Sunday, 10 April 2016


 This portfolio is very special to me as it consists of my childhood toys. I was one of those children who probably still played with dolls when most other girls had moved onto make-up and boys. Eventually, these beautiful objects were reluctantly packed away and managed to escape my mother's dreaded periods of obsessive de-cluttering. A few years ago the boxes were opened and I was entranced once again, taken back to those happy carefree days where anything seemed possible and no story was too fantastical.
The dolls above belonged to me and my elder sister, Judith, and I remember thinking at the time that they were the most beautiful things I had ever seen.

This gorgeous pink lady is called Giulietta, and is one of three boxed dolls [Siena and Mellie below are the other two] that for many years, sat atop the pelmet in our bedroom.



I call this rather creepy looking doll Dora and she is a bit of a mystery as she was in with the other dolls but I don't know where she came from and have no memory of ever playing with her!

This is Daffodil, she came new to us, her name was on the box and we didn't think to change it. She had the prettiest dress but it is long since gone so I photographed her draped in a chiffon scarf.

These little Christmas pixies came with gold thread loops to be hung on the tree. I think there were more of them at one point and they came over from America [we have family there]. They are so fragile now but still resonate with that magic of looking up inside a lit tree and imagining it as a fairy realm.

This world doll is in national costume but I never knew which country she represented so I have called her Elisabeta because she has a Transylvanian look.

Another world doll [never named] but she has a South American look.

These beauty queens represent France, Africa and Belgium and if I had any more, I don't remember them. When I was eventually given a room of my own, there was a little waist high book shelf against one wall where I created a kingdom of tiny toys that had a palace, a town square and a street of shops constructed from bath cubes, match boxes and assorted items of toy furniture. The inhabitants were made up of these lovelies, peg dolls, key-ring creatures, pencil top vegetables, various soap animals and match box babies. By the way, if Miss Belgium ever had a skirt, I don't remember it!

This handsome gent is Big Ted. At one time he had a plastic nose but it came off and I remember trying to re-attach it with nail varnish. He lived wedged in the top corner of my bed for many years and comforted me through all manner of nasty dreams and thunder storms. He wears a black cashmere jumper that belonged to my Aunty Margaret who was ridiculously small. Of all my toys, he is the one I always loved the most and I love him still. By the way, he also wears [though you can't see them here] a pair of moss green legwarmers my mum knitted for me and there is a tiny furry Womble toy stuffed into one of them. Don't ask.

Adventurous mouse. He came to us second hand and I think he belonged to my younger sister, Heidi.

There are the Little Teds and after Big Ted, I love them the most. Can't remember whether they came to me new or second hand but they are incredibly fragile now.
Hours and hours of fun, romance and intrigue!

Pencil top vegetables. Inhabitants of shelf kingdom.

Little snow bear and King of shelf kingdom. Mum once went to the Ideal Home exhibition and she bought him home for me.

Dark bunny. Inhabitant of shelf kingdom.
The Lady Red and the Lord Grey.
These two appear quite a bit over at the Squirrel Library
This ancient little bunny is one of those items for which I have no idea of provenance. I can tell you he was old and battered when he came to live in shelf kingdom. 

This ceramic snub nose bunny was given to my father when he was little [he was born in 1935] with an Easter egg on its back. Suffice to say, it is far too precious to play with. I put the vintage cashmere scarf on him because he needs looking after.

All photographs in this post are the copyright of Mayfifth1935 Designs

No comments:

Post a Comment