Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Martha Chase Doll That Wasn't



Izannah Walker dolls lead interesting lives! 


Last week another doll enthusiast, Judi Hunziker, sent me a link to an online auction for a Martha Chase doll. When I (Dixie Redmond) clicked through to the link my jaw dropped. Be still my heart! The auction was for an Izannah Walker doll, not a Chase doll. 




I contacted the seller, Bryce, to get more information about the doll to post on the Izannah Walker Chronicles. The seller, Bryce, emailed he had been contacted by 20 people telling him the doll was actually an Izannah Walker doll, and that he should relist the doll with correct attribution. Indeed, a number of friends in a doll group were discussing the doll. Bryce stated he and the winning bidder came to an agreement that the doll should be offered as an Izannah Walker doll and they (the family) were entertaining offers. I emailed Bryce, and FaceTimed as well. He did indeed physically have an Izannah Walker doll, and had documentation of the doll as well from Janet Waggoner's estate. 

 

Mistakes do happen. Izannah Walker dolls have sometimes been described as leather dolls, papier-mâché or simply cloth dolls in selling venues - even by professional doll auction sites. It would be easy for a non-collector to think an Izannah doll, grouped in a box with Chase dolls, is also a Chase doll. Martha Chase used Walker dolls as a springboard for her own designs. Both types of dolls have molded faces made of stockinette, and are oil painted. They do share similarities. 


Bryce detailed this information:  The Izannah doll was part of the collection of Janet Elizabeth Waggoner, who he stated was his grandmother. Janet Waggoner was a doll collector/dealer active in 1977. Bryce shared an image of the Izannah doll in a UFDC Region 14 publication of the New London Doll Club from 1977. Janet Waggoner sold dolls to museums, including the Rosalie Whyel museum. This Izannah doll, along with another doll (thought to be an early Chase doll owned by Anna Chase) have always been together in Janet Waggoner's collection. 


Images of doll believed to be an early Chase doll 





The Izannah Walker doll is apparently now sold to a private collector, with assurances that the doll will be presented in an educational article and will be preserved in a safe environment. Izannah enthusiasts can hopefully look forward to more of this doll's story. The mystery continues! 


Below this post are images the seller agreed to share for Izannah enthusiasts to enjoy. 


I will end this post this post the way it began by saying, 


"Izannah Walker dolls have interesting lives!" 




Images of Janet Waggoner's Izannah Walker doll:  




























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