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.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Scenes from Our 2017 Doll Show

As has been announced earlier on this blog, our 43rd Annual Doll Show and Sale will be on October 13, 2018, at the Williamson Conference Center just behind the Wingate by Wyndham in Round Rock. (watch our doll show page for updates!).  In the meantime, you can watch this short video to enjoy some scenes from our last doll show.

Monday, April 16, 2018

April 2, 2018, Meeting

Member Betty Birdsong did a program on paper dolls. She said that antique and vintage paper dolls are less expensive than their three-dimensional counterparts, are easy to store and transport, and illustrate both the history of fashion and printing. Bette told the club that prior to the 1800, paper were handmade or engraved and hand colored. Such dolls were sold precut, as scissors were costly. In the 1800's, less expensive printing technology allowed paper dolls to be sold in uncut sheets. In 1863  McLoughlin Brothers, followed by Raphael Tuck and Sons in 1866, began to mass produce paper dolls with a wide variety of colorful costumes, including foreign and and fairytale dolls. By the end of the 1800's, paper dolls were showing up in newspapers and as promotional items on products such as cereal boxes and coffee cans. Children also created their own paper dolls by cutting people out of magazines and drawing their own wardrobes.

McLoughlin and Tuck offered dolls on thicker pasteboard with beautifully printed outfits and accessories.

Bette has this terrific trousseau of early doll dresses, but is still looking for the paper doll that wore them.  

This book by famed illustrator Frances Brundage dates from 1920.

Many women's magazines included pages of paper dolls to encourage sales.  Betty Bonnet appeared in Ladies Home Journal in the 1910s.

McCall's first offered Betsy McCall in 1951.

The Dennison Manufacturing Company prompted its crepe and tissue paper products by selling jointed paper dolls with three-dimensional crepe paper clothing.  This little girl comes with pre-printed outfits, but the dolls were also offered sheets of colorful crepe paper and patterns so that children could create their own costumes.

New printing technology made paper dolls even more affordable.  Stores like F. W. Woolworth offered inexpensive paper dolls books. Companies such as Saalfield Publishing Company, the Werner Publishing Company, and Whitman Publishing created a wide variety of paper dolls. 

By the 1920's, paper doll books began to feature movie stars such as Shirley Temple, as well as celebrities like the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. In the 1940's paper dolls of Claudette Colbert, July Garland, Ava Gardner, Betty Gable, Rita Hayworth, and Elizabeth Taylor were popular. However, with the introduction of inexpensive hard plastic dolls in the 1950s and Barbie in 1959, little girls began to lose interest in paper dolls.   Paper dolls were still produced in the 1960s, typically based on television shows such as Dr. Kildare and the Beverly Hillbillies.   A nostalgia craze in the 1970s resulted in reproductions of antique paper dolls, but these copies could not reproduce the high quality of the original printing process.

This delightful paper doll with her dresses of real fabric glued to paper was created by Bette's mother, an art major.  Her mother also made a set for Bette's sister,  Lynda.

Member Elaine Jackson supplemented her March program on Schoenhut dolls.  The standing doll is by Schoenhut, but although the seated doll at first glance also appears to be from this company, it was in fact made in 1919 by Giebeler-Falk Doll Corporation in the United States and has an aluminum head.  Like Schoenhut, Giebeler-Falk advertised its dolls as the unbreakable alternative to fragile bisque doll heads.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Today is Friday the 13th. . .

. . . but these black cats are not omens of bad luck. The comical character kitty is by Gebruder Heubach. The head is bisque, the composition body is textured to resemble fur, and she wears her original dress. The head is incised on the neck with the square Heubach mark and "3/0" and "9103." Her smaller cousins are all-bisque dolls by Hertwig and Company of Germany. They are each 2.25 inches tall and wear their original crocheted costumes. Any collector would be very lucky to find such cute kitties!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Date for Our Doll Show!

Our 43rd Annual Doll Show and Sale will be on October 13, 2018, at the Williamson Conference Center just behind the Wingate by Wyndham in Round Rock. Watch our doll show page for updates!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Bunny Bonnets

This little all-bisque boy has donned a bunny suit for the Easter egg hunt, and looking at the size of the egg he is guarding, he hit the jackpot!  Jointed at the shoulders and wearing his original felt jacket, he is incised with the square mark of the German maker Gebruder Heubach and “10539."

This modern all-bisque doll also has molded bunny ears.  She looks a little apprehensive, as if wondering if there are any Easter eggs left to find.

Another all-bisque with bunny ears, this tiny child is an antique from the German firm Hertwig and Company.  She is all original and just 3.75 inches tall.

This 8-inch doll also outfitted in pink is by Madame Alexander doll and was created exclusively for the doll shop "A Child at Heart."  She comes with her own miniature Easter basket.