The Old Baby Doll’s Family Album

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Cathy Grimm has restored her next collection of dolls, a photo album collection photographed by Edna Knowles King in 2023 on her family blog. This slideshow is a great doll reference for serious research by collectors and also for those who love antique dolls. There are over 100 pictures of dolls including baby dolls, ladies and kids too!

about mrs. The King and her doll

Composition of a cowboy doll called Dan Hyacinth,
Yellow doll with cloth body, and composition
arms and head. Holds a small harmonica in
this picture. (1920s)

Have you ever wondered what happened to the old dolls that little girls loved and then outgrew? Many of them are broken, lost, burned or thrown away. This is the sad fate of a doll who was kissed and cherished, put to bed and taken to tea parties by a mother who once loved her.

A few of these lucky old dolls were appreciated by the adult girls who owned them, and passed down to the second generation of little girls. This is perhaps the most beautiful fate an old doll can have, but not many are so lucky. If they were ever rescued, they would be hidden away with tattered dresses and grimy faces in dusty attics or old stumps.

The forgotten dolls have one good friend. Her name is Edna Knowles King, and she’s turned her sweet home into a kind of doll’s paradise. If you should call Mrs. King, you will be greeted by a respectable lady doll, about the size of a child, perched in her chair by the fire. She is a lady in 1860, and the shy smile, which she gives you from the shadow of her brightly colored hood, tells you how happy she was to be rescued from the attic. When you look into Mrs. King’s drawing-room, you will see that there are many more lovely old dolls smiling at you from the shelves and chairs. But you will soon discover that these are just a few of the many dolls that live upstairs and downstairs, in the cupboards, drawers and cupboards of Mrs. King’s house. There are old dolls and new dolls, big dolls and small dolls, boy dolls and girl dolls, and dolls from all nations—nearly two thousand in all—and just like a real mother, Mrs. King loves every single one of them.

You can easily see that while this is a paradise for dolls, it is also a paradise for little girls. Wouldn’t you like to live next door to Mrs. King? The next best thing is seeing the beautiful pictures that Dr. Joseph T. King creates for dolls. My little girl and I have enjoyed it for a long time, and we are happy to know that it has been made into a book to amuse children all over the country. It gives me great pleasure to have a small share in introducing Edna Knowles King and her many family to doll lovers everywhere, and I wish her success with her family album and the many other doll picture books to come after. Carol Ririe Brink

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