Thursday, August 18, 2011

How I got to Agnes! AND purse info!

So, for several years I've poured over antique fashion dolls.  French in particular.  I loved the trousseaus that people made and purchased for them.   Really the precursor to Barbie and even to the American Girl Doll.  I was very intrigued by "Les Petites Dames de Mode".  I have many antique dolls.  I collected German "child dolls" for many years.  When I lived in Massachusetts, there was a mother- daughter team that sold dolls and I would visit (in their basement).  Those were the days.  It was before on line sales, etc.

I would redress some of the dolls if their original clothing was beyond repair.  I used Brownhouse dolls for patterns (they have a website) and purchased only fabric that would have been available at the time of the doll.  Silk, cotton, wool.  For the trim, I used only antique lace.  As many dolls were sold in a simple chemise, it was not unusual to have mommy made fashions on these dolls.

Then a few years ago, I started looking at books.  Books from museum collections.  That is where I saw Betty Modish.  The Massachusetts museum that houses her, loaned her out for a photo shoot for a book.
In my mind, Betty became my ideal.  I was really thrilled to be able to see Betty, in all her glory, in person during my last trip to Massachusetts.  Truly inspiring.   Also, I own many books about antique clothing for dolls.  The Theriault family photographs their auction items and turns them into beautiful books.

So, with this in mind,  I even purchased antique dolls with the intention of sewing a wardrobe for them.  One was a Jumeau fashion.  She is in a lovely original ensemble -- that I don't even touch -- for fear of the oils from my hands causing it to disintegrate.   I thought, this is too much of an endeavor, her body is leather, I won't want to manipulator her.  Better to buy a reproduction doll.  I went through several iterations of that ranging in size and body type.  I've had wooden bodies, compo bodies, even leather bodies.  All great dolls.  I sewed clothes for them.  Nothing elaborate, mostly undergarments.  Then poof, I lost interest.   There are so many of these reproduction dolls around.  I wanted something a little more "special".

Then, I decided on another antique German doll.  I think it is a Kestner.  I can't remember now.  It is a lady doll.  (smaller waist, older looking face,  hair in original updo).  I bought it at auction.  I was thrilled to see it months later featured in a doll magazine.  The actual doll.  There are a lot of "oh I have that doll" moments for collectors.  But not specific dolls that are antique.  Especially this doll, as she was redressed.   This doll's body was too clunky for my taste.  Yes, the waist is smaller than the child doll, but the hands and legs are well clunky.

Fast forward to present day.  I happened upon bjds.  At first resin ones.  I have had my fair share of bad luck with those.  The first one arrived.  Mandy man hands.  I just hated those hands.  She didn't hold a pose. And to this day, I think she has the wrong calf.  I think there are not right and left.  Then my second doll, inexpensive (by bjd standards) -- Not really what I wanted.  Slim, but eh.  Then my third doll -- see where this is going -- my husband was beginning to say "not another one" when the packages arrived.  I really thought this was going to be "the one".  She wasn't .  I waited, I think it was over a year to get her.  I haggled back and forth with the intermediary.  Those of you on other forums probably know how difficult it is when you've paid for a doll and it becomes a finger pointing of "the manufacturer is not sending it", or is it the intermediary not submitting the order.  Not thrilled.  This soured me on the entire resin market.  The doll itself, Narae,  is a good doll.  I can see the appeal.  The faceup was amazing.  Done by a woman in Texas.  She had done some for  a doll magazine shoot.  Really talented.  Cristy was her name.  Cristy Stone.  Amazing artist.  I then said, no more foreign dolls (meaning no doll through an intermediary) , I ordered JamieShow's basic doll during the introduction.  I saw her on the back cover of a doll magazine.  They were just coming into being.  Something about the photo was very appealing.  Fabulous doll.  I like the doll.  She has great clothes, etc. (She can wear other clothes, Tyler, Ficon Doll, and a host of other 16").   But she is similar to Barbie (read on before shooting me) -- in that her proportion are very exaggerated.  She has a large bust, a small waist, somewhat small hips, super long legs. -- I guess every man's dream :).  But once again, I wasn't motivated to sew for her.  I thought about getting a Sybarite.  Syb's are great.  But I laughed when I heard someone describe them as looking like men in drag.  Masculine features with overdone makeup.  There is a harsh/sculptured look to them.  Their proportions are also very "fashion doll like".

Then along came Agnes.  My beloved Agnes.  I was on yet another doll forum when I saw Agnes.  I was on the forum looking at yet another doll.  When I saw the PaperWhite doll (Agnes), I thought:  now finally that is a doll I would want.  But I was already saving for another doll. But when I saw Agnes, I really liked her face.  (It didn't look exaggerated or animated).   I loved her torso.  The way it is jointed under the breast.  I loved the subtlety of her coloration.  I loved that she looked young, but not too young.  I contacted Terri (Her creator) -- I think that was back in January.  She let me know that she didn't have any dolls for sale at the moment.  I asked to be put on a waitlist.  I thought about this doll and followed Terri's blog.  About the same time that I asked to be put on the waitlist, I was informed that I probably wouldn't get the other doll I was saving for.  I considered it fate.  When Terri emailed me, I jumped at the chance.  I said yes before even checking the price!  Yikes, I have two soon to be college bound kids.  What was I thinking.  Agnes is worth every penny.  I LOVE this doll.

So, that is my story of Agnes.  Agnes is a PaperWhite doll by Terri Abel.  She is ball jointed with a removable wig (magnetically held).  Agnes is 12" tall 1/6 scale and made of porcelain.  She holds a pose.  She's not a common doll.  She's everything I wanted in a doll.

P.S.  I can't help but have a little nagging feeling that I would like Agnes to have a friend.  Someone to share remnants with.  Someone to take photos with, be in dioramas with, have contrasting outfits with... I am thinking with two daughters, I really should have 2 dolls -- that way they would not have to fight when I'm gone :)  Agnes needs a sister ;)

You can see Agnes' detail.  Her gentle blushing.  Her ability to hold a pose.  She's really magnificent.  She's a keeper!


PURSE INFO:  For people who have asked about the purse info.  I spoke with the lady who does the purses.  She said it was ok to share her email.  If you are interested, please contact her.  There is no obligation.  She has two sizes.  


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