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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Be Careful Cleaning China Dolls

Here is a rather unusual variant of the covered wagon hair style.  She is planning her dress that I will make for her.  She was bought several years ago when China Head dolls were much higher and was expensive even with a badly reglued broken shoulder.  I like her chubby body. She needed new arms which I have added. 
The glue work was nicely done but in scrubbing too hard to remove excess glue, the person doing that also removed forever the precious pink tint of this nice early china doll. I am showing her here to illustrate a point and hopefully save other dolls from being harmed this way.

 Most of the old china doll heads that I have examined were painted over the glaze. First firing results in bisque, then the clear glaze is applied and fired, then the doll is finished with china paint and fired a final time at a lower temp.  Think about all of the pure white, glazed china heads dug up in Germany from the discard or shard piles beside the great porcelain factories of the nineteenth century.  Those are some that never made it to the final step.
The china paint applied over the glaze shows scratches and wear from use or abuse. The pink tint on some of the old ones. can be damaged by scraping or scrubbing.  This is true of bisque heads also. We have all seen bisque dolls with some of the pink tint worn off the noses.  So we need to treat the finish on these dolls carefully.  e

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