clay head is sculpted.  My pattern and the instructions are inspired by Izannah Walker dolls but use modern materials like paperclay.     

I've bundled all the tutorials used in the Izannah Walker Workshop as well as the pattern into a PDF downloadable E-book called Making an Izannah Walker Inspired Doll.  The book has over 107 pages of tutorials using photographs of the doll making process.   I tried to present the information so that if someone were only looking at the pictures they could make the doll.   Here's a peak at the Table of Contents:

And here's a peak at one of the sections 
on sculpting with paperclay:

What skill levels are required to make this doll?

It is best if you have sewing and sculpting experience.  You will be sculpting your own Izannah Walker head using paperclay and looking at inspiration pictures I have provided.   In the class, I suggested that people make 3 dolls at the beginning and give themselves permission for their first few dolls to be learning dolls.  Some people did take the Izannah Workshop who had never made a doll and their efforts resulted in some lovely creations.  But sculpting and sewing experience makes it much easier. 

How Do I Buy the Book?

To purchase the e-book, you will click on the "Add to Cart" button below.  This will open a window which allows you to pay for the book through Paypal.   Once you have paid for the book through Paypal it will open up a window with a link to download the book to your computer.  I've tested this a couple of people and it went through fine.

Note:  If you pay by e-check you will not be able to download until your payment has cleared through Paypal.  This can take several days.  If you pay using a credit card, the download link is offered immediately. The E-book is $35.  

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If you have any questions, please

contact me

at northdixie @ gmail.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Doll Head Listed on Ebay

This Ebay auction is an interesting one to watch.  The head being sold is described has the words Izannah Walker and a question mark at the end.  I don't think it's an Izannah Walker doll, although it is an interesting doll head in its construction.

So let's talk about why it might be considered an Izannah Walker doll.  What this head does have in common with an Izannah doll is a stockinette covering and a folk art like appearance.  The seller says it is molded.  And some curls at the back of the neck.

What's different?  I've never seen or heard of a 3" head size in an Izannah doll.  I haven't seen or heard of an Izannah Walker doll that has molded curls at the back of the neck.  This seems more like a papier mache feature.  Could someone have covered a papier mache head with stockinet?  This doll has a very different kind of stockinet covering than original Izannah Walker dolls I've seen.   See how the original Izannah below has stockinette that is a different kind of weave?  

Izannah was an experimenter.  This doll at top might have been made by someone who had admired an Izannah Walker doll.

What do you think?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Izannah Walker Doll on Ebay

The doll above is being auctioned on Ebay 
with one more day left on the auction.
  Visit the auction to follow along.

Bidding as of September 5th 
at 10:45 p.m. Eastern time 
is $5,225 with the reserve 
still to be met. 

This doll ended at $8,100 
on September 6th, 2011
with the reserve not being met.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Izannah Walker Article
in Early American Life's
Christmas Issue

 Last January, my friend Edyth O'Neill and I started writing an article about Izannah Walker dolls for Early American Life magazine.  I am happy to say it will be published in the Christmas issue coming out very soon.  (you can read the article that was originally published in EAL here).

 To get a copy of the Christmas issue,
subscribe to Early American Life here

Monday, August 22, 2011

Withington's August 2011
Izannah Auction Price

The auction ending price for 
this doll which sold 
at Withington's last Friday was 

$16,800 plus 10%.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Withington's Auction August 19th

Don't forget about the Izannah Walker Doll that will be auctioned by Withington's.  I couldn't make the auction but I drove 500 miles to visit her this week.  My family went along for the ride and we had a mini-vacation.

 The piece of paper below was with the doll 
when the consignor purchased it. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Izannah's Town Declares Bankruptcy

Izannah Walker lived and worked in Central Falls, Rhode Island.  I wonder what she would think of the town declaring bankruptcy?  Perhaps her dolls were sold at W. C. Manchester, which sold toys as well as picture frames done with "work done in the most artistic manner."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Doll Collectors of America Izannahs
Featured in Antique Doll Collector

Photo courtesy Antique Doll Collector
Click the image to enlarge it.

Attention all Izannah doll lovers!  

If you love to see Izannah Walker dolls you won't want to miss this issue!  The Antique Doll Collector site states:

"No doubt this was the first time that thirty-one dolls by noted doll maker Izannah Walker were ever assembled in one place! This important occasion was the 75th annual meeting of the Doll Collectors of America. Carol Corson took a photographic record of the Izannah "reunion" noting the significant variations in size, hairstyles, foot wear, eye color and facial features from doll to doll. This is an important study of these earliest known commercially produced American cloth dolls."

Visit the Antique Doll Collector site to subscribe or order additional copies of this issue.  I just did.  :-)  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Withington's to Auction
Izannah Walker Doll

The Izannah Walker doll pictured above and below will be auctioned on August 19th at Withington's.

The doll is 19 1/2" long and was originally a gift to Mary Stevens Burdick when she was 10 years old in 1871, in Newport, RI. (as stated in a note pinned under the dress).  Mary Stevens Burdick married William Paine Sheffield in 1889. Mary's husband,  William Paine Sheffield, studied law and served as a congressman in the 61st Congress.    According to Who's Who in America, Volume 6, they lived at 6 Cottage Street in Newport

With a bit more digging, we might be able to uncover some photos of Mary, the owner of the doll.  I am sure that Sheffield and Burdick descendents would be interested in learning that this this doll owned by their past family member.


Wonderful bare feet!  
And look at that red dress!
It's a red letter day for Izannah.  
As I get more information, I will be adding it here.
Mark August 19th in your calendars.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Addie, An Izannah Walker Doll

Ginger, a kind collector, emailed me to say how much she had enjoyed reading the Izannah Walker Chronicles.  Then she told me she owned an Izannah Walker doll.   To make a long story short, she was willing to share her pictures on this site so that others can enjoy Addie the way she has enjoyed seeing other Izannah Walker dolls.  I love collectors who are generous like that.  Thank you, Ginger! 

Dress made by Kathy Patterson, 
who also makes Izannah Walker reproduction dolls.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

4 More Days to the Withington Auction

This is a reminder of dolls 
coming up to auction at Withington's ...

Dolls to be auctioned by Withington Auction, Inc.
June 16 and 17, 2011

Morphy's June 2011 Izannah at Auction

Somehow in the midst of Little League baseball I missed that an Izannah was coming up to Morphy's Auction .  They have been kind about sharing images before.  I hope someone I know got this doll.  If you know the hammer price, please email or leave a comment.  She looks like a sweet doll.

Ida Mae: An Izannah Walker Doll

Back in the fall I visited with a wonderful lady, who shared her antique Izannah Walker doll with me, and allowed me to document her doll.  ...