My Favorite Things: The Doll Collection

My mother-in-law brought over a treasure trove the other day. It seems that Darcy’s grandmother, a very glamorous lady who passed away in 2005, owned an extensive international doll archive, collected from her own travels. She willed some of the collection to my daughter, if I ever had one.

I am way too excited about this.

The quality of the dolls, all made in the 50s and 60s as far as I can tell, is remarkable. Some are made of porcelain and all have hand-made costumes, accessories and elaborate head-dresses. Silk threads festoon many of the native, beautiful costumes.

My favorite things I own are family heirlooms, like my grandmother’s cocktail pins and photographs of my mom and dad and grandfather from the 50s and 60s. There’s a black and white photo of my mom standing next to the Mini my parents drove through England on their honeymoon that makes me swoon. She’s wearing a fabulous trench coat, and she looks just like a brunette Julie Christie.

My grandmother collected whimsical salt and pepper shakers and showcased them in a beautiful mahogany and glass display case that I openly ogle every time I visit my parents. I will be scouring the local antique markets and flea markets for a similar unit to house these beautiful figurines in my daughter’s room.

Do you have family heirlooms you keep close to your heart? What are they?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “My Favorite Things: The Doll Collection

  1. I have some pretty great heirlooms because I was raised by my grandmother. I have a very old and very beautiful (still functional!) Waltham pocket watch that belonged to my Great Grandfather from Wales. I have my 92 year old Grandmother’s dress that she was christened in, and her first pair of shoes. I also have her first doll (it’s in terrible condition, and very spooky looking, but I love it). My favorite heirloom of all, though, is my grandmother’s wedding ring. She decided to take it off years ago, and I helped her pry it off. Since I’m the only one of us three girls to be married, my grandma gave it to me 2 years ago when I got married. It is even more beautiful than I remember, and I love that I was the one who took it off her finger for the first time since she got married in 1939.

  2. So pretty! My grandfather recently passed away and my grandmother is slowly dividing up their possessions. I claimed matching twin beds that my great grandparents had in their house. They will be perfect in a little girls’ room someday (if I have a daughter). Can’t wait- now just to figure out how to get them from NC to TX.

  3. These are beautiful! My grandmother also had a doll collection–and salt and pepper shakers. One of my sisters got all the dolls, and I only ended up with one pair of salt and pepper shakers. But I do have some antique furniture, like the iron bed from my paternal grandparents. I can’t wait until one of my daughters gets to sleep on it.

  4. Oh wow, what a treasure!! I have some things that were my grandmother’s… my kitchen in particular is sort of a shrine to Grandma’s kitchen. When the house & then their apartment were heing cleaned out, I couldn’t be there, & of course, it’s kind of hard to lug anything too big from there to here — so my sister & cousins got a lot of furniture and I got a lot of smaller stuff — but it was all stuff I loved and that meant a lot to me. Antiques now, lol. For some reason, Grandma wanted me to have the cookie jar, & I wrapped that up in towels & took it home with me after her funeral. ti’s what I think you would call hobnail milk glass — white, bumpy surface. I also have a spice box with little drawers that hangs on the wall with a set of salt & pepper shakers on top of it in the shape of two chickens, which fascinated me as a child (I was constantly opening the little drawers to see what was in them). A breadboard that my mother brought her from the Minnesota State Fair when she was in high school, that has a Swedish saying carved into it, which, translated, means, “Bread & butter make your cheeks red.” And little Dutch boy & girl figurines that hang on the wall, which my grandfather gave her. She was Swedish, but had a lifelong fascination with windmills and Holland. I plan to leave these and a few other things that were hers to my cousins’ kids.

  5. Beautiful! I’d forgotten about my own international doll collection … Madame Alexanders. I wonder where they are!! I don’t really have any other heirlooms … it’s sort of odd, but I feel sometimes like we were disconnected from both sides of our family., my mother’s (become of poor follow-through) AND my father’s (because of distance). I’m glad that you were able to save these!

  6. The dolls sound stunning. I have my grandmother’s wedding and engagement ring and I also have her lovely seasoned cast iron frying pan set. I love that I have a the rings – something sentimental that she cherished and the frying pans – something ordinary that she used daily.

  7. Those are beautiful. I have a Lithuanian doll my aunt brought me back from one of her trips to see the cousins.

  8. Beautiful dolls! I have a bunch of beautiful things that were handed down to me, but the first thing that comes to mind is my bed set. I have had it since I left the crib and slept in it till my wedding day. It’s over 100 years old and still has the shipping tag on the back of the dresser from when it was originally shipped to my great grandparents in Brooklyn, NY. Right now it is sitting in our attic and I can’t wait to pass it to our child.

  9. Pingback: The World’s Best Ever Garage Sale! | Too Many Fish to Fry

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