PROFILE OF A COLLECTOR
A Collector's Husband, that is...
by Marvin Bruce
Dolls, Dolls, Dolls, a Husband's Perspective
I used to like dolls. When I was a little boy and my sisters got dolls for Christmas or birthdays, they would leave our (the boys) toys alone. Dolls were alright!
So I grew up and got married. My life was quiet and there was room to move around the house, in spite of the kids and their friends and my wife's small Lladro and Swarovski collection. Then, she switched up her collecting habits and acquired a few dolls and then... more and more. Soon, dolls started appearing regularly on the tables, on the shelves and in various display areas around the house. It seemed like they just walked in and sat down and then split and divided. Were they cloning themselves?
Still, I figured that in a year or so the doll collecting would stop and she would move on to collecting something small like stamps or coins. Did this or has this happened? NO!
Cheryl's next move was to join a doll club where everyone has dolls... more dolls than I have ever seen. And they go to meetings to discuss these dolls and they take long trips to purchase more dolls. But do they ever sell them or trade them? NO, NO, NO or at least, hardly ever!
And now, some 400 (a modest estimate) dolls later, I must admit that the dolls are kind of interesting and I kind of like having them around. Cheryl has taught me a lot about them. I know some by name and others by the artist. I have helped her to display them and have put up extra shelves for them. I have even gone with her to several doll shows where there were acres and acres of dolls.
So... dolls are a part of my life now and the dolls are okay as long as Cheryl does not forget to pay the bills before buying another doll!
It helps to see the enjoyment that she gets out of going through her second childhood (?)... dressing the dolls, combing and fixing their hair and posing them all over the place. They even have a big part in our Christmas decorating theme now.
You know, it helped me to accept the dolls, too, when I found out the resale value on some of the dolls; but it hit me real hard when I found out what some of those beautiful (or not so beautiful) creatures cost! The dolls help me now though. Vacuuming takes a lot less time because they are standing or sitting in the way so I just vacuum in the center of the room. I feel like they watch my actions. They can be good company... sometimes too much... like the time Cheryl scared me to death by leaving a doll just peeping over the desk like a real child!
I keep telling Cheryl that the dolls would look real good on eBay and it would give them something to do other than sitting or standing around here. They could expand their horizons and travel! So far, as you might imagine, my suggestions are not getting very far!
Recently, I have improved my perspective about all of these dolls. I guess I have learned to live with them since Cheryl seems to have no desire to stop collecting. I don't even go around asking how much did this one or that one cost. I [refrain from doing this] because I know that I will receive the same standard answer -- "It's an investment, Marv, an investment!"
Baby Bubbles, Effanbee, ca. 1920s
Apple Valley Doll kit dolls made by Cheryl with a complimentary mini baby from Brenda's Dolls
"Angels in the Mud" by Patricia Coleman-Cobb
Leon - Zwergnase, 2002
Some festively outfitted dolls
Marv's Cheryl with some of her beautiful dolls
Thank you, Marv, for sharing your "marvelous" perspective on dolls with the readers of
The Black Doll-E-Zine;
and thank you, Cheryl (Marv's wife, who has probably doubled her collection since the time this article was originally written), for permitting the use of this article and pictures.
This article is compliments of the Charming City Doll Club's, CCDC Doll Times,
Volume 3, Number 3, December 2003
Index ||| Welcome ||| Mailbag ||| About the Editor ||| Collecting News ||| Profile of a Collector ||| Profile of an Artist ||| Doll in the Spotlight! ||| Doll Care Basics ||| Resources ||| FAQ ||| Closing Words