Last week I had an unexpected find...
I had been assisting a family to pack up their estate and we had found a small doll which had seen better days. It was missing all it's fingers and toes which were porcelain. It had a material middle, was dressed in some old white (now yellow) clothes and had a porcelain head with a bonnet.
The family were happy for me to drop the doll off at the Doll Hospital so when I was passing by I did so.
The woman who met me at the door of the Doll Hospital was a lovely woman, she invited me in and offered to look at the doll before I left. She looked young for her age and had a fun light hearted sound to her voice. I told her that it probably wasn't something she could do much with but she took me down the back of her house to a large display room of dolls all dressed up looking beautiful and a small repair room.It looked like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to me.
She carefully unwrapped the doll from my bag and when she pulled it out she was surprised. She said it was a German doll. She took the clothes off and and unpicked a bit here and there- she looked just like a doctor. Her hands were confident so I asked her how she had come to do this. She had actually had a doll manufacturing business at the back of her property in years gone by and just loves to make and repair dolls. She said she had never really grown up. Looking at the doll, she mentioned that she though the doll although dressed as a girl looked more like a boy! She said that if it was German doll and indeed a boy, he would be quite rare. She said that he would have a number on the back of his head if he was.
As she finished undressing him, the number was exposed. I whipped out my iPad and Googled the number. I turns out she was right, they are quite rare coming from the early 1900's and indeed was a boy!
I couldn't wait to tell my client when I got up the next day. She was also interested and was now keen to do some more investigation into the history of the doll in the family. The doll which I have named Ivan (I know it's not really a German name) is currently getting new fingers, toes and outfit to match his heritage.
I am always amazed at the things I find with my clients and the new homes I find for the unused and sometimes unwanted items. Ivan will get a new lease on life and a trip to the other side of the country!