Arranging Porcelain Dolls for DisplayDoes any one collect porcelain dolls? I have just purchased some brand new porcelain dolls and am sad at how rumpled they look straight out of the box.  Does...

Arranging Porcelain Dolls for Display

Does any one collect porcelain dolls? I have just purchased some brand new porcelain dolls and am sad at how rumpled they look straight out of the box.  Does anyone have any tips for arranging the dolls for display, such as reforming folds in gowns, and straightening really tight curls?

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I am not any sort of doll expert, but it seems to me that basic display methods should be similar to any other fragile object. Wide shelves for stability, breakfront glass if you have it, and light dusting every week (more if you are in a dusty area of the country).

For the dolls in particular, I suggest cork-board either as the floor or back wall. The reason is that you can fix the dolls to it quite invisibly with twist-ties and flat topped push-pins; loop a twist-tie around a foot, fix in back with a pin, and hide it either by choosing a similar color to blend or hiding it under a fold of cloth. You should be able to modify this technique to pose or adjust the dolls in virtually any position.

Another thing you might do is pose them with props; anything they can rest a limb on, or sit on, will help with keeping the display natural. You don't want the artificial waxwork look here! I don't know how much space you have, but a small vignette for each doll would be fun to create, and you could redo it every other month for variety. (Again, I might be over-thinking this ;)

Hope this helps! #2 has a handle on your specific questions; you can't go wrong with a good ironing!

wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

It's been a long time since I had any dolls on display, but I do have a few ideas.  Out of the box, the dolls dresses can be fairly wrinkled and flat.  A good steamer can really help smooth and fluff the dresses.  If you don't have a steamer, an iron will work as well.  If you're using an iron, it may be necessary to hold the doll at the end of the ironing board and spread the dress over the end.  It doesn't work well to lay the doll down on the ironing board because you won't have easy access to the garments. 

For straightening out tight curls, a weighted hair clip might do the trick.  If you have a heavy clip, you can attach it gently to the end of the curl and leave it for a few days.  If you don't have a heavy clip, try taping coins to the back of the clip to increase the weight.  You don't want the clip to be too heavy because it could pull the wig away from the dolls head.  A few days of gentle, downward pressure should soften the curls.

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