Wednesday, February 15, 2012

COLLECTION #165: Vintage Doll Dresser


It's Orphan Wednesday! Since my usual toy post (Toy Tuesday!) was hijacked by Valentine's Day yesterday, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to feature an orphan toy.  [For those who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, generally, I feature a collection of three or more items each day. However, a few weeks ago, I decided to do a weekly feature of an 'orphan' item- something that I only have one of, rather than entire collection. These 'orphans' are worthy of a blog post, because generally they are very special to me, or are particularly unique or interesting.]
This is one of the oldest things I own. Close in age to my antique steam valve prototype, this is a child's doll dresser, 10" tall, from the late 1860s.  It came into my hands in the early 1980s, when our little family was living in Hollywood. We were friends with an elderly neighbor, who had also been close to my Grandparents. (We bought Grandma & Grandpa Clark's house when Grandpa died shortly before our marriage). Her name was Florence Allen, and she had never married or had children.  Miss Allen was 98 when she passed away in 1983, having given me a number of small and sweet treasures through the years.  This little doll dresser had belonged to her own mother, and since Florence had never had children, she wanted me to have it. Of course, I never allowed my daughters to play with it, but it has always had a place of honor in our homes.
I still have the little 'provenance' card Florence wrote for me.  On the other side was a return address sticker with her name and address on it. She said her mother received it in 1873. (How I wish I had some details about her mother!) If you look carefully, on the back of the dresser is the stamped information: PATD [patented] FEB 5 1867.



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