Whether it’s a room full of Barbies or shelves packed with Teddy bears, collectors with the Olympic Peninsula Doll Club have a taste for just about everything in the hobby.
For Connie Holtz, 67, of Sequim, it’s an eclectic mix of Japanese dolls to antiques to more current finds in the thrift store. But Holtz and the club’s 25 members see themselves less as collectors and more as historians and preservationists, she said.
“We want to promote the curation and history of dolls,” Holtz said. “We’re like the curators of dolls for the next generation. We are trying to preserve the history of child’s play.”
One way the club promotes this is through its annual doll show — this year called “Spring Time in Paris” — on May 17 at Sunland Golf & Country Club. Admission is a suggested $1 entry with various vendors and a raffle available.
Holtz, who began collecting about 30 years ago, said the show is a good way for new and old doll fans to begin.
“A collector can start and find dolls cheaper now than in the last 25 years,” she said, “which in a way is kind of a sad thing. Dolls across the board have gone down in price because of availability. When eBay came around everyone went into grandma’s attic and started selling them and more antique dolls became more available and brought down prices.”
However, Holtz said, fans can buy the memories of their childhood back and the items they may be missing.
Across the sea
Holtz started her collection with her childhood doll, Ginny.
“I got her when I was 8,” Holtz said. “Between me and my sisters we had 30 outfits.”
One of her other treasured dolls is Elizabeth, an antique porcelain doll she inherited from her grandmother, Elanor Miles Gage.
“My grandma could only play with her doll on Sundays on the carpet because (the doll) was porcelain,” Holtz said. “It was always with her. It was such a part of her childhood. She kept it in a velvet bag and she went back and forth to Europe about nine times as an adult and still took it along.”
Holtz, who moved to Sequim from San Francisco, spent a large portion of her career as a set dresser for Disney parks. She would purchase props and dressings for its Main Street.
She and her husband, David, moved to Sequim about six years ago for a simpler life and said her collection, which fills many cases and a portion of one room in her house is considered small to others’ collections.
“Each collector gets a passion and it’s a matter of how much they want to spend or afford,” Holtz said. “Some collect French fashion dolls, which are phenomenally expensive, and some buy more recent American Girls.”
The annual show offers an array of toys and welcomes up to 200 people each year, she said.
A $1 raffle offers a fashion doll with full wardrobe benefits the club’s philanthropic efforts.
For more information, call 582-9982 or 417-2606, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olympic Peninsula Doll Club 31st annual show, sale
“Spring Time in Paris”
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 17
Where: Sunland Golf & Country Club, 109 Hilltop Drive
Cost: $1 entry donation with proceeds benefitting philanthropic projects of the club
Vendors, raffle and more
More info: Call 582-9982, 417-2606 or email email@example.com