Saturday, December 29, 2018

Courtesy of Monica Bessette: Pictures of Ella Hawes' Izannah Walker Doll

In doing research for her book on Izannah Walker, Monica Bessette contacted the friend who owned Ella Hawes doll to see if she could use her doll's story. As will sometimes happen in life, a question will have more than one answer. The initial question led to Monica's purchase of the doll once owned by Ella Hawes so many years ago. Monica says:

"This doll is the one featured in my article "Walker Dolls: A Family Affair" originally owned by her grandmother, Ella Hawes. Ella was born in 1861 in Virginia, but was sent north to Attleboro, MA (about 5 miles or less from Central Falls) just before the Civil War. Her mother had died, and her father sent Ella and her brother up to live with his family, along with the coffin containing his wife and youngest daughter, who had both recently passed away, to be buried in the family plot.
I've included a few photos of comparison between my first doll, Joy, and my new doll, Ella. Joy is 18" and Ella is 16". The stockinette used on Ella is a much lighter weight and smaller weave. Ella is complete with both hands and feet, but one hand is unattached." 

Enjoy the images below. Thanks, Monica, for sharing! I'm looking forward to reading Monica's book!

For fun, Monica shared a comparison 
of her two Izannah Walker dolls.
How alike, and yet different they are!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Izannah's Imagined Journal - Entry 1

This blog began in 2008. This post was written on January 7th of that year. I thought it would be fun to re-post some of the early blog posts. When I began this blog, it was on a whim on New Year's Day. I thought it would be nice to create the online resource I wish existed. Since that time, social media sites have come to the forefront and blogs have taken a back seat. But there is something to taking a deep dive on a subject, and this blog represents 10 years of study.  I put the blog archive back into the sidebar so visitors can search through.  Wonderful images of Izannah Walker dolls have been provided by some wonderful people for the inspiration of modern dollmakers and those who collect Izannah Walker dolls. 

This post about an imagined Izannah Walker journal was fun to write back in the day.  

Plan for Ben Franklin's Parlor Stove

It's interesting how these people go on and on about my dolls, as if that's the only thing I ever did. Well, I am proud of them, and it is amazing that 150 years later they are still going strong. I wonder what my nieces and nephews did with my molds and such? Wouldn't those go for a pretty penny in today's market?

What these people don't know is that I was not only a dollmaker - I was an inventor. The dolls grew out of the inventing. The phrases "what if" and "why" and "I wonder" were always rattling around in my head. And it seems like the answers to questions were often held outside of a woman's realm. But that didn't stop me, no sir.

And I'll grant you that while many men have marbles for brains there have been a few who had marvels for brains. Take old Ben Franklin, for instance. Now there was a man who thought like a woman! Asking the question "What if the fireplace were in the middle of the room?" is pure genius.

Back to the dolls...if the little girl down the street hadn't fallen on her china doll and broken it I might not have thought to make a different kind of doll. But she brought it down to me, jagged edges and all, saying "Miss Izannah, you're the smartest woman I know, ma'am. I bet you can fix this." And so I did. But it made me ask the question, "What if a doll had a hard middle and a top layer of batting and fabric?"
I bet a man thought up the idea of making a doll out of china...

(This journal entry is purely fabricated by Dixie Redmond, 2008)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Remembering Dolores

Withington's shared a picture today on Facebook of Dolores Smith, who passed away.  The post said simply, "Our beautiful Dolores." I'd like to share a story about her kindness to me.

Many years ago I called Withington's to see if I could drive down to document the Izannah dolls they had coming up for auction. Dolores Smith answered the phone. I mentioned the fabulous Ella Izannah doll which had recently sold at Withington's. I said wistfully, "I WISH I had been able to see the fabulous Ella, but life didn't allow. Is there any chance you could pass information along to the new owner of the doll with my contact information?" 

Dolores answered, "I know the person who owns that Izannah very well. I think she could be persuaded to let me bring the Izannah in for when you come."

I asked a photographer friend to come along on the trip. We went up the night before, because it is a four hour drive. When we got there, Dolores and Larry had set up a room with the Three Izannah's. They let me have carte blanche with taking pictures. Dolores offered to remove the clothing from Ella, so that the bodies of two Izannah's could be studied side by side. Ella's undergarments had never been removed.

Anyway, I was able to share  images on the Izannah Walker Chronicles of the wonderful Ella doll. And beyond that, because of Dolores, doll makers all over the world have studied Ella in emulating Izannah's work. Dolores' kindness is in each of those resulting works. Rest in peace, Dolores. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Theriault's to Auction Two Izannah Walker Dolls

I was searching for a particular Izannah Walker doll, and my search yielded these two Izannah Walker dolls to be auctioned by Theriault's on Saturday, November 3, 2018.

The doll in the printed dress is an unusual mold and measures 19" tall.  She is a patent doll, which means she is later, but just as collectible.  Read about this doll here.

And the doll in the blue dress is a classic Izannah mold, with an u usual whisky hairstyle. The Izannah in blue measures 18".  You can read the description for this doll here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Withington's Offers TWO Izannah Walker Dolls

Withington Auctions sent these pictures along for those interested in Izannah Walker dolls. There will be TWO dolls auction on Thursday, October 18, 2018.  Both dolls are 19" in height. You can find lot descriptions for 100 and 161 at their site here - Withington Online Catalog   

Izannah Walker doll, lot 100
Hammer Price $19,0000

2nd doll, Lot 161
Hammer Price $5,900

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Withington's to Auction Izannah Walker Doll August 2018

Withington Auction Company will be auctioning off an Izannah Walker doll at their August auctions which begin tomorrow!  I love dolls like these, where you can see the construction details. I hope someone wonderful gets to bring home this lovely girl made by Izannah Walker.

Thank you, Withingtons!  Over the years your generosity has been appreciated. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

1865 Izannah Walker Doll Offered by Withington Auction, Inc.

This Izannah Walker doll, said to be made in 1865, is to be offered the April 11-12-13th Withington Auction.  Two charming dresses with apron’s of the period are also to be auctioned.  The description of the doll is as follows:

“Izannah Walker Doll, purchased in 1865 by Eastwood Eastwood, for his adopted daughter, Maude Rouse, age 3 years old, Central Falls, R.I. (note of the doll's provenance stitched to the hem of her slip) - purchased in Connecticut about 25 years ago.”

Read more about Eastwood Eastwood here

The doll is 18” tall, and has a center parted hairstyle with wisps coming forward at the temples.  The name of the neck is artfully painted feathery ringlets.  Here are image Withington’s sent:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Izannah Walker Doll for Sale at Alderfer Auction

On April 4, 2018 the following Izannah Walker doll will be offered for sale at auction at Alderfer Auction.  The auction will feature the doll collections of Rosemarie Snyder and Regina Steele.

The hammer price was $16,000.

15.5 inches tall

A Pictorial Directory of Dolls<br> 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 dol...