Yesterday, DH and I traveled southwest to explore the antique malls of three worthy cities near the south end of Lake Michigan. The weather was perfect, the countryside idyllic, and the antique stores well-curated, but not too suavely for our tastes.
Between Decatur and Dowagiac, we stopped for a hasty photo shoot of cranes in a horse pasture. Gosh, we get all excited when a single pair of cranes visits our field!
I could have spent all day in Michiana Antique Mall, a few miles south of Niles on M-51.
This is one of FOUR aisles, all this long length! Not surprising I found a treasure there.
What treasure did I find? The snappy little fashion doll case from the 60s, shown below. I love the happy design and that mod poppy orange color--and the inside is all a lovely carnation pink.
The accessories box needs a little easy repair work, but that's no problem--I'm just thrilled that the pretty matching case-handle is still intact, as these old cases have broken handles more often than not.
I think I am going to upholster the doll-section of the case with mod pink and orange fabric, to make it even nicer inside.
Very quickly, the rest of the day's haul:
Two piano books turned up for $1 each--I bought these because I really like David Carr Glover's compositions and arrangements. These are levels three and five; though I'm at level four I can still get lots of fun and practice from these.
Mail-order catalogs are such a joy to look through, especially ones from my favorite years. This one is Spring and Summer '68 and contains many lovely dresses I can use for doll costuming.
My bargain of the day was this nice 12" Ideal Shirley Temple. Last summer at the Brooklyn Flea I bought a 10 1/2" high-heel doll who just happened to be dressed in a slip that was tagged for a 12" Shirley Temple. I thought, well, maybe someday I'll acquire a Shirley to wear it, and before the year was out, here she is! Now I have to remember where I put that slip!
I seldom buy old books any more, but this treasure was going for a song. The Book of Live Dolls contains three of Josephine Scribner Gates' "The Live Doll" stories: The Story of, More About, and The Secret of. Same thing happens in all of them: all the little girls in a certain neighborhood are visited by the Queen of Dolls, who makes their dolls come alive for a time.
The library of my elementary school, where my mother was the "Library Lady," had them on the shelf and I read and loved them.
They are very old books, published in the early 1900s, and they have the kind of flaws you'd expect from that time. But they teach, without being too teachy, the importance of careful house-keeping and child-care, and most of all, of treating others with respect. Because when the dolls come alive, they become real people, and you can't make them do just anything you want to anymore. They are persons, not objects. And that is a truth that may be very old, but never antique.