Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Antique Dolls in an old House

   Used just as accents in a few of the rooms, the dolls were part of a general collection of old furnishings in the Red Cape.  They would have struck a wrong note if they had been everywhere you looked.   Instead, other than the few mentioned, the doll collection which numbered a bit over 100 plus some nice bears were shown off in an upstairs bedroom where almost all were lost in the fire of 2005 when lightening hit our beloved cape.
 
Cassie on the left was one of my two favorite dolls. She was about 31 inches tall with an untouched complexion and a great original body. Her beautiful painted brown eyes and long ropey curls were outstanding, I have never seen another just like her.   On the other side of the highboy which Jack made, stood Phillip a 38 inch so called Milliners doll with a leather body and wooden limbs. His untouched head shows no retouch and little wear, truly a choice papier mache doll. Both of these dolls are German made.
Phillip is shown above with a smaller Milliner's doll and Joe Boy, a flirty eyed boy made by Andreas Voit about 1840.  Joe boy is still with me but repainted now as he came out of the burned house charcoal soot colored.

This 32 inch doll is wearing a precious red dress and jacket which must have belonged to a little boy about the time of the American civil war. She is holding a Motschmann style baby named "Janie" for the Pennsylvania dealer I bought her from. Janie wears original clothing including the best printed sheer blue wool dress I have ever had.  Fine feathers do make the bird!  The clothing lost in that fire is irreplaceable as well as the dolls.
 
 
 

The largest Patsy doll, Patsy Lou above, was my childhood doll. I have a picture of us together when I was about four.  The great toile bed hangings were period and from the collection of Clark Garrett.  It is a sad thing that they were lost in my care. They adorned the only complete antique pencil post bed we were ever able to find and purchase, it came from a show in Farmington CT.

A wonderful early crib quilt is behind these two dolls shown on a tall blanket chest from Maine.

Beautiful old textiles were and are again such an enjoyable complement to my doll collection.

The dress on the standing doll is a child's dress of about 1835.  The doll in the carriage wears a baby dress of about 1845 from the Musselman collection. 
Here is Caroline, the other of my two favorite dolls. I bought her as just a great 10 inch tall papier mache shoulder head. The little dashes under her painted brown eyes indicate to me that she was an early Mueller.   With the body I made for her she stood 36 inches tall and wore a wonderful red printed cotton child's dress. 

The one time boy child's wonderful red dress is shown above without the jacket. Notice the small quilts on the back of the Doll's settle. Jack made their settle, tea table and little candle stand.

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