September 22, 2001
They lie there together, a doll man from Ecuador, with a pipe like instrument,looking grave under his upturned hat, and next to him a naked figure from Burkina Faso from Africa Direct,a company in Denver, Colorado.( 2300 Kremeria St., Denver, Colorado) The Ecuador doll has a label on the bottom, "Hand crafted in Ecuador for Alliance for Progress." I try to imagine the people who made them and realize that I can't.
Which brings me to my interest in traveling to visit the doll artists around the world.
I am now obsessed and quite a bit poorer because of this new hobby. I have picked up whole collections from estates of people in the UK, Australia, and Canada, as well as 35 dolls from a lady in Garden City, NY. The Ebay collections are so similar. The dolls are clearly selected carefully to represent many parts of the world. The Garden City lady had a good selection from Western Europe, but also dolls from Thailand, Korea, Belarus, an Amish faceless doll, and Japan.
Should I be concerned that these dolls are crafted by poor people for the well to do tourist trade ? Should I be concerned that often they are a craft that is a "poor person's" craft for which they make very little money ?
I am obsessed about getting a doll from every country in the world, and just this past week picked up dolls from Greenland and St.Kitts and last week hard to fnd dolls from Bahrain and Bangladesh, still to come. I make stupid lists of them, compulsively.
Then of course there are the First Lady dolls.In the mail today is a Taft daughter in a very large box, that I picked up for less than 50.00.
I look over at the closet with the dolls tucked in probably dangerous plastic refrigerator bags. Behind me on the bed are identification books, the Judds (how I would like to get to know these ladies, the wonderful Australian author, Marjory Fainges, Gwen White, Dolls of the World, and the first one I bought a year ago,Frame's Folk and Foreign Costume Dolls.
Yes, I was on Ebay at 5 this morning, and while I said I would not bid, I did. For a collection that duplicates what I already have, but what are very good dolls.
Where do I go from here ? I want to share them, exhibit them in some way. The idea of the "virtual" doll page is appealing, and I started once again yesterday to set up a Tripod page which will have a page of links to each country, and I will be consistant with photographs and also a good links page for each country.
How I wish that I had started a better system of documenting my dolls when I first began this Ebay adventure into this hobby. I should have had a proper card for each doll with prices, and exactly who sold it and a description of the doll.