Friday, June 12, 2015

Dolll* (for Doll, Dolly, Dollar*, etc.)

I dropped off a few bags of clothes and things at my former church a couple of weeks ago. The donation room was in the basement at the end of the hall and as I started to leave, I told myself: "Don't go in the shop, don't go in the shop..." (I didn't want to cancel out the effect of all that decluttering.) But something seemed to be drawing me in. The first thing to catch my eye was a small collection of dolls with a sign saying "$2.00 each." The moment I picked one up, I could see how finely made and potentially valuable it was. Her tartan skirt and slate woolen jacket with leathery little buttons, the fringed boots and Tyrolean-style hat, it was all too perfect. She even had a pair of lacy knickers on underneath, and her stockings had seams up the back with two tiny holes in them, which may or may not have been part of the original design. The body itself felt "real"—solid and weighty in my palm. I was totally smitten with my new Peggy Nisbet doll (as I found out she was called from the tag still attached to her wrist). When I got home I immediately started looking up both doll and dollmaker. One thing I learned is if your doll's tag (which looks like a little black book) is blank on the back (mine is!), it means it's of an "early vintage." (Which I think means that she, like me, was born in the 1950s.) A very dear friend of mine was in a dreadful bicycling accident that same day and I brought "Peggy" along with me to visit her at the hospital. So far, I'm pleased to report, our English "Lady in Tweeds" has proved to be a cheering influence on everyone she meets. We met three cases of our typo Dolll* in OhioLINK today, and 44 in WorldCat.

(My Peggy Nisbet doll.)

Carol Reid

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