Yup, today I’m looking at a material, rather than a specific doll. In order to add some variety, y’know?
When I was a girl, at some point I started really insisting that I wanted “a china doll.” In all honesty, I’m not sure what I thought I meant by that — I don’t even remember when it was, specifically — but I do know that my parents tried to indulge me. (Probably because they preferred that request to demanding a Barbie.) So the first one they got me was this one:
Looking at her now, I see a bisque doll reproducing (if in miniature) the feel of mid- to late-19th century German shoulder-head dolls with human hair wigs. Looking at her then, all I saw was “not what I want.” Because I was a kid, and kids can be unreasonable and selfish. (Actually, adults usually are, too, but at least we’re aware of it and do our best to tamp down the worst of it. Usually.)
I have two others that came out of this childhood desire for “a china doll,” but I’m not 100% sure which came first. I’m going to start with the lesser doll, though I have a sinking feeling she came second of the two.
Much larger than the previous doll, as you can see, her hair is a bit nicer, and her porcelain skin is in a human coloration, rather than being stark white. (I’m not sure at what point she lost a shoe…)
God, the dust! It terrifies me how dusty some of these dolls are, considering they live on a shelf beside my bed and I’m allergic to dust. (Yeah, I know, bad idea all around.) Anyway, see her little necklace? It’s a bracelet I got on a trip to the Southwest. Somewhere around here I have a matching necklace in human size. Well, actually, it may have been “little girl sized” to begin with. Anyway, before I move on, as I was getting the worst of the dust off this doll (yes, it used to be even worse!) for the photo, I noticed her tag, and was surprised to find she’d been made by Russ. Who knew?
All right, now we’ll move on to the coup de grace — admittedly rather early in the post. The most wonderful and important porcelain doll I will ever own:
I’m sure looking at her you can see one of the reasons I treasure her, since she’s inherently a lovely doll. But the other reason, the more important reason, isn’t something that’s visible at all. You see, this doll was hand made from a kit by my grandmother. She knew I wanted a china doll, so she bought that kit, and sewed this extremely lovely and complex doll body and dress for me.
In many ways, she will always be the prize of my entire doll collection because of that.
I just hope I was sufficiently grateful at the time. (Sadly, I don’t remember at all.)
In any case, we’ll move away from the sublime to the more-or-less normal.
After I hit my teens and I still had a passion for dolls, my mother convinced me to channel it into a new and fancy dollhouse, because “miniatures” are okay no matter how old you are, but dolls aren’t. (Yes, she sometimes still gets on my case for collecting dolls. Even though I’m 40 now, and what I do is really not any of her concern.)
So, I traded my childhood dollhouse for a fancier one with nicer furniture (though I still have a little bit of the original childhood furniture) and with nicer dolls to live in it….
The mother and father are only porcelain in their heads (and maybe feet and hands in his case), but the two kids are all porcelain, having been jointed with pins at the shoulders and hips.
So, anyway, those are the porcelain dolls from my pre-adult life. Though I suspect that what I really wanted back when I said I wanted “a china doll” may have been something more like this:
Yup, that’s a porcelain Barbie. I’ve actually got a surprising number of them, due to those Mattel outlet stores I mentioned a few days ago. 😛 It feels a little cheap only photographing one of them, but…they’re all either holiday or bridal dolls, and they all have the Superstar face mold, too. So they’re a bit repetitive, really. I picked this one because I like her dress, and she was the easiest to get out of the display case. 😛
There’s one other porcelain doll I took out of the same display case, but she’s very different in pretty much every way:
She’s small, inexpensive, and very badly lit. Wait, that last one’s circumstantial. Anyway, she’s kind of fun regardless of being cheap.
I have three more dolls to show you, but I think we’ll go in roughly the order I got them, even though it’s chronologically all wrong for the dolls themselves.
Yup, porcelain Bratz. MGA only put them out pretty briefly, as far as I know. I think it was right before Bratz shut down the first time. As I’ve said before, I’m not exactly a Bratz fan. But I do love things like this with minor historical value — oddities and unique products — and I never really got over my yen for “a china doll” so…I ended up getting two because I liked the clothes on one and the doll on the other. (But then since I never opened either one, it hardly mattered in the long run…)
This was the one where I liked the doll, but not the clothes, naturally. Swap the outfits on the two of them, and I’d have only needed the one. :p
Okay, all right, I’m ready to finish up this post by showing you the porcelain doll in my collection who’s both newest and oldest. She’s the one I acquired most recently — just a few years ago — but she’s almost certainly the oldest doll I own.
She’s a Nancy Ann Storybook doll. Isn’t she sweet? There’s something about these little dolls that just tugs at my “awwww!” strings. 😛
Anyway, that’s been “P is for Porcelain.” I hope it broke up the monotony a little. 😀