Sunday, 17 January 2016

Max Arrives.

I am not to be trusted.

It is a plain and simple fact, put me near to a computer and I am unable to stop myself from looking at doll sites and somehow, with (virtually) no help from me, my itchy index finger sometimes hits buttons that tell a certain doll that s/he can move to Bryn Derw. 

Now, back in December, I had enlisted the help of a sister-in-law in Vermont (one of several) in the search for Schoenhut dolls that might make chosing a second purchase, a sibling for Emmeline Grace, a possibility. Being impulsive these days, though, I just found it too hard to wait.

Somehow, I have mislaid the photographs of my latest little soul as she appeared for sale on Ruby Lane, but here is one of  her as I tried to convince myself, or get Dee of The Sasha Village to convince me, that she really was a girl. Wearing the dress and petticoat she had been sewn into years ago and holding a little doll might, I mused, might convince me that she was a little girl. So I asked her to pose for her first photo in her new home.

Perhaps, I reasoned, she's just a little grumpy after her long, solo journey. She looked a little down in the mouth, so perhaps being the centre of attention during a photo shoot might cheer her up? Perhaps those chubby cheeks would produce a dimple or two and the sad little mouth might lift a little at the corners?


'Don't like dollies.Want a teddy bear.'  she said in a gruff voice.

'OK, I'll find you one, while we discuss your name and then perhaps we can find you a white cardigan to go over that pretty, green dress so......'  I began.

'Don't like dresses, want take it off. Petticoat too!' she said.

'Well, I'm sure we could make you another dress soon if you dislike that one, but I don't think I have one right now and I wouldn't like to show you to my friends without any clothes on. Besides, it is very cold today.' I replied.

'Little boys got to wear dress here like my last house?' she asked.

'No, no. Your new brothers wear either dungarees or jeans most of the...' I started to say.

'So, I goin' take dress off too! Because I boy, not girl. Like girls and like boys but I not like pretend to BE  girl!' came the firm reply. ' I be boy 'gain, please? PLEASE?'

And, as the penny finally dropped, I rushed to find something, anything, a little more boyish for my new Schoenhut son to wear.

'Max go outside now?'  he asked, after struggling to pull on a pair of mittens.

'Oh, so your name is Max, is it?' I asked.

'Long time ago I be Max, then I be Millie, but now I be Max again? I play out in my boy clothes now?' he asked, his voice full of hope.

'Come on then Max! Out we go! But please could I take one more photo of you out there? The light isn't too good indoors.'  I said.

' Now I Max 'gain! I BOY 'gain!' said a cheerful little voice as Max happily plumped himself down in the melting snow, showing his willingness to have another photo taken.

Max is 16" tall and wears the same size clothing as the larger Sasha dolls. He is very slightly wider in the shoulders and hips than they are, due to his excellent 13 point jointing, but most items will fit him. 

Despite being over 100 years old, he is easier to balance than any modern, 13 joint doll that I have ever handled.
These spring-jointed Schoenhut dolls are a wonder of German-American engineering from the early 20th century and Max, with his close to perfectly preserved facial paint, was a very lucky find for me. He just needs a new wig now, as the original is falling quite badly.


  1. Hello Max

    I knew you were a boy ! But in the old days they did dress boys in dresses until they were two or three! and even let their hair grow long like a little girl.
    But your Mum and me we knew you were a little boy and don't you look super in your boys clothes.
    Love Auntie Dee xx

    Jenni, he looks so much better now he's had a wash and is a boy again, what a great find lucky you xxx

  2. Still thinking about the little fella with the falling off foot too, Dee, but think Max needs a sister in his own age group to play with. This could become a serious addiction!

  3. NO comparison...Max is a perfect little lad and, in his new clothes and holding a little Teddy, so looks the part.
    Well done you for listening to the little soul and carrying out his bidding.
    PS. BTW was he from Kelly Wenarsky of Ruby Lane? I had many Sasha Dolls from her, (including some uniquely customised by her) in the begiining of my Sasha collecting.

  4. Hello Kendal - I tried yet again to leave a message under your blog post today, but Google wouldn't let me post at all. I changed my password twice, tried all the older ones and still they refused to let me through. I so enjoyed counting your Sashas, but got it wrong every time! It seems I do not have enough fingers and toes for all the required counting!

    This little boy is quite a lot bigger than the Sasha toddlers and is made of solid wood. My mother had a similar one as a chid in the early 20s and Max is amazingly well preserved, not a scrap of peeling paint to his face and only a little wear to his joint paint.
    I have several of Kelly's repainted Sashas, not quite as many as I have of Shelly's because of the rising import and mail costs from the US in the last decade. As I don't have any of the earliest, more expensive Frido dolls, I think, except for the toddlers, and Bertie, Hansi and Gerda, my three most loved early Gotz, I would keep many of my repaints longest if I had to gradually part with my Sasha family. They are each so unique.
    I have bought a couple of other little dolls from Kelly - a White Balloon Sylvia Natterer and an un-named doll for my mother - but haven't seen any of the Schoenhut company dolls like Max on her site.
    Jenni xxx

  5. What a lovely little boy, yes DEFINITELY a boy! And a great name too, he looks wonderful in the boys outfit. I really like him.
    Now as for his wig, I don't know what kind of hair you want but I will send you an email as I know where there is a sale on!!!!
    Big hugsxxx

  6. Most definitely a boy - Max definitely looks serious whereas Millie was grumpy!