Doll collecting is fun, educational, and thrilling. Before you spend your hard earned money on luxury items, learn all you can about the object of your collecting desire. Learning about dolls is exciting, and you learn about art, history, music, crafts, and culture along with learning about the dolls themselves. Here are some tips on dollology that are fun and accessible for all. Join the Dolls Lane of Ruby Lane in ‘getting your dolls on!’
1. Road trips: Everyone loves them, and they’re even better when you are traveling to see examples of your collecting passion. There are great doll museums all over the world, and doll collections in major museums and art galleries. You can also travel to doll shows and events. Find out about them online and through doll and antique magazines. You don’t have to buy or spend all at once; talk to people and get to know reputable dealers. Museum curators love to chat about their holdings and are a wealth of knowledge. On your first forays, take home exhibition catalogs and books about the collections you visit. Take notes, and if allowed, take photos.
2. Watch. Bring the wonderful world of doll collecting right into your living room 24/7. The Dolls Lane has produced hundreds of digital educational seminars and interviews with doll shop owners. This content is free and is available for immediate viewing. The videos take place at the top doll shows across the country, and some magnificent doll museums. These videos provide a wealth of knowledge and can be viewed and shared with all of your doll friends.
3. Volunteer. Job shadow doll hospital doctors, doll shop owners, doll dealers, and antique shop owners. Volunteer your services in exchange for the knowledge that they can share with you. Learn everything you can about their inventory and businesses, and learn on the job how to spot antiques from reproductions.
3. Read. Read everything you can about antiques and dolls, even toy collecting. Study the classics, like Laura Starr’s The Doll Book (1908) and G. Stanley Hall’s A Study of Dolls. Another good source that explores the entire history of dolls is Mary Hillier’s Dolls and Doll Maker’s. To explore the definition of what a doll is, try Man von Boehn’s Dolls and Puppets (1927). Affordable copies of these and other books are always listed in the reference section of the Dolls Lane. Don’t forget to research the Library of Congress, loc.gov. It’s free and full of images and documents relating to dolls, as well as books. Shop Doll Collector’s Guides & Publications on the Dolls Lane.
5. Doll-dar: Mary Hillier used to say “dolls are where you find them.” Have your “Doll-dar” or doll radar on ALL the time. One early doll author who was also a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor even researched the U.S. Patent office.
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