Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mystery Doll--still no solid answers

I always find it amusing to learn something new at my ripe old age.  What I have learned is that, just because someone calls themself an "expert" in a certain field, that doesn't mean they know all the answers.  In fact, sometimes it means they just like people to THINK they know all the answers.  

So maybe the mystery of Giovanna will never be solved, but who knows?  In the meantime, my sweet girl is already dressed up for Easter--I think she can't wait for spring, like the rest of us!


Monday, February 22, 2016

Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em

    I don't change every doll I get.  Sometimes one comes along that just tugs at my heart in all her imperfection.  Such was the case when I saw this little girl;

 Her face speaks of love, years, many kisses and washes from her young mama. She wears her history so well--I just wanted to hug her the first time I saw her.  I didn't think I would get her, but I knew if I did all I would "repair" would be her left eye, which is partially missing.

Then she came home....

 Her wig was ratty and crusty feeling, and while I loved the color on her, I was not about to keep the dirty thing!  And then, inspiration struck--so I got out my wood epoxy----

 Gave her an "Evie" style, and I inserted tiny magnets on each side of her head, and also in the back, so she can wear ribbons.  Touched up the paint on both eyes, and then put a wash of dark brown over them to make the painting look old.
And then, just like that, she came back to life.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mystery Doll Update!

I am slowly learning about my "mystery doll", Giovanna.  I have been in contact with a man who is very respected in the Schoenhut world, and he said he is certain she IS a Schoenhut!  The spring joints were patented, and the shape of the limbs are all Schoenhut. Apparently they DID make dolls this size, as custom dolls or mannequins.

It is the face sculpt that is throwing us off, because there is no record of any face like that.  However, it is clear that the head is original to the doll, although she has obviously been repainted.  Now here is where it gets VERY interesting.

An Italian sculptor and artist, M Graziano, did some dolls for Schoenhut for a short time.  Graziano favored dolls that looked like "real children".  

OK--ITALIAN is the first big clue, because I said from the first time I saw her that she looked Italian--the face, features, and painting style all appear to be Italian.  In searching thru my Schoenhut book, the dolls that were done by Graziano all had that wider nose that Giovanna has. I know I can only speculate, since the doll is not signed or marked in way, but I believe her to be a "lost" Graziano doll.  Whether he made her for a commission, or for a friend, there is no way of knowing.  It is my belief that she was made as a custom mannequin doll, and her face was done in the likeness of a girl who was very special to the person who commissioned her--perhaps a daughter, or a granddaughter.  Maybe, sadly, the child died young, and the doll was done from a photograph.

It is sad to me that no one bothered to sign her, or even write her name on her back!  It is so important to record things for future generations!  Perhaps one day some real evidence will be discovered, but for now, she will remain a very treasured part of my doll family.  She has so much "presence" and personality, it is hard to look at her and not see a "real" child.  That, and the fact that I so quickly became attached to her, makes her very special.  Most of the dolls that come into my life just don't stay for long, but Giovanna will not be leaving!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

More doll stuff

 The one on the right is next in line, but not for a while--other projects call.

Then there is THIS wee baby, that I love, and will not change a thing about her!!

Monday, February 1, 2016