I have always had dolls. I can remember playing with dolls at a very young age. I grew up in a time when little girls had dolls and I my friends would play with our dolls. I had travel dolls - dolls I took with me when we were on the road. I had dolls that were stay at home dolls, and dolls that babysat other dolls.
My mother was a registered nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital – Now Cedar’s Sinai, and every year at the family Christmas party each little girl was given a Chatty Cathy doll which I coveted and my sister could care less about. I looked forward to getting my new doll each year, even though I wondered why we were not, given different type of dolls. Never-the-less, I cherished each Chatty Cathy, and loved them no matter that they were the same doll each year. As a child I had many dolls, I didn’t understand that this was a collection. I only knew that I loved them, and my love for dolls grew over the years.
My adult collecting started as a desire to buy dolls for my daughter. It was my intention to buy dolls of quality and save them for her when she grew up. However, that collection, has turned into my collection and it is a small but slowly growing one.
In the 80s like a lot of people, I got into the Cabbage Patch Craze. Because of this, I now have some of the rare original Cabbage Patch dolls, which I have managed to keep over the years.
As of late, I have narrowed my collecting to Shirley Temple dolls, which are one of the few categories of dolls that I will buy for myself. I also have several vintage dolls, Annette Himstedt dolls, a few Barbies, and various other dolls that make up my collection.
The jewel in my collection is my Betsy McCall, which was given to me when I was 11 years old. I played with my doll, and like all girls styled her hair, changed her clothes and loved her dearly. I have had to have her fixed for a few minor ailments, but she is hale and hearty and even won a ribbon recently in competition! She comes with a mystery suitcase hidden at the top of my closet which I have long ago forgotten what is inside it. One day soon, I’ll open it hopefully to discover an original dress or two to add to her newer ensemble.
I don’t wish to be a person who owns hundreds of dolls, but I still have a few “one-day” doll wishes, which would include owning a few R. John Wright dolls and a Terri Lee, Patty Jo or Bonnie Lou doll.
Interestingly enough, I don’t consider myself a collector. I still cling to the somewhat old fashioned notion that a true collector collects antiques, or dolls of some value. My family of dolls are dolls that I like, not because of their value, but because I like them. They don’t have to be antiques or expensive to find a home with me.