Monday, December 10, 2012

Izannah Walker Dolls - A Holiday Display

Joy Harrington sent this charming holiday display of Izannah Walker dolls and friends a few years ago.  I thought it would be fun to share again.  Thank you, Joy.

Picture courtesy of Joy Harrington

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rebecca Hawkin's Early Izannah Walker Boy Doll

I saw this doll in pictures from a UFDC conference from a couple of years ago.  I asked the photographers if they knew who owned the doll, and they said no. I really wanted to know!  Imagine my delight when Laurel Parker put me in touch with the owner of this doll recently!  Laurel sent my contact information to Rebecca Hawkins, a collector in the south.  I thanked Laurel kindly and went on my way.  I've learned not everyone wants to share their original Izannah Walker dolls on the internet.  

But I did hear back!   Rebecca called me on the phone and told me all about her Izannah Walker boy doll, and how he came to her.  He won  We had such a fun time discussing old dolls in gereral and Izannah Walker dolls in particular.  When I asked if I could share images here on the Chronicles, Rebecca said, "Oh, yes!  I believe in sharing and learning."   Oh yes!  I believe in that, too!

When Becky sent the pictures by email  I said out loud, "The Izannah Gods are smiling on me today."  And my teen son said, "Mom, you are so weird.  You know there are no Izannah gods, right?"   Ha ha!  

So without further ado, here are the images Rebecca took of her antique Izannah Walker boy doll.   Rebecca purchased this 17" doll from Tennessee.  It reminded me of a doll I saw in person at Richard Wright's auction collection.  There is a similarity in shape and feeling.  And he also brings to mind Paula Walton's doll, seen in this post, which was also shown in the book American Rag Dolls, Straight From the Heart on p. 21.  Doll makers know that you try new things with each creation.  Sometimes the new attempts work and sometimes they don't.  Which is why you can see some variations in these old folk art dolls.  

Rebecca's boy wears his awesome original clothing.

I asked Rebecca some questions about body construction.   She said she had never removed his clothing, but did so that we could see his body construction.   Usually in pre-patent Izannah dolls, the body covering comes up over the cloth shoulderplate.  Some post-patent dolls have a shoulder plate that is attached.   You can see an image here of a post-patent doll's shoulder plate.  Rebecca'sdoll's shoulderplate is shown below:

Here is the top of the head: 

The back of the head and neck: 

Some marvelous boots, which Rebecca has never removed. 
I wonder if he is barefoot underneath those boots, 
or if he has painted boots underneath? 

And here he is again, in all his earnestness.  

Thanks so much to Rebecca Hawkins for sharing her antique Izannah Walker boy doll.  
Folk art appreciators appreciate it!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Morphy's To Auction Izannah Walker Doll

On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, Morphy's will be auctioning this Izannah Walker doll. This would be an interesting doll to see personally as she is a large doll, measuring 24" tall. She appears pristine, but is described as good condition.  Be sure to read the auction description  at Morphy's site for more details.

Someone emailed me that the hammer price for this doll was $8,000.   
The price realized at Morphy's is $9,600, with the assumption that includes the auction premium. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Izannah Walker Doll Collection Featured
in November 2012 Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Izannah Walker doll enthusiasts will want to order the November 2012 Issue of Antique Doll Collector Magazine, if you are not already a subscriber.   This issue features Kelly Harpster's fabulous doll collection which includes many Izannah Walker dolls.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Izannah Walker Doll Hope Gets An X-Ray Picture

Yesterday I took the Izannah Walker doll to get an x-ray picture.  It's stuff like this that makes my family members shake their head.  But the vets office personnel were awesome.  They had a good time doing this.  

We didn't find anything earth shattering.  Izannah Walker details in her patent her process:
"After they are taken from the press the forms are filled with hair, cotton, or other stuffing, and a piece of wood having been centrally and longitudinally laid between the two for stiffening they are tightly pressed together and secured by sewing, pasting or gluing their edges to each other. "
What was surprising to me was the size of the piece of wood that was giving the doll structure. I hung the x-ray in the window of my office.  Hopefully I will get a better image of this printed off, but for now I kind of like the blue sky and autumn leaves peaking through.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Izannah Walker Doll Sold on Ebay

An Izannah Walker doll with some repaint and some repairs sold on Ebay for $6,599.00.  The seller was raredolls.   On the last day of the auction the bidding went up dramatically.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Izannah Walker Doll
Auctioned at Skinner's Discovery Auction

Skinner's Discovery Auction sold the doll above and below Izannah Walker doll for $12,500.  In addition to the hammer price, there is a 20% commission. So that makes this doll's final price $15,000 (add tax if you live in Massachusetts).  

Skinner's has many more images 
as shown by the screen shot below.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Izannah Walker Doll Sold on Ebay

This lot of mixed dolls sold on Ebay today for $3,680.  The Izannah doll was labeled as a leather doll. The poor dear is missing an arm and a foot and has multiple breaks in her paint on the head.  She was purchased at an auction in northern Vermont.  But she is all original (what's left of her). 

I hear there is an Izannah Walker doll to be sold at Skinner's Discovery Auction next week.   As I find more information, I will post it.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Kind Collector Shares Pictures
of Her Izannah Walker Doll

A kind collector has shared images of her Izannah Walker doll for those of us who love to study them.  I'm sharing the images just as she shared them.  This doll was featured in the DCA exhibit which was written about in Antique Doll Collector.   This doll wears her story in such a charming way.  Just as a doll that is 150+ years should.  The collector believes she is a pre-patent doll (made before 1873) and is likely from the 1860's.  Enjoy!

This doll is 15 1/2 inches tall. 

The collector believes this attached paper says, 
""Exhibited by Miss Alice Wood"

Thank you so much to this collector for sharing!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Early American Life Christmas Issue 2011

If you missed the Early American Life Christmas 2011 issue with the article Edyth O'Neill and I (Dixie Redmond) wrote about Izannah Walker Dolls you can order a back issue through Early American Life.    There are some amazing images in the article, provided by collectors.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Saying Izannah Out Loud

Remember that old song?

You say to-may-toe, I say to-mah-toe, 
You say po-tay-toe, I say po-tah-toe,
To-may-toe, to-mah-toe, po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe,
Let's call the whole thing off!

What do you think?

Iz-ann-ah or I-zann-ah?

Other spellings of Izannah in the 19th century a popular spelling were Izanna or Izana. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Another Izannah Walker Doll
at Sandwich Auction House?

Sandwich Auction has another doll advertised as an Izannah Walker doll to be auctioned August 19th. I received an email in which someone wondered if this was a Reuben Bates doll. I'd be interested inknowing what readers think. Here's a link to the listing with additional photos.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tinted Daguerreotype of Child with Doll on Ebay

Izannah Walker doll lovers will find this Ebay auction for a tinted daguerreotype of a child with a doll interesting.   

The auction ended on May 8, 2012 
at $1,211 US dollars. 

Elizabeth Isenberg emailed me and shared the following ideas about this daguerreotype:
"...this is an early brass mat that came out in the1840s and used into the mid 1850s. Until a couple years ago when I attended a lecture on confederate dags, I would have thought this was that early. However, I learned that because of the embargo on goods in the south, cases were I look for other clues but I don't see any. The dress is a typical day dress. The jewelry and the doll's dress have been colored, along with her cheeks with a dry powder (because the image can't be touched) and then the artist breathed onto the plate to hydrate the paint. The image is sharp except for the child's face because she moved. It wasn't a long exposure (less than 20 seconds) and looks like it was taken outside because of the amount of light. The back drop is just a piece of canvas and the mat is not attributed to a photographer (possible traveling daguerreotypist) which would have given us more info. Who knows if this has a photographer's card behind the image or the child's name. I wouldn't hold my breath- but it is still a good image for any doll collector.
I think the doll gives lots of info- The seam between the head molds is broken and may have given Izannah the dream to redo her doll and I don't see any evidence of side curls. Could this be a Bates Doll?  I've just received a copy of the book, Your Dolls and Mine by Janet Pagter Johl (1852) off amazon books and page 40 talks about Reuben Bates who

was a pattern maker and made a iron head mold with the mouth slightly crooked and one eye higher than the other (pic of Izannah mold next to Bates). He lived in Providence for a number of years and made dolls also." 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Following Izannah Walker Doll Auction Prices

If you like to follow Izannahs at auction, one way to do that is to sign up for lot alerts at auction companies which have sold Izannah Walker dolls in the past.  Auction companies like Withington's, Morphy's, Bertoia, Theriault's, Frasher's, McMaster's and Skinner have sold Izannah Walker dolls.  Occasionally they show up in other places such as estate auctions or Ebay.  Some of these sites have the option of signing up for an account where you can name specific items that interest you.  Then when that item comes up they email you. 

There are also companies online like Liveauctioneers, Artfact and Prices4Antiques which facilitate internet bidding and/or track auction results.  Prices4Antiques and Artfact have membership fees, to see realized prices.  I try to track these as I'm aware of them here, but haven't compiled a list yet. You can find past auction results at these sites if you choose to become a member.  It is really fun to see the variety of dolls that have come to market as well as the realized prices.  

Monday, April 30, 2012

Izannah Walker Patent Conversation Print Fabric

One of my goals this year is to learn about fabric design.  I really love old fabrics and some of the "conversation prints" in old fabrics are so fun.  I made my own "Izannah inspired" conversation print using the doll image from Izannah's patent and thought it would be fun to share here. 

You can choose to have the design printed on Kona or quilting fabric or a heavier weight.  I've printed on the quilting fabric before at and like it but it's a bit thick for tiny dolls. The voile would be perfect for very small creations.

So if you're a quilter, and you like Izannah Walker dolls, then I've made this fabric available for purchase on Spoonflower.  It's my first design but not my last.  It reads somewhere between a pink and a red, a little on the salmon side.  Kind of like a faded red.  A fun color to put in an antique inspired quilt.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Izannah Walker's Patent In Written Form

Elizabeth Isenberg, who shared the wonderful daguerrotype of Mary Jenks holding an Izannah Walker dollcontacted the National Archives to get a copy of Izannah Walker's Doll Patent in written form. The form online is a typed/printed version. She kindly shared the PDF of the written patent with me so that I could share it with Izannahphiles who read this blog.  It is so fun to be able to see this patent and also to compare the handwriting in it to the letter that Izannah wrote to her sister Bridget.   Elizabeth said in her email to me, 
"I do love how Izannah used the word sometimes and I am surprised her patent atty allowed this to be submitted. Patents are suppose to be like a recipe in a cook book. It really reflects on her personality and it must have driven the patent staff crazy to smooth out the inconsistencies."

It looks as if Izannah paid $15, and an additional fee of $20 to file this patent.  $35 of 1873 dollars would be worth $673.08 in 2012.  That was a large amount of money for a middle-aged female to spend on getting a patent in her own name. Patents were often taken out in the name of a male family member, rather than in the name of the female.    

courtesy of National Archives

"Patent Case File 144373; Patented Case Files; Records of the Patent
and Trademark Office, Record Group 241; National Archives at College
Park, College Park, MD."

I converted some of the PDF images to photo files below.  But do view the PDF to see all of the pages of the patent.  Thank you so much to Elizabeth for sharing once again!

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.  ...