Saved 1/28/18 7:33 PM to Dolls

Antique Dolls Featuring Estelle Johnston Collection Pt 1  See details »

Video subtitles:
  • 00:09: hi I'm Florence very old and I'm here to talk to you today show you some wonderful dolls from new collection of the esteemed notable collector Estelle Johnston Estelle began collecting well over 50 years ago very very fine early collector one could almost even say earlier than that because she remembers in her early childhood that her mother
  • 00:30: had bought her a Diana German doll and so an entire wardrobe from it still travelled backward in time when she actually began her pursuit of dolls going back two or three hundred years at times in order to get very very rare early dolls that were really unappreciated by collectors at the time that she began collecting I want to read you something that she sent to me about her beginning years of collecting she said I was living in London in the early 1950s and she and her husband motorcycle
  • 01:00: 1950s think of it 9,000 miles over all Europe where she saw and I quote a young man in the festival costume of Normandy bullfighting in Barcelona Italians and medieval attire women in the early morning at the railroad station in Salonika with shoulder yokes carrying milk pails peasants in Yugoslavia with their feet wrapped in cloths like the pictures in my fairy tale books of childhood all of this was enlarging my fascination with the different peoples of the world
  • 01:30: and the many ways of clothing and so began her real interest and fascination with costuming and as I show you these dollars you're going to see how this developed into her collecting of dolls I will tell you that later on she also said that she returned to London in more affluent times and more sometimes and she went with like an overnight bag this would be in the mid-60s with an overnight bag and returned about a month later after she visited every possible
  • 02:00: Museum or flea market or antique shop in town with quote we flew to London with typical air luggage and returned by ship with countless trips mostly filled with antique treasures and dolls added in some of those very dolls as well as others that she gathered carefully over the years that I'm going to be showing today and that are available in catalog in the company the bespoke and gentleman we used the word bespoke and gentleman to describe her Catalan carefully
  • 02:30: because the spoken is is really an English word for very well tailored perfectly costumed gentleman and it also kind of we've used a play on words be spoken as in the gentleman was spoken for we chose two beautiful French bouquets to go on the cover of the catalog of Estelle Johnston dolls in the company of the spoken gentleman and the gentleman himself is one of its tells favorites although she went out of her way to always find doubts in totally original costumes and rare occasions
  • 03:01: very rare occasions because she labored for years over each each item of clothing she made she would have sent made clothing herself and she did for these two beautiful dolls pastels Johnson's of costume inspiration for the gentleman was taken from an 1867 painting by Henri Barone of Paris entitled dinner at the Tuileries and indeed this was an elegant French gala affair and the gentleman who was there was costumed in exactly this way and you
  • 03:31: do have to see how his costume has multi multi layers including beautiful embroidered suspenders and even little details such as some wonderful little pearl buttons the banner with the fobs hanging off of it and his wonderful goatee and his beautiful beautiful cap and fashioned hat and you see peeking out at the back is a first-place award that is still a one for the style back in 1984 to give you an example of one of
  • 04:01: the dolls how long they've been in a collection accompanying the gentleman is this wonderful poupee also with a costume done by Estelle Johnston and you have to actually look at this down all the way around to understand how gorgeous her costume is look please at the detail of the hair ornament estelle found this costume look at the detail here the stealth on this costume in 1865 la
  • 04:32: mode illustrate fashion drawing and she copied it exactly now and if the dial didn't have enough to make her valuable in and of the costume she has the very rare flat cut next socket with the patent design that allows her head only to turn side to side and not completely around a very very wonderful doll very beautiful indeed she is although this pair made the cover of the book there is another pair that Estelle wrote about in
  • 05:01: an art in one of her early doll articles she wrote for the numerous style magazines called pleasure in pairs and she wrote about the Flemish wedding couple these were French styles of an earlier period their paper mache and they're quite lovely and I'm going to show you the woman and her wonderful guy and once again you're going to see a blue ribbon on her back 1978 blue ribbon she's from the Flemish area or Normandy or some part of France
  • 05:33: this cut what high wired cloth was very very typical of that time period and she or that region that she has wonderful detail notice how her costume is even designed to accentuate her bosom and very very beautifully done now the gentlemen of course he takes my heart he is wonderful please look at him and look at the details which you can see he has the flowers in his wedding hat his
  • 06:00: bicorn wedding hat matching the flowers on his boutonniere preserved after all of this what almost 200 years at this point very very beautiful little stick pin his sash wonderfully shaped fingers beautiful and then when I turn it around look at his wig in the back that it's just extraordinary design and it was a very typical fashion for the bridegroom of this Flemish area these
  • 06:32: are just a beginning of some of the wonderful fashion dolls from all areas that you're going to see in the stoke Johnson's collection I'm going to show you many of them while I was working out of stones collection I took a break because I had to go to Munich and pack a collection of doll houses and I had a separate day while I was there so I went to one of the museums in Munich and found an extraordinary collection of carved wooden wax earthenware know that we have commonly just phrased
  • 07:00: as crushed dolls and yet I learned so much about these early wooden dolls and I realized that it still was so far having many of us in the way she had sought out and collected these they are truly works of art she has some wonderful examples in her collection and it was it was just a great privilege for me to be able to see them in a museum and appreciate them and then come back and work with her dolls I want to show you this example these are all from late 17th early 18th century and when Estelle
  • 07:31: found them she didn't do restoration to whom she kept them as they were those of you were doll collectors and who feel that you need to have absolutely perfect perfect perfect and your dolls will not find these fascinating those of you who truly have an appreciation of fine art extraordinary sculpting and a realization of the age of these pieces well now look at this girl first of all this lady with her heavily molded eyes and I want you to notice her profile which is extraordinary the nose the chin and then the little curd little double
  • 08:01: chin here and when I turn her to the front to you again you'll notice it beautifully modeled heavily linen eyes highly characteristic of the work tired wooden doll I'll turn it around so you can see her flax golden hair still kept intact and please go up the costume at the back while you are here with the lacing of the original costume you'll see the embroidery superb crewel
  • 08:32: embroidery on the front and I'm then going to lift it up and hopefully you'll be able to see under her skirt the beautiful detail of her wooden shoes and her stockings just an extraordinary doll a true work of art to have in your home stay on this side of the table for a moment and I'll go down to a small doll that Estelle owned and she loved she wrote about this article in one of her pieces that she wrote for doll magazines
  • 09:00: way back in the 80s and she talked about this when she remarked on how tiny it was and yet the intricate workmanship and again if you could see the detail of her face and when I turn it look at her hair how finely it's detailed with the inter woven tiny pearl beads in her hair and still having her wonderful original costume with beautiful embroidery and gold metallic threads throughout in southern Germany Austria regions that
  • 09:32: are never pinpointed exactly so it's vague as to exactly precisely where they were made but there were carved wooden figures that were made in villages in this Museum in Munich it was extraordinary they had entire showcases maybe 20 feet long filled with villages of people in the shops and grocery shopping and playing with their animals and little children teasing each other wonderful scenes and
  • 10:00: they were filled with characters and I have done started to form this conclusion that we talk about character dolls of the 20th century I think the real character dolls were these early wooden dolls and here is a wonderful man I'll take his very characteristic cap off so you can see his face a little more closely and how wonderfully he has sculpted and made and let me turn him around so you can see the detail on the back of his costume I think these works
  • 10:30: of art have yet to be appreciated and I think for those Dial collectors who say I can never afford anything really special yes you can gives these dolls sadly I guess our unappreciated and they are happily give you a good value when you're looking for something different to collect now staying with the blue dolls for a moment I have this doll and this large would need often from Stella's collection and I puzzled over this it was one of the last allied catalog from her collection because I kept thinking I know this face
  • 11:01: I know I know her and I was sure she was an inspiration for a famous painting which I still haven't precisely determined what it is but then our graphic art designer said well Florence it looks like a VanDyke painting and of course that's what it looks like a very famous VanDyke lady and may well have been the inspiration interesting the way she's made I'm going to lift her down here in the front and show you when you look at her it's almost like her body is
  • 11:31: short for her head but that was just simply the way it was made because this she stood upon a stand and the gown was designed to flow over the front of the stand at which point she began to have a very realistic height no look at her costume and in particular I want to show you her incredible beaded detail on her half every little one every senior is a separate stitch with interwoven little
  • 12:01: faux faux jewels and little seed pearls and now my favorite part I'm going to turn her and then you see her hair all the way around you will know that this is a work of art the back of the hair retains a lot of the original goldleaf painting of it notice the braids that loop grades away to go around little ringlet curls at the side she has sculpted ears that the ringlet curls fall in front of and
  • 12:32: because she had to camp out all these years that gold paint was preserved at the back her face like all of us has signs of we're very very stunning lady one of my favorites and I put these two men from Estelle Johnston's collection because they're kind of just a personal favorites of mine one is a poured wax and this one is a card wood these were originally shown in the book done by the noted early collectors of the Malthus
  • 13:00: couple who did a lot of research on early dolls and trying to formulate ways to research house and they show the actually these two dolls have shown in their book this one has this wonderful carved face with again very great character expression and at the back hand-painted paper wings imagine these being preserved for 250 years and her original costume and this one has a wonderful costume as well and when you
  • 13:31: turn it around you can see that she has carved wooden wings so the angels were very very popular and made in many styles and such to be able to find him in their original condition like this is virtually impossible they were wonderful treasures from Stella's collection they're very often in looking at the dolls of the early wooden carved wooden dolls that appeared in originated in some of the churches and the village scenes we tend to focus first of all on their costuming and we tend to not
  • 14:01: really research and look at them closely but when I looked at this down themselves and I realize look at that wonderful card body that is really the precursor of the car wouldn't German plane ELLs that are coming up perhaps 50 years after this doe was created and once again I also want you to look closely at the face of this gal this is extraordinary character expression on this face and worried applying for example this space on abyss character
  • 14:31: doll of the early of 20th century you would be fighting all over the place to get the style here we have an early character doll from the late 18th century I'll turn it around for you to see the detail of the indentation under the eyes the fine painting of the eyes that wonderful little rounded nose smiling lips and the dog does come with his original rose beautiful silk embroidered
  • 15:02: rose this was I have to skip to the French now for a moment I want to show you an early French cart tone down we have made this is starting to be made now for children to play with and I want you to look at the dough look at it's very very elongated unrealistically so I might point out it's made of a car tone which is a type of to be simple a type of a paper mache and very very simple
  • 15:30: handsome kid body with someone on slippers paper lines for trail remains of the original costume and should you have any question that this is an original costume I'm going to show you a picture showing the French much tinier spoke on French fashion dolls and if you please look at this picture from this early hand colored album of the 1820 period you're going to see this doubt without exact cap with that wonderful feather in her hair and
  • 16:02: let me now turn the doll around for you so you can see the back of her costume as well which is a little better preserved I'm so much still very frail and fragile but that's how you can find them at all this is a wonderful piece to find and there are about three other examples of the French part tone dolls and Stella's collection also from her collection these were two little girls they're tiny and so it's first you tend not to pay
  • 16:31: too much attention to them and then you look at them and you realize how absolutely incredibly precious they are they are both of wax and I hope the camera is able to commend onto the faces of them because you can see that the ground lady of the house has the glass and Emma lies and her maid her parlor maid or her personal maid has painted it's not quite as elegantly made and that even extends to the costume to the hair and I'm going to now put the name
  • 17:03: down I'm going to turn the lady around and hopefully the camera will come in and show you a lot of the detail of her hair and the presentation I understand this is unbelievable to find this type of a doll in this condition late 1700s these were likely made for a dollhouse of the period a larger scale dollhouse and were tended to be in it and that's probably where never played with as a child might play with a doll
  • 17:30: but simply as ornamentation and they're extraordinary you