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Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Parr by Kathy Redmond

titanicera.jpg (3149 bytes)DESCRIPTION:  Kathy Redmond's dolls are always exquisite in their realistic portraiture and these portrait dolls of Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Parr, the first and last wives respectively of the infamous Henry the VIII, are nothing short of marvelous! 

Kathy sculpts each doll in porcelain and each doll is a OOAK as it emerges from the clay with its own expression and individuality.  Even if Kathy makes more than one portrait doll of an historical figure, no two of them will look exactly alike.  Those expressions are exactly what is most remarkable about Kathy's work.  They impart a life and vibrancy into her dolls that is absolutely singular.  And her extraordinary sculpting talents don't end there.  Kathy gifts her dolls (and doll collectors!) with superbly crafted millinery/head wear and fabulous carved jewelry.  The detail worked into the porcelain is always exceptional and always results in a stunning piece of art.  No Artist Doll collection is complete without some wonderful example of Kathy's work.

Catherine of Aragon is dressed in a shimmering blue and gold brocade gown which compliments her lovely blue eyes and her magnificent blue, gold-trimmed hood.   Her carved jewelry and bodice front are quite extravagant and two lovely carved bracelets grace her wrists.  She also has lovely dainty fingernails!  Catherine is marked on the back of her shoulder plate:  "Catherine of Aragon" along with Kathy's signature logo.

Catherine Parr is dressed in a red brocade gown trimmed with gold and black.  Her "feather-trimmed" hat has been beautifully executed as has her "bejeweled" necklace.  She is marked on the back of her shoulder plate:  "Catherine Parre" along with Kathy's signature logo.

SIZE:  These dolls stand approximately 14 - 14 1/2 inches tall.

  • Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Parr by Kathy Redmond
  • In a private collection

United States Historical Society Living Image Doll Abigail Adams

titanicera.jpg (3149 bytes)NOTE:  Although this is not technically an Artist doll, we have included this limited edition porcelain doll in our gallery for the sheer beauty of her historic costume. 

DESCRIPTION:  The United States Historical Society made a wonderful series of "Living Image" dolls depicting famous Americans dressed in fabulous recreations of period costumes, one of the series being Abigail Adams.  This doll is a sheer confection for collectors who covet historic costume dolls.  Her head and hands are made of bisque porcelain with exquisite detail; and she is dressed in period-perfect fashion with every facet of her outfit so artfully constructed that it's difficult to know where to begin in its description.  

The Historical Society took great pains to make Abigail's costume historically accurate.  Her gown is constructed of china silk. "Notice the ruching on the edge of the silk bodice and skirt as well as on the quilted petticoat...[t]he tiny silk roses in Abigail's hair and on the front of the dress and petticoat, the genuine diamond studded ivorene fan, and the tiny strands of pearl jewelry which add a flair of femininity to this serious woman's appearance."   Her shoes alone are a miniature work of art, she wears period-correct ribbon garters to maintain her stockings, and her undergarments rated a small but absolutely fascinating dissertation on period underclothes in her accompanying literature:

Upon examining Abigail you will discover that she is not wearing undergarments.  Her entire costume "as is" is historically accurate.  So many of our collectors have had questions regarding this, that we would like to share with you the following excerpt from our historical research on women's undergarments in the late 18th and 19th centuries.  

In the late 1700's through the 1800's, undergarments were divided into two categories.  Underlinens were worn to protect both the skin and dress as well as to provide support to outer garments.  These consisted of petticoats and chemises, usually made of linens or cotton.  The second category, the structural underwear, shaped the female figure to conform to the fashion of the day.  Structural underwear consisted of corsets, bustles and crinolines.  

Drawers were not worn until the early 1840's.  (Abigail died in 1818.)  These consisted of two tubular legs fastened together only by a band at the waist.  (The inside seams were left open.)  The legs extended well below the knees in the 1850's, and were shortened to the knees during the 1870's.  By the 1880's the legs were seamed together and the bottoms gathered into a band and frilled below the knees.  In the 1890's the legs of drawers were very full and wide, adding volume to skirts and dresses.  

If you will take a moment to notice the doll's undergarments you might be surprised at the intricate detail.  The chemises and underpetticoats were made of the finest cotton batiste.  Tiny scalloped edges follow every curve of the chemise; the corset is made of silk pongee with tiny flowerette holes through which the silk ribbons are laced.  

All of that to describe her underclothes - the parts of her outfit that aren't even seen without (gasp!) lifting her skirt!  Even her stand is special.  Abigail comes with a custom stand made of polished hardwood with an engraved brass identification plate.  The edition is limited to only 2500.  The amount of work and detail in this doll is absolutely unbelievable and it is no wonder that she issued at $525.

SIZE:  Approximately 11 1/2 - 12 inches tall including her stand.

  • United States Historical Society Living Image Doll Abigail Adams
  • In a private collection

Rare Molded-Hair Parian Doll Kit by Mary Brouse

titanicera.jpg (3149 bytes)DESCRIPTION:  This lovely parian doll kit has been constructed in a harder-to-find Empire or Regency style.  The head features nicely molded shorter curls all around with darling little ringlet-type curls surrounding the face similar to the early 1800's hairstyles favoured in the Napoleonic era.  This is definitely an example of Mary's best work as not only is this style of head one that is seldom seen, but the painting is very "crisp" resulting in features that one never tires of viewing.  The head has pierced ears and the back of the shoulder plate is marked in the artist's signature style:  MKBrouse '91.  The kit is ready to be made up into a treasured doll or is eminently displayable as-is with its unusual head, elegant arms and dainty legs with matching molded period slippers.  

SIZE:  Head approximately 4 1/2 inches tall, Arms approx. 3 3/4 inches long and Legs approx. 4 inches long.

  • Rare Molded-Hair Parian Doll Kit by Mary Brouse
  • In a private collection

Martha Thompson Peddler Lady - The Ribbon Seller

titanicera.jpg (3149 bytes)DESCRIPTION:  The incomparable Martha Thompson is an icon in the doll world.  A ground-breaking early American doll artist, she was one of the charter members of NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists) and strove to bring about the recognition of original handmade dolls as fine art.  Her own dolls cannot be mistaken for anything but fine art and whenever her name is mentioned in doll circles it is accompanied by nothing but praise for her extraordinary artistic talent and abilities.

Even though she probably would have demurred, people in the doll world admiringly refer to Martha Thompson as a "doller's doll artist", in the same tones reserved for a "doctor's doctor".  Just the mention of her name evokes streams of praise.  Margaret Whitton, former doll curator of The Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, notes:  "She was one of the greatest artists as far as modern dolls are concerned.  Really, no one could match her.  She did all her own sculpting and made her own molds--she did the whole thing."  Wendy Lavitt in her article entitled Legendary American Makers:  Martha Thompson 1903 - 1964, in Dolls magazine.

This wonderful peddler lady is an excellent example of Martha's great talent.  She is one of five different types of peddlers made by Martha.  As with all of her dolls, the attention to detail is amazing.  This darling elderly woman has gnarled hands and gentle "aged" or wizened features.  The laces are clearly visible in her shoes and the wrinkles in her stockings are quite noticeable at her ankles.  Her bonnet alone is a work of art with delicate porcelain lace framing the doll's face, and intricate molded porcelain ribbons securing the bonnet under her chin.  She wears a somber charcoal-gray dress with a spotless white apron appropriate to her station.  Underneath she wears a scrupulously neat white cotton petticoat and bloomer combination.  In her arms she carries her basket of ribbons and laces - the delight of many a young girl, or those young-at-heart!  (The outfit and ribbon basket are not original to the doll.)  She is marked on the back of her shoulder plate with Martha's name and the date and has Martha's stamp on her muslin body.  Martha Thompson's dolls seldom reach the secondary market.    

SIZE:   Approximately 11 1/2 - 12" tall.

  • Martha Thompson Peddler Lady The Ribbon Seller
  • In a private collection

Emma Clear Replica Parian Lady Doll Naomi

titanicera.jpg (3149 bytes)DESCRIPTION:  Naomi is one of the last replica dolls developed by Emma Clear before she retired from doll-making in 1949.  Naomi has her hair combed back and held by three molded combs in the front with large curls left to fall in the back.  (With thanks to Ragnhild Ericson for her articles on Emma Clear in The Doll Artisan, 1987.)  This particular Naomi has just that, three lovely combs painted in black and gold holding her golden curls away from her face with the most wonderful hair lines painted at her temples.  And what a face she has!  Her eyes are painted with such exquisite detail that when combined with her slightly arched eyebrows, they give her a look that is totally her own and unmistakably independent.  This lady knows her own mind and no one is going to tell her any differently!  She comes dressed in her original clothing consisting of her signature Emma Clear corset, black taffeta full-skirted gown decorated with an antique lace shawl collar and marvelous metallic thread and sequin trim with matching sash.  Underneath she wears the sweetest little vintage princess slip and pantalettes, both trimmed with vintage lace.  At her ears dangle black and gold drop earrings; and a matching black beaded necklace graces her throat.  The jewelry, while not original, suits her perfectly.  The doll is marked on the back of her shoulder plate "Clear" in script with the number "49" in the "C".

SIZE:   Approximately 15" tall.

  • Emma Clear Replica Parian Lady Doll Naomi
  • In a private collection

Emma Clear Replica Toddler Dolls:  Little Girl With a Curl...and a Little Boy Too!

titanicera.jpg (3149 bytes)DESCRIPTION:  Little Girl with a Curl is immediately recognizable as a replica of an antique doll as many similar ones exist.  This Emma Clear doll seems to emulate the dolls made by ABG - Alt, Beck and Gottschalck - a picture of which is included in the slideshow for these dolls.  Our little girl has soft molded curls around her entire head with one large curl in the front.  Although this doll is most often presented as a little girl, it seemed to us that there is no reason that one couldn't conceivably be thought of as a little boy, and with that in mind, please allow us to present "the twins".  These darling dolls always appeared to be a "brother and sister" pair.  Both are dressed in their nightclothes:  our "Little Girl with a Curl" in her beautiful antique, ribbon and lace-trimmed ruffled nightdress and vintage drawers, and her twin brother in his antique, lace and ribbon-trimmed nightshirt and embroidered "onesie" combination undershirt and drawers, just settling down for story time before bed.  Our little girl cuddles her porcelain dolly, our little boy whispers to Teddy, and between the two of them lies a large storybook for Mother to read.  It is most interesting to find two of these dolls, each made up in a slightly different medium:  our little girl in pink bisque and our little boy in parian.  Both dolls are marked "Clear" in script with a "49" in the "C" on the backs of their shoulder plates.

SIZE:   Each doll is approximately 21 and 1/2 inches tall.

  • Emma Clear Replica Toddler Dolls
  • Both in private collections

Lewis Goldstein Artist Original OOAK Lady in Red Debutante

titanicera.jpg (3149 bytes)DESCRIPTION:  Lewis Goldstein is a well-known and much-loved figure in the doll world.  His talents are many, he is an accomplished sculptor, a doll artist and a writer; but perhaps he is best known for his work as a teacher, imparting his love of sculpting and his knowledge to aspiring doll artists and collectors alike through his sculpting seminars at doll shows and conventions in the late eighties and early nineties.  (With thanks to Jeanie Mason for her article "Making Babies with Lewis Goldstein" in Doll Artistry, Feb./March 1990.)

The Lady in Red is an original sculpt in porcelain by Lewis Goldstein, purchased directly from the artist, and looks every inch the "Sweet Sixteen" debutante making her grand first entrance into society...or perhaps she's even the Queen of the Rose Parade!  Dressed becomingly in rich fuchsia satin and silver lame, her fresh face outshines the beautiful "roses" that adorn her gown.  Her undergarments consist of a matching petticoat and pantalettes made up in pink taffeta which no doubt make a pleasant swishing sound when she walks.  Even her charming bouncing curls seem to echo her excitement on this, her special day!

SIZE:  Approximately 18 inches tall.

  • Lewis Goldstein Artist Original OOAK Lady in Red Debutante
  • In a private collection

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