Dolls for Adults

Dolls are not just simple toys for those who visited Moscow Exhibition Center T-Modul from October 12 to October 15. Kewpies, teddy bears and rare dolls of all types and kinds were the main characters at the Second International Doll Fair. The event gathered numerous collectors from all over the world.

For four days the display center at Tishinskaya square was the home for porcelain dolls representing Lisa Minnelli, Madonna, Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow from «Pirates of the Caribbean» and other well-known characters.
The unique fair featured exceptional art pieces by prominent artists from the Netherlands, France, the United States, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Cyprus and of course from Russia.

Antiquarian dolls are constantly rising in price nowadays. Rare collectible handmade dolls keep up with the demand on them, annually gaining in price ten per cent at average. Prices on some artworks may reach up to $25,000,000.

However, the «doll market» is yet forming in present-day Russia, while in European countries collecting of dolls is the long established and popular trend. Thus, the Moscow International Doll Fair was meant to mend the situation.

Among the highlights of the show was the extremely interesting and important display «Dolls of the Kingdom of the Netherlands», which united works by ten Dutch artists. The showcase was organized under the auspices of the Dutch embassy in the Russian Federation. Baby dolls by Nel Gruttede attracted attention of visitors from the first sight; no wonder, as the artist has been creating unique handmade pieces for twenty years and is well-known throughout the Europe.
The Fair also featured the exhibition-performance «Parade of Celebrity Dolls for Children». At the show, one could see dolls made by Russian public officials, businesspersons, pop, rock and movie stars and other celebrities: Andrei Makarevich, Oksana and Leonid Yarmolnik, Ekaterina Lakhova, Alexander Tyagunov, Eugene Roisman, Yakov Brandt, Ekaterina Rozhdestvenskaya, Anita Tsoi, Philippe Kirkorov and others.

The Doll Fair in Moscow is the partner of the charitable program «Lifeline» («Linia Zhizni»), which provides aid to the severely ill children. Earlier this year «Lifeline» held a charitable all-prize lottery; proceeds from the lottery (50,000 roubles) went for cardiac surgery of a young girl Veronika Zadremailova.

Among other attractions of the Fair were: the project of Petersburg Doll Museum «Dolls – Historical Characters – in Costumes of Russian Tsars»; «Dollstory» – dolls with unusual provenance from all over the world, textile dolls presented within the frames of the project «Eve’s Rib», dolls by Elena Mastykina, exhibitions of collectible dolls from Perm, Rostov-na-Donu, Ekaterinburg, Petrozavodsk.

Many prominent Russian and foreign celebrities are fond of collecting rare dolls: Anita Tsoi, Alexander Abdulov, Anastasia Volochkova, Ilse and Andris Liepa, Ekaterina Andreeva, Andrei Makarevich, Elena Malysheva, Alexander Livshitz, Demy Moore, Opra Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Michael Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg.

However, in our opinion, the star of the event was the doll selection lent by the cofounder of the International Fair Svetlana Voskresenskaya. Her collection included old and rare dolls, toy tableware and furniture produced by the world-famous porcelain manufacturers. The toy services were produced at Gardner’s plant and Kuznetsovsky porcelain factory, while toy porcelain furniture (a couch and two armchairs) with cobalt painting was made in Delft in Holland. Two Easter eggs (diameter 25,0 cm) were made by German firm of Armand Marcello. One of the eggs contains a surprise – a clown in original red and white costume with pompons (early XX century). The other egg contains a toy room furnished with a table, chairs and even a chest of drawers and inhabited by five «persons». The height of each doll is about 10,0 cm.
Other highlights of Svetlana’s collection include two exceptional dolls produced by porcelain factories Simon & Halbig and Kammer & Reinhardt. The realistic style dolls featuring porcelain heads and natural hair were made in 1905 (the height of each doll is 85,0 cm). According to Kammer & Reinhardt’s catalogue, the doll has the name «Doll face», which was usually given to dolls with particularly pretty faces.

Svetlana Voskresenskaya found clothes for those dolls herself: costumes of Spanish pageboys of the late XV–early XVII century are rare and unique as well.
Traditionally, boom of «doll and toy» auction takes place on the Christmas Eve in the late December. Many major international auction houses like Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Dorotheum regularly hold subject sales dedicated to collectible dolls and toys. Among the most popular dolls now are the ones with certain expression of faces. According to experts, antiquarian dolls are those created before 1930s, from early wooden pieces of the late XVII century to celluloid dolls of the first third of XX century.

Photo: Showpieces from the private collection of Svetlana Voskresenkaya. They were exhibited at the Second International Doll Fair in Moscow for the first time.
Photos by Alena Zharkova and Eugene Makarin

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Published in: on November 15, 2006 at 2:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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