Friday, October 24, 2014

More Battered Beauties

Our season at the historic site is winding down.  We finish with school visits at the end of next week.  I am looking forward to the time off so that I can catch up with some of the many projects I have shown you over the last year.  I continue to search for and find 'battered beauties' who need my attention.  It is my intention to own one or two dolls of each type to represent major categories of antique dolls so that when I give talks, as I will be doing in February, I can adequately show the history of dolls and tell all the interesting stories associated with their creation and purpose.  In the last few months I have picked up three - two are major projects.  I will share their photos and a little bit about them below.

The first is a really neat china head - and I do mean 'head'.  The doll head is made of pink lustre china and has a molded snood.  She reminds me of an ABG as she is extremely well-made with fine features and individual brush strokes framing her face.  When this one came into our consignment shop, it was attached to a piece of PVC plastic with caukling!  I couldn't bare to let her be thrown away, so I purchased her, removed the plastic piece (very quickly!), and am now in the process of making her 'presentable'.

I decided not to build a new china plate at this time, but am creating a plate out of felt so the dress I put on her will fit correctly.  When I have time - hopefully this winter - I will do it right!
As you can see, I purchased a vintage Goldsmith-type body to place the head on.  It has a sewn-on red corset, cloth hands, and black boots.  I am ordering a custom-made dress for her.  I'll post an image here when she is complete!
My next project is a Parian made by Kling.  I have always wanted one of these, but they are way beyond my budget.  This one came up at auction on eBay.  She has been much loved - which I think it wonderful.  Her nose is chipped and her plate cracked with a piece missing.  I have not done any work yet, but am anxious to get her cabinet ready!  She has such a lovely, stately feel to her.  The photos that follow are from the original eBay listing.

Gorgeous, isn't she? 
And last, but not least, is my new wax-over papier mache.  I haven't done much but clean her face a little.  I love the lambswool wig. 


Keep checking back.  Eventually I will have some completed dolls to show you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

S&H and Schoenhut Carved hair character restored

Over the last few months I had the privilege to work on a beautiful and rare carved hair Schoenhut boy, and a S&H bisque head beauty. Both belonged to the same customer.  The S&H was in the typical state of most 19th century ball joint dolls, with missing plaster, paint, damage to the joints and missing digits (or a hand in this case).  I obtained a new hand from Great Britain and then did the repairs.  You can see the transformation below.

The client wanted only the face of the Schoenhut restored. Due to this, I left his clothing on and covered the jacket and shirt as I worked.  I used a reference I found of the original look of the doll and matched it.  You can see the final result in the last photo where the two are compared.  

The first three photos are of the doll as he came to me.

The restoration process begins with a filler.  

The filler is carefully sanded (and I do mean CAREFULLY).

Once the filler is fixed, the first layer of paint is added.  Note that I left all of the original features untouched. 

The next layer of paint is added, mostly to heighten the skin tone, and original features are defined where needed.

The features are finished and a coating of wax/fixative is added.  These dolls had a slight sheen, so that is what I imitated. 

The completed doll compared to a photo of the original as issued in the early 20th century. 

This one was a joy to work on.  What a gorgeous doll!  

It can't be....

It simply cannot have been 5 months since I have posted to this blog.  I must have been dream-posting, because I remember other posts that I was sure would be here when I pulled up the URL - but they're not!

Time doesn't fly, it slips by like greased lightning.

Anyhow the culprit is, as always, the fact that I went back to work in April.  When you are in the tourist industry, the spring/summer months are not your own.  We have two and a half months to go (mostly dealing with school kids) and then I will be off for the winter and maybe I can catch up on everything else that has been neglected for so long.

Anyhow, my last post (I guess I have to admit it was that one in March!) dealt with the milliners model I had purchased and restored.  Since then I have purchased another milliners, a poured wax (who is on her way in the mail) and a very distressed moth-decimated Lenci.  As I work through the restorations on these three, I will detail them here.  Here's what the dolls look like now:

For the rest of this post I will catch up on two of the projects I had posted about before.  The Greiners are complete.  Here are some photos of them before and after.  If you remember I detailed their restoration process as well as the process for saving the brown dress on the smaller of the two.  



I will be posting again tonight, detailing two projects I did for a client recently, including a beautiful and rare carved hair Schoenhut boy.