Saturday, November 6, 2010

Madame Alexander International Dolls - Sweden

Over the last two years, I have received numerous e-mails and phone calls from owners of dolls who wish to sell their collections. Sometimes the collections were purchased by the collectors themselves; sometimes the dolls were received as gifts over the course of many years; sometimes the collections were received as a result of estates of relatives or friends. There are many, many different reasons people want to sell their dolls. Sometimes the dolls are just sitting in boxes and the owner has no desire to keep them. Some are moving, and don't want to move them again. Some are unemployed as a result of the economic downturn and are selling off possessions to make ends meet. Some have been inherited and there is just no use for them.

As much as I would like to help folks out, I normally pass and do not purchase the collections. Recently, though, I had a request that interested me. I have a fondness and for some reason a soft spot for Madame Alexander dolls. There is just something about them…..maybe it's the look in their eyes, their cute faces, or their clothing. As I was pondering whether or not to purchase the dolls, my website,, sold two items and I sold another item on (textbooks4education) on the exact same day. I took this as a sign to move forward with the purchase of the Madame Alexander dolls.

Most of the dolls are the small 8" dolls from the International Dolls Foreign Friends Collection. I love to travel and so these dolls remind me of places I've been, people I've met, and places that I'd like to go. Let me tell you about one in particular. In this blog, I will talk about the doll from Sweden, in honor of my very good friend and neighbor, who moved from Sweden just a couple of years ago. This little Madame Alexander Swedish doll is dressed in a red skirted dress. She wears a gold apron with black trim embroidered with red and pink flowers with green stems. On her head is a cap with white, red and yellow embroidered flowers and green stems. She wears a lace edged slip and pantyloons and has black socks and black shoes. Her blond hair and light blue sleep eyes finish the traditional look.

I originally planned to share one of the other dolls on this blog, but decided to point out a few facts about Sweden instead. Did you know?

  • In 1855, safety matches were patented by Johan Edvard Lundstrom of Sweden. Lundstrom put red phosphorus on the sandpaper outside the box and the other ingredients on the match head, creating a match that could only be safely lit off the prepared, special striking surface. For the history of the match, go to

  • And more currently, Swedish author Stieg Larsson brought us the Millennium Trilogy of crime novels that have swept the world in popularity. The Millennium Trilogy consists of The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, The Girl Who Play with Fire, and the Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. For more on Steig Larsson, visit

I will share more of the Madame Alexander dolls at a later time. I will be keeping some of these recently purchased dolls, and some of them will be for sale on If you are like me, there are some that just speak to you and your life experiences. And as a doll collector, it is always fun to look at a doll and be reminded of a person, an event, or your travels, and THAT will make you smile.

When I bought the collection of Madame Alexander International Dolls, I didn't know that this little Swedish girl would lead me to this blog, but it was fun to write. I hope you enjoyed it, too.

See you next time!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Doll Collecting – Beton Reproduction Desdemona

Along with the doll collection that belonged to my beloved aunt, was a nice little booklet that contained details of each doll that she received or purchased. Among the details include the date, name of the place the doll was obtained, name of the doll, price, and a brief description of the doll. The information for one of my favorite dolls that I display in my home is contained on the third page of the booklet and is the 45th item listed. The year is 1985. The doll is named "Desdemona". She is described in the booklet as a porcelain doll wearing a pink hat. In 1985, my aunt purchased this doll for $175 at The Candle Corner Gift Shoppe in West Milton, Pennsylvania.

The tag that still hangs on the doll says "Desdemona, Beton Repro, cloth body, glass eyes". So what is Beton? That is the question. The markings on the back of the head appear to be S 116, although the 6 is questionable.

The markings on the doll's back are clearly BOK 84. Desdemona stands 19" tall.

I must confess that my research on this doll brought me up empty. I found Beton/Bergen plastic toys. And I found Belton Type dolls. According to the Doll Value books I've read, there are no dolls marked "Belton" found, only mold numbers, of which 116 is included. Do I have a Belton reproduction? Hmmm – information about the Belton Type dolls doesn't quite fit, so further details about the reproduction doll that I have will remain a mystery.

There are many reasons why doll collectors display their prized dolls. This doll will remain on display in my home, not because of her value, but simply because I like her.

See you next time!

Don't forget to visit

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Trick or Treat! – Doll Collecting

Maybe it's the cooler weather. Maybe it's that I'm beginning to feel "caught up". Whatever the reason, I decided to open a few more doll boxes to see what I could discover. And lo and behold, the words "Trick of Treat" jumped out at me as I opened one of the first boxes in my stack. How timely is that?

When I anticipate opening a doll box, I smile. When I opened the Trick or Treat doll box, I laughed. Not because the doll was funny, but because she was so darned cute! The bisque porcelain doll is named Melissa. Melissa was issued by the Danbury Mint as part of the Melissa collection by doll sculpture, Elke Hutchens in 1991.

She is dressed for Halloween's great adventure – Trick or Treat! Her hand-tailored costume is of a cat, which couldn't be more appropriate as I am a cat lover. She is ready to collect her treats with her little plastic pumpkin just like the one some of us used in our trick or treat days.

Others in the Melissa collection that are included on are Melissa – Christmas Morning, and Melissa – Valentine's Day.

"Christmas Morning Melissa" - Danbury Mint – 1991 – Sculpted by Elke Hutchens

"Melissa" by Elke Hutchens is a charming and lovable collector doll of the Melissa collection created by the acclaimed doll sculptor, Elke Hutchens. This doll depicts a little girl all dressed up for Christmas morning. "Melissa's" head, arms and legs are crafted of fine bisque porcelain. Her hand-tailored holiday ensemble consists of a red and white striped Christmas nightie with a wide ruffle around the bottom that is lavishly decorated with lace, red satin ribbon inserts and embroidered floral appliqués. She also has a fleecy robe completely lined with white satin and trimmed with delicate lace. Her accessories include two candy canes, a tiny toy teddy bear, and a Christmas stocking.

"Be My Valentine Melissa" - Danbury Mint – 1991 – Sculpted by Elke Hutchens

"Be My Valentine Melissa" by Elke Hutchens is a charming and lovable collector doll of the Melissa collection created by the acclaimed doll sculptor, Elke Hutchens. This doll depicts a little girl all dressed up for Valentine's Day. "Be My Valentine Melissa's" head, arms and legs are crafted of fine bisque porcelain. Her hand-tailored ensemble consists of a pink dress with a white lace pinafore. She is lavishly decorated with lace, pink satin ribbon on her dress and in her hair. Her accessories include a heart shaped box of Valentine's Day candy which says "I love you daddy".

I hope you enjoyed Melissa's favorite holidays.

Trick or Treat!
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So-o-o Big Thumbelina Doll – Ideal Dolls – Doll Collecting

The daylight hours are becoming shorter and the nights are becoming cooler, a reminder that the summer season is nearing its end. As I reflect upon the season gone by, I think of visiting new and interesting places, meeting new people, and spending time with family and friends.
With a new season quickly approaching, it is time to share another experience with doll collecting via this blog.
As I continue my doll collecting adventure, both from a collecting standing and a selling standpoint (, I am frequently approached by fellow doll owners or their family members to help identify a doll or determine the value of a doll they wish to sell. Recently, I was asked to take a look at some dolls that were given to our local women’s club, for the benefit of children.

One of the dolls, although a bit dirty and unkempt when we received her, was quite easy to fall in love with. It was also a fairly simple task to identify her, and therefore, find information about her. So, this blog introduces you to the So-o-o Big Thumbelina doll produced by the Ideal Toy Corp in 1983.

The So-o-o Big Thumbelina doll produced by the Ideal Toy Corp in 1983 was made in both a black and white version. The doll has a vinyl head, arms, and legs with a soft cloth body. She is 24” in length. She has rosy cheeks, beautiful brown glassine sleep eyes, and rooted hair. She was made with a mama voice box. She has straight black hair.

©1982/IDEAL TOY CORP/H380 (on head), cloth tag on side with stuffing marked “1983 CBS Toys”

The Ideal Toy Corporation Thumbelina Dolls:

Many of the most produced dolls are inspired by famous people and fairy tale characters. One such fairy tale character is Thumbelina. The Ideal Toy Corp created a variety of Thumbelina dolls. Although I don’t know all of them that were produced, I found 20 different Thumbelina dolls that were produced by Ideal Toy Corp from the years beginning 1961 through 1985. Several were made in both a black and white version of the doll.

Who is Thumbelina?

When I hear the name Thumbelina, I think of the tiny girl in the 1835 fairy tale by the Danish poet and author, Hans Christian Andersen. Some may also think about the Disney version of the movie “Thumbelina”. For more information about Hans Christian Andersen or Thumbelina, click on the links below.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Doll Collecting – Baseball Fever – Tommy On-Deck

Where does the time go? It's been a while since I've posted a new blog. It may be spring fever – it's just hard to stay inside. Or it may be travel fever – it's just hard to stay home.

The Game -Baseball

Whatever fever it is, one thing for sure is that many, many people have baseball fever. I'm sure my fellow Pennsylvanians are watching the Phillies and hoping they repeat their 2008 season as World Series champions.

It is at a young age when many boys and girls begin their baseball experience. It starts in the back yard, with mom or dad, playing catch. You put on your first baseball mitt, throw your first pitch, and bat your first ball. Then you wear your first baseball cap, dress in your their first baseball uniform, and before you know it, you're in your first Little League baseball game.

The Doll - Tommy - On Deck

To rekindle your baseball memories, artist Carole Jeane captured the essence in a doll named Tommy - On Deck. Tommy On-Deck is a porcelain collector doll issued by the Danbury Mint in 1994 and created by artist Carole Jeane. When I look at him, I have visions of my brothers in their young baseball days. I swear if I rolled up Tommy's pant leg, I'd see the same band-aids with which my youngest brother adorned his knees.

Tommy - On Deck is a typical boy ready to play baseball. He is dressed in light blue pants with a red, white & blue shirt, and sneakers. He wears his blue & white baseball helmet with pride as he sucks on his lollipop and leans on his bat, waiting for the words "Batter up!" Tommy's hair is brown and his eyes are blue/grey in color. On Deck measures approximately 19" in height in his standing position. Visit for information about Tommy On-Deck.

The History - Baseball

Wikipedia tells us: The history of baseball in the United States can be traced to the 18th century, when amateurs played a baseball-like game by their own informal rules using improvised equipment. The popularity of the sport inspired the semi and fully professional baseball clubs in the 1860s. For more information about the game of baseball, here are a few websites you can visit:

Batters up!

Tommy and I will see you at the ball game!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doll Collecting - Dolls by Jerri – Heather

Each time I open a box that contains a doll that I haven't seen before, the anticipation begins and I can feel my lips begin to form a smile. Each doll is a treasure and I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt each time I decide which doll box I will open next. On a recent treasure hunt, I picked a white box that, although in good condition, was showing signs of age. On the box were the words "Dolls by Jerri®" and "A Quality Vinyl Doll Produced in U.S.A". I looked at the box and couldn't help wonder what tidbits to knowledge would be brought forth with its opening. And so, I opened the box and met Heather. The first couple of characteristics that struck me about Heather were her vibrant, bright blue eyes and her gorgeous long red hair. The clothes are quite beautiful, are made well, and show great attention to detail.

As I took pictures of Heather for, I began to become curious about her. Before I met Heather, I had not heard of Dolls by Jerri. And as I started to research Heather, I became increasingly intrigued about the Dolls by Jerri story, and so decided to share information in a blog.

Heather (120108, doll #47) is an absolutely beautiful vinyl doll by Dolls by Jerri. Dolls by Jerri created original limited edition artist dolls. Jerri McCloud, who has been creating dolls since the early '70's, is the winner of numerous awards from DOLL READER'S DOTY AWARDS as well as from DOLLS MAGAZINE, DOLL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE. Heather stands 20” tall and has a cloth body with vinyl head, arms, and legs. She has vibrant blue eyes, long eyelashes, long curly auburn hair. Imprinted in the back of her neck is 1201 Jerri 1993 ©. In addition, Jerri McCloud signed Heather with the date 5-6-95.

Visit for more information about Heather.

About Jerri McCloud and Dolls by Jerri (information obtained from Dolls by Jerri website
  • The creator of Dolls by Jerri is Jerri McCloud (Geraldine Gibson McCloud). She was born in Newton, N. J. and lived with her mother and father in Baltimore, Maryland, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A devastating automobile accident left Jerri and her sister orphaned at the tender ages of 4 and 5. The two sisters were shuffled from family to family until the two girls, Jerri then nine, settled in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Jerri attended Strayer Business College in Washington, D.C. Jerri met Jim McCloud in Washington, married, settled in North Carolina, and had two sons of her own. Before Jerri began making dolls, she owned a ceramic shop.
  • Dolls by Jerri is the oldest commercial porcelain doll company in the USA. . For many years, Dolls by Jerri was only known for porcelain. In 1990 after much consideration of their collectors, they agreed to produce vinyl dolls. This allowed the collector to have a Jerri doll at a much lower price. Also, if children were around, there was no danger of breakage.
  • Jerri McCloud has been creating dolls since the early '70's. She is the winner of numerous awards from DOLL READER'S DOTY AWARDS as well as from DOLLS MAGAZINE, DOLL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE. The award she loves the most is having won the very first Doll Award ever, THE DOTY AWARD, in 1985 with Scottie--MANUFACTURER'S ARTIST DOLL AWARD. Scottie was the twin brother of Emily, 1984, that changed dolls forever! Emily with the first commercial doll that introduced real children images into dolls. She was a people doll, not a "doll doll". Jerri's definition of a "doll doll" is one that does not resemble a person, just a toy. From that point on, artists everywhere started creating dolls that had real children features as did Emily.
  • Dolls by Jerri has been based in Charlotte, NC since its inception. All dolls are produced in the United States of America, Charlotte, NC. Jerri and her husband Jim are committed to the best quality dolls available on the market today. She states, that without Jim running the business, Dolls by Jerri would not be here today.
  • Jerri does all the sculpting herself and paints the majority of dolls as well. The costumes are designed by Jerri and produced here in the United States as evidenced by the fine workmanship and the fullness of laces and fabrics.
  • Even though Jerri is past retirement age, her love for dolls continues to be the important factor in her business career. "By giving a person something to love, it is my hope they will share this love everywhere" states Jerri.
  • In the early spring of '97, Jerri was commissioned, by Donna Moore of Downi Creations, to produce a Doll with Down Syndrome. This turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences she has ever had. "
Although I had not heard of Jerri McCloud until recently, I was inspired by her story. Having faced tragedy in her early life, Jerri found a way to move beyond sadness to create beautiful dolls with love and meaning that provided happiness to many. Thank you, Jerri. You are truly a special inspiration.

As you can see, for me, the treasure hunt is more than just seeing a pretty doll, but it is the story behind the doll that is the most intriguing. There are such wonderful stories to share, and this doll did not fail me. If you have a doll made by Dolls by Jerri and wish to obtain the original sale price, a list is available on her website.

Thanks for visiting and

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Doll Collecting – Easter Bunnies, Easter Dolls

The weather is starting to warm, the trees and shrubs are starting to bud and my first daffodil has bloomed. Spring is such a refreshing season of the year as it truly demonstrates the rebirth of all things alive. With the coming of spring is the most important religious holiday for those who believe in Christianity. And that of course, is Easter!
The Good Shepherd

Easter 2009 is on April 12.

When I think of Easter, I am reminded of being a child and raising a child. I think of our many family traditions like coloring Easter eggs, Easter baskets full of candy, chocolate bunnies, and gifts, Easter egg hunts, dressing in our Sunday best for church and spending time with our families. I'll never forget the excitement of those new Easter bonnets, dresses, and a brand new shiny pair of patent leather shoes. And so, like many others, I look forward to Easter with fond memories.

For the doll collector, as with all holidays, Easter is an opportunity to show off those special dolls that help us depict Easter in their own special ways.

Some will decorate with a stuffed Easter bunny or two…….. (where did the Easter bunny come from anyway?)

Wikipedia tells us that the Easter Bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Alsace and southwestern Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1600s. The first edible Easter Bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s and were made of pastry and sugar. The Easter Bunny was introduced to America by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. According to the tradition, children would build brightly colored nests, often out of caps and bonnets, in secluded areas of their homes. If they were good, the Easter bunny would bring them gifts and other goodies (sound familiar?)

Some will decorate with a special doll that reminds us of our childhood……. (I think I may have looked just like this on Easter morning!!)
"Hattie Holiday Easter" from the Effanbee Doll Corporation is dated 1978. She is 16" in height, made of plastic, has bluish/grey eyes that open and close with beautiful eye lashes and rooted long blond hair. This adorable freckle-faced little girl is dressed for church in her Easter dress and straw bonnet with silk flowers, lacy socks and black patent shoes. See for more information about Hattie Holiday Easter.

Some will decorate with a doll or two that celebrates the true meaning of Easter……….

My favorite Easter decoration is a religious doll issued by The Ashton-Drake Galleries by artist Titus Tomescu in 1995. Of all of the dolls that were collected by my aunt, this collection is my favorite.

The doll pictured is called "The Good Shepherd". It is from the Messages of Hope collection, which also includes "Let the Little Children Come to Me", "Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock", and "Our Father, Who Art in Heaven". This collection is beautifully sculpted of porcelain, has beautiful detail and authentic clothing.

Another beautiful collection of porcelain religious portraiture by artist Titus Tomescu is entitled the Miracles of Jesus Collection. It includes "Water into Wine", "Multiplying the Loaves", "Walking on Water", "Calming the Sea", and Ascension Into Heaven.

Have you ever wondered why Easter falls on a different date each year?

Unlike Christmas, which is always on December 25, Easter falls on a different day each year. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox.

That's it for now and thanks for visiting my blog!