Friday, September 7, 2012

China Faces

Dolls 11(1)_edited-1

I’m in love with them.  Smitten.  Have been for quite some time now….

1850s girl with doll

I can’t help but think, as I look at them, hold them…who held them first? Who first gazed at them lovingly so long ago—long before I was born…

 girl with doll - chicks57 on Flicker

What little girl held this one or that one during a hard time?  A scary night?  Helping her through the loss of a loved one?

Girl with doll, holding mother's hand c 1853

Which ones were held in happy times?  A birthday party, perhaps…Probably each of them and their first girls experienced good times and bad—just as we do now…

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Beautiful German china dolls…they crossed oceans, crossed prairies…some were even buried deep in the dirt for one reason or another…

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…only to be found in our time…

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…when we can love them once more.  Gaze at them lovingly…appreciate them for their lovely imperfections…

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They each have a story, you know--as is told by the marks they carry of their lives before…

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And I love each and every rip, tear, rubbed off bit of paint and crack…every bit of old sawdust stuffing spilt…

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A new project I’ve been dying to finish using one of my sweet German doll heads…

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A large antique salt shaker is re-purposed  for her new body…filled with glittering, iridescent mica…

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…a bouquet of sweet pink posies held in her china hand…

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…and she demanded plenty of sparkle, I  can tell you—she’d always wanted to be a Duchess, she seemed to whisper…

And so she is.

Dolls 12(1)_edited-1 {my little collection.  All antiques except for the largest doll on the  back left—quite a lovely reproduction, don’t you think?}

Here they all are again.  Sitting together on my great-great-grandmother’s quilt.  Just seemed to be the perfect place for such a gathering…

…and I’m absolutely smitten with them all.


{antique photos found on Pinterest}

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  1. As a collector of antique photos, I first have to say that I love the photos. My new passion is to find photos of children holding objects, toys, especially dolls (I've yet to find a little girl holding doll photo). But I love your dolls! One like them is on my antiquing wish list!

  2. What a beautiful collection! Julie, I love your re-purposed doll, she's just gorgeous!

  3. I am smitten with your doll collection too. They are all beautiful dolls. Love the vintage photos of little girls holding their beloved dolls.


  4. What a beautiful collection of antique dolls. Lucky you and just Love your new Duchess. She wears her crown so well.
    hugs Lynn

  5. Your doll collection is so beautiful. And using one little doll head as a top to the antique shaker is a lovely way to sprinkle a little sparkle (or just sit and loo pretty). :) Best wishes and blessings, Tammy

  6. Hi Julie. So happy I found you too! You have a beautiful blog and I'm spending time this morning catching up with you, reading past posts. Looking forward to following you, my new bloggy friend:)


  7. I too am smitten with them Julie. Love the Duchess! Have a wonderful weekend my friend. xoxo

  8. Your little girl photos are precious..that last one? I couldn't stop looking at her..she seemed ethereal. I kept all my girls' baby dolls and now my Betty plays with them...she's loved the hair off of several of them..which makes me sad..and glad

  9. They look so pretty and precious...
    The history they carry with them all these years is interesting and very intriguing.
    Oh if only these dolls could talk.

  10. How these all ever made it through without getting broken is such a remarkable feat. A testament to the little girls of that era. Lovely collection. Smiles...Renee

  11. Oooh Julie, I am smitten with them too!... and the Duchess is just stunning!... they all look beautiful on your great~great~grandmother's quilt, so appropriate... love to visit here... you treasure the past and all of the wonderful memories that it evokes as much as I do... thanks for sharing, xoxo Julie Marie

  12. Wow, these are quite amazing dolls, and they are in such good condition for being so delicate!! Thanks for sharing! xo Heather

  13. Just an amazing collection..I agree with you..who loved these dolls before..imagine the stories they could tell.

  14. I know what you mean, I love them to! Wondering what occasion and who held them in their little precious hands!
    Thanks for sharing them with us!

  15. What a wonderful collection of dolls. I love dolls and have a room full...but not many of the older dolls. It sure makes me feel good spending time with them! Hugs!

  16. Wow, what an amazing collection you have there. I haven't seen any around for a long time. I need to keep my eyes open for them. I loved the old pictures of little girls holding those dolls. Such precious items for them in those days.
    Kinda makes me a think our little kids have SO MUCH, that I wonder if they really know how to TREASURE anything.

  17. What a lovely collection! I too enjoy imagining who held and loved the antiques now that I treasure. What stories they would tell.

    Have a great weekend, sweet friend.

  18. Julie - these are all just precious! Each face tells a story! I have one small china doll - an antique reproduction my Mom bought for me years ago. I still love her so much! Have a great weekend - it is feeling so FALL here in Michigan and I am LOVING it! :)


  19. Love this collection. I'm just so enamored with antique and vintage dolls. I love to think of how many little girls have played with them, giggled with them, told them their troubles and cried as they were held until their little caretakers were asleep.

  20. What a gorgeous collection Julie!!! I love how you created your lovely doll from a shaker. She is a beauty.
    The old photos of the little girls holding tight to their babies are truly precious. I loved this beautiful post!!!

    150 rose bushes? Oh it must be Heaven!!!!
    sending hugs from here...

  21. LOVE this post Julie!
    And your sweet creation...her lips are so sweet!

  22. Julie, Thank you for stopping by & commenting on my trip to San Fran...YES! We must get together next year when I'm up there!!!

    These dolls are my favorite thing too. My Grandmother made me one when I was a child. She sewed her an entire wardrobe. And when I saw Diana Frey's class Secret Shaker Doll back in 2009 (using one of the German Doll heads) I signed up for that class. THAT is how I got started in jewelry design. AND TO THIS DAY... THE GERMAN DOLL HEAD THINGS ARE MY FAVORITE!Have a great week. HUGS!

  23. How lovely those old dolls are and that you have possession of them. I have two of my Mom's (born in 1890) and treasurer them both. One was just a head but I had a gal restore the body to her. I will post those someday soon. Nan

  24. A beautiful collection of china dolls, thank you for sharing their story