What happens when you find an antique doll that has been damaged? What do you do about it?
That’s just the sort of question that came up on Olde Time Dolls blog by Judi Hunziker. She had an old antique ragdoll, with a broken neck, that was in desperate need of repair. Her choice was to mend the neck and then she realized she didn’t exactly like the colors on the doll’s face so she touched them up some. Now, obviously the important thing here is that this is her doll, and she can do what she’d like to with it. And certainly from the photos, the doll looks great finished. But the interesting part is that she was curious (as are probably most of us) to find out whether and antique doll should have been left alone or attempted repairs? What do you think about this?
Basically if she enjoys the doll better being repaired, despite what may have happened (good or bad) to the resale value) then that enjoyment of the doll is the best outcome – she’s going to enjoy her work. That’s the main thing – don’t intend to destroy value, as she said, but make it into what you’d like.
She also notices and mentions that if the doll was a truly valuable and rare specimen she would have probably made different choices. So – enjoyment vs. value vs. rarity. Find out where you fit when you are faced with these choices? There are professional places that can do repairs, if you want them and don’t feel competent enough to do them yourself. If you don’t feel you can, then don’t pressure yourself to have to.
One interesting comment is that on a lot of older antique dolls there could have been a previous owner who attempted to restore or alter the doll, so what you actually hold in your hands may not be what the doll was like new.
If you do want to work on repairing your own dolls, it is a skill that can be easily learned. Different types of dolls will require different skills to repair – as bisque and cloth both need different methods of care. If you check online you’ll find plenty of resources to help you should you choose to try. Amazon, for instance, lists plenty of books that you can use to learn this skill. There are also plenty of resources on the Internet that can help you learn ways to repair your dolls if you want to.
Remember, the choice is yours, so enjoy yourself, enjoy your collection, and have fun!
Have you ever repaired your own dolls or do you send them off to a doll hospital for repair?