Several years ago, a prominent person in the black-doll community asked me, “What kind of collector are you?” She wanted to know if I collect dolls for their historical significance or if I collect dolls for other reasons. Someone else recently commented, “I didn’t know you liked boy dolls.” Yet another person shared that redressing dolls is something she would never do.
I collect dolls that are endearing to me, that also mirror my image (or the image of one of my avatars). As a whole, they represent my ethnicity. The entire collection, however, is comprised of a variety of doll genres – from play line dolls that I can enjoy… touch… feel… manipulate… redress if I so desire, to finer dolls that are enclosed in curio cabinets or placed high on shelves for the purpose of preserving and to prevent damage.
I am enthusiastic about antique-to-modern black dolls. These include dolls made of paper and other mediums, those made during my infancy through teenage years, artist dolls, one-of-a-kind dolls, those made by specific artists, and celebrity dolls, just to name a few, all interest me. Dolls with historical significance are included in my collection, but the collection is not limited to these or any one specific category or attribute (other than their deep complexions).
I am basically an unfocused, black-doll-a-holic. It is impossible for me to collect dolls that I cannot lay hands on. The need to thoroughly enjoy all the dolls in my collection, even those I do not readily touch… feel… manipulate… that will probably never be redressed, supersedes collecting for historical significance only. Yet, I do respect the doll collecting habits of those that differ from mine.
So if you read one of my blogs or hear me discuss the various ways in which I enjoy my dolls, do not be troubled; just know this one thing for sure: Debbie Garrett certainly does love her dolls… all of them.
What kind of collector are you?