The Austin Doll Collectors Society is an organization of antique, vintage, and modern doll collectors, dealers, and artisans. We meet on the first Monday of each month and our meetings are fun and educational. We begin with refreshments and socializing, and, following our brief business meeting, there is a special doll-related program and "show and tell." The Austin Doll Collectors Society is a nonprofit organization and is a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Pretty in Pastels

All dressed up in pretty pastels, these little girls are prepared to celebrate the Passover seder or Easter Sunday. They are "Twin Sisters" made by the Nancy Ann Storybook Company in the 1940s and are in their original box. This painted bisque pair belongs to member Jenell Howell.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Springtime Stroll

Two little girls stroll hand in hand, discussing what goodies they hope the Easter bunny will bring them. The taller girl is 13 inches tall and is by the German company of Theodor Recknagle. She is all original, except for her wig, and a small paper label on her skirt says "Thuringia." Her 11-inch tall companion is Mold 390 by Armand Marseille. These little cuties belong to member Myrna Loesch.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March 20, 2018

Today is the first day of Spring. This 8-inch tall Muffie by the Nancy Ann Storybook Doll Company is dressed for the occasion. She's all original and dates from the 1950s.  She belongs to member Jenell Howell.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This cute colleen is from member Pam Wolf. This little doll is a resin Bleuette from Ruby Red Galleria and is wearing a jumpsuit Pam made from a 1920s pattern.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Mikado

On March 14, 1885, Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera "The Mikado" premiered in London at the Savoy Theatre. This 7-inch tall bisque Asian doll by the German company of Simon and Halbig Oriental doll could be part of the Mikado cast with her original mohair wig and silk kimono embroidered with butterflies. She has molded blue slippers with up-turned toes.

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Good Scout

On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia. This sweet little 8-inch tall scout belongs to member Sylvia McDonald. She is "Ginger" by Cosmopolitan Doll Company and was used by the Terri Lee Doll Company for their scout doll. Her dress and panties are tagged "Terri Lee."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March 5, 2018, Meeting

To commemorate the approaching St. Patrick's Day, the refreshment table was decked out in green.

Member Elaine Jackson did a program on Schoenhut dolls.  The company was started by Albert Schoenhut, a German immigrant from Germany.  The company's first success was a toy piano and by 1903 Schoenhut was producing circus characters and other toys out of wood.  In 1911, the first Schoenut doll was produced.  The dolls were created out of wood and could hold any pose thanks to a  clever system of internal springs.  They had holes in their feet and wore special shoes and socks with matching openings.  The holes could be used to fit the dolls on a special stand which allowed the dolls to stand, pose on tiptoe, and even balance on one leg.  The early dolls had character faces created by an Italian artist, but the faces were criticized as looking too old and serious.  Albert's son, Harry, later redesigned the faces to represent younger children.

In order to compete with the sweet-faced German bisque dolls, Schoenhut later introduced a doll with more doll-like features, like the little brunette girl in this picture. 

Schoenhut also expanded its line to include all-wood toddler and infant dolls.  The baby has a typical bent-limb body, but the toddler is fully jointed.

Schoenhut later struggled to compete with the lighter and less expensive bisque and composition dolls.  In 1921, Harry patented sleeping wooden eyes.  However, by 1935 the company declared bankruptcy.

Other members brought Schoenhut dolls to share.  This little girl belongs to Myrna Loesch, who carefully restored her and repainted her face.  

This little girl belongs to Bette Birdsong.  She is in nearly mint condition.  Although her dress may not be original, it is from the period. 

Jenell Howell brought several examples to share.

This little girl has the very desirable carved hair.

This charming child wears her factory original "union suit."

Sue Smith brought this example of a Pinn Family doll.  Albert's youngest son, Otto, started the Otto Schoenhut Company in 1935 and one of the company's offerings was the wooden Pinn Family, created out of wooden clothespins. This is the daughter of the family, Beauty Pin.  She is missing her yarn hair.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

First Lady

Today, in 1959, the Barbie doll made her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York. However, Barbie was not the first modern doll with a shapely female figure, feet molded for high heels, and an extensive fashion wardrobe. That honor goes to Cissy, an elegant lady doll introduced by Madame Alexander in 1955. This 20-inch tall Cissy is all original and wears Style 2082 from 1956.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Hina-matsuri or Girls' Day

March 3rd is Hina-matsuri, also known as Girls' Day, in Japan. The holiday is celebrated by setting up multi-tiered platforms on which are seated elaborately dressed dolls representing the ancient emperor and empress and their court, accompanied by exquisite lacquer miniature furniture and accessories. These traditional dolls are called hina-ningyo. This beautifully modeled and dressed doll is known as a sosaku-ningyo (art doll). Beginning in the 1920s, some younger Japanese doll artists moved away from traditional Japanese dolls. Although the artists used traditional doll-making methods and materials, like gofun and silk, they created art dolls that strove to be more natural and life-like. This graceful geisha is 4.5 inches tall and comes dressed in her original silk kimono. Although her arms are slightly jointed (perhaps to aid in dressing her), the rest of her body is a single piece. She is also anatomically correct.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Texas Independence Day

On this day in 1836 the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. This tiny Texan is a 1.5 inch tall all-bisque doll in his original crochet costume. He is from the German firm of Carl Horn, who specialized in miniature dolls from 1906 through the 1930s.