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SPOTLIGHT: Dolls, owners invited to tea

Associated Press Published: October 12, 2012

For example, the manufacturer's name is often on the doll clothes, rather than the doll itself. So, people could have trouble finding out who made the doll if they don't have the original clothing.

The museum has several dolls collected by Grace Fenton, a local teacher, during her travels around the world in the 1930s. The ethnic or character dolls include a papier-mâché Gandhi doll made in Poland in 1933; Eskimo dolls with authentic hair and fur coats; and Chinese, Spanish and Moroccan dolls.

There's also a pre-1875 fashion doll with wooden hands and feet, still in its original dress. Another unique doll from the late 1800s was used by dress makers to give a woman an idea of what the finished version would look like. That doll has a kid leather body, ceramic hands and feet, glass eyes and human hair, and it's stuffed with sawdust.

The display includes three baby dolls from the late 1800s that were owned by Mary Butcher Mauerman.

Other dolls include: two of the Dionne quintuplets and their doctor, along with a fan featuring the quints from a drugstore in Covington, Ind.; a 1961 Barbie doll (with a "bubble" haircut) and Ken from Richter's personal collection; a celluloid Hitler bodyguard (celluloid was banned in the late 1950s because it's highly flammable); a 1965 Vogue Baby Dear; and a 1973 Fisher Price Baby Ann.

"Some of the dolls (on display) have been loved to death," Richter said.

The museum's display on the second floor will be up through Christmas.