New Dresses for the Innaugural Ball and for Your Antique Doll

Victorian pin cushion
Victorian pin cushion doll dressed in ribbons and lace

“Yes! We get to get a dress for the inaugural ball!” was one of my favorite quotes from Tuesday night’s mid-term victory speeches. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s win meant much to many and for the two darling daughters of Lieutenant Governor Sherry Kleeficsh and Representative Joel Kleeficsh that meant new dresses. Finally, politics I can understand.

Bleuette in original dress
Antique Bluette doll in original dress

Speaking of dresses, a vintage dress in pristine condition can add to the price tag of a collectible doll. Original clothing and in good condition can add to the value of a doll. The description original or appropriate clothing in a price guide on antique dolls indicates prices for a doll dressed either in its original clothing or wearing clothing designed and stitched as the doll might have worn at the time of production; thus appropriate.

Shoulder head on kid body
Shoulder head on a  kid body

Today, when we buy a doll, it comes dressed, but that wasn’t always the case. In the 1800s, shoulder head dolls were available without clothes and/or a body and clothing, which the mother could buy or make separately. The shoulder head included a shoulder plate with holes that could be latched to a cloth body or molded without holes and glued to a kid-leather body. Shoulder head dolls were a less expensive solution to German and French dolls made of bisque and composition. (Click for shoulder head dress patterns, either in the style of the Civil War or the American Revolution.) Continue reading New Dresses for the Innaugural Ball and for Your Antique Doll

Politics. Yikes.

Early White House painting
Early White House painted on the reverse side of domed/bubble glass.

I’ve been watching the History Channel documentaries on the White House. I listened more closely this time for some reason as they re-played excerpts from the inaugural addresses of Presidents Bill Clinton, Bush 41, George W, and Barack Obama. When I heard George W say that our country is the only democracy in which there is a peaceful transfer of power, it reminded me of our amazing gift of freedom. Further, it reminded me of the patriotic collectibles we’ve had and the fortunes of freedom that permeate our art and lifestyle.

Jim Beam Presidential Campaign Decanters 1964
Commemorative decanters by Jim Beam when Johnson and Goldwater put on the boxing gloves to duke it out in the 1964 Presidential Campaign

I was born into a family that was not steeped in politics. I always thought my parents voted until my teen years when my mother commented that there was no point because she would vote one way; Dad another – and they would cancel out the others vote.

I have no doubt my parents voted for Eisenhower because my father was a veteran of WWII and would have marched barefooted through the snow to cast a vote for General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Continue reading Politics. Yikes.