|Noomi, at the cottage, summer 2017.|
”I collect doll, primarily because I have so much joy and passion,” declares a caller to the Home Shopping Network’s Collectors Day program, and continues to say that the dolls remind you of the pretty things in life and that the dolls are always there with you, how ever you feel.
The book ”Life Like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives of the Women Who Love Them” written by A.F. Robertson lifts up interesting questions about collecting and the collectors. The growing business making dolls, especially porcelain collectible dolls, is worth billions. Handcrafted and limited editions of these dolls may have a tag of $500 is said to strike a chord in the hearts of all ladies, mostly older ones. The nurseries, as the writer calls it, may grow up to hundreds of dolls.
Every doll has a name, identity and certification. A.F. Robertson writes about the women, their clubs, fairs, visits their homes and does the best to understand why these dolls are so irresistible. And he stirs up feelings. In the introduction of the book Robertson writes that most of us who see a porcelain doll just think that it is not a toy and nothing one should give a child. Fragile and disturbing. And those who find out about the collectors think that the women have a mental problem, that the dolls are creepy and one person even said that ”they try to capture life, but they are deathly.” The writer wrote that these responses are mild compared to what others had to say about collecting dolls.
There is even shame and guilt, that some doll collectors feel. Often the collection starts with a doll that had belonged to a older, but nearer relative and this souvenir is a reminder of ones childhood. Dolls are seen as a distinctively, challengingly a female property when it comes to heir. Some collect to save to their own children - it is all about inherit the collection and nothing more. They may add to the collection they got from their mother.
Looking a bit deeper on this subject, I have noticed that many of us collect dolls based on history (Barbie’s in the 1960’s, porcelain dolls from mid 1800’s and so on) and fashion (a doll in a Victorian outfit, as example) - it is something antique. Others use dolls to make clothes and patterns to sell. There is even a bit of nostalgia over collecting dolls and in some points a therapeutic value.
Simply put: Collecting dolls are a hobby of mine. It gives me joy. And you?