After so many fun days in Maine, Ruby was glad to be back at her home-away-from-home in Connecticut. Miss Jennie was getting ready for her all-day antiquing trip to Brimfield Massachusetts, but Ruby wanted to stay home for that one.
Uncle David likes to shop for wooden boxes and burlap bags at antique fairs. (Photo by Dave Stewart)
Miss Jennie found a few interesting things at Brimfield including a wee Steiff bear, a rag doll, and some girls’ and ladies’ small clothes. She liked this sewing machine, but it was too big to fit in her suitcase to take home.
After Ruby was all rested up, she couldn’t wait to go to Special Joys Doll & Toy Shop! She had heard so much about it, and knew that it was a favorite with her cousins, the antique Izannah Walker dolls. She put on her best red dress, her silk stockings, her red leather shoes, and her sunbonnet. She was ready to go!
Miss Joy shows Miss Jennie an auction report about a rare Izannah Walker doll which sold for more than the usual amount of many, many dollars.
Inside the shop, Joy Kelleher met them, and they made introductions. Ruby felt warm in her heart when Miss Jennie introduced her to Miss Joy, and Joy took a special interest in her. Joy had met Paula Walton, Ruby’s birth/artist mother who also lives in Connecticut. Joy said that Ruby was one of the best Paula Walton Izannah dolls she had seen. My, was Ruby proud! She stayed with Miss Joy and got to know her better while Miss Jennie explored the shop and all of the special dolls who lived there.
Miss Jennie especially liked these early 19th century dolls in Miss Joy’s personal collection, including the papier mache Lydia hairstyle on the left.
Many of the dolls had amazing old, old dresses, including the brown and blue cotton dress on this large early 19th c. Voit Pauline type doll with teeth!
Can you tell that Miss Jennie is especially fond of the early papier maches?
Of course, she likes china dolls so much, too. Especially when they are wearing old appropriate cotton dresses and have kitties who sit next to them!
Miss Joy seemed as delighted to have them there in her shop as they were to be there! She especially enjoyed getting to “play dolls” with someone who knew about and appreciated the older dolls the way Miss Jennie did.
The wax-over-papier mache doll in the blue dress blinked at Ruby when Miss Joy pulled on a lever that opens and closes her eyes.
Now, which one of these early 19th c. papier maches with Apollo knot hairstyles will come home with us. Both so lovely . . . Of course Miss Jennie chose the one with the old cotton print dress! (And also a wooden body Lydia china!–but that is a different story.)
Ruby was basking in the attention given her by Miss Joy. Joy said in the kindest way that Ruby was a country girl, and that she would be better served with dark stockings rather than her fancy silk lace ones. Joy didn’t find black or brown or red striped socks that would fit her, but she did find blue stockings for Ruby.
Miss Joy gets to know Ruby better.
Ruby admires her new blue stockings.
“Now you are a bluestocking!” Miss Jennie told her. “What is a bluestocking?” asked Ruby. “She is an educated, literary, and intellectual woman who preferes to wear worsted blue stockings rather than the more formal black ones. There were even Blue Stocking Societies in the 18th and 19th centuries.” “Oh. I think that means that I’m smart, like you!” Miss Jennie blushed politely.
Miss Jennie found so many things to take home to the dolls in the bedroom, and dolls were chosen to come home with them. After the purchases were made, it was time to leave. They were so glad to have finally visited Miss Joy and her astonishingly charming shop. Everyone hoped that they would be able to come back again during another visit to Connecticut.
Now that all of the special planned events were over, they could enjoy the company of family who they came to visit, and have fun being in Connecticut!
To be continued . . .
Girls like large papier mache dolls when they are new, as well as when they are old.