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The Doll Doctor of Belgrave
Collecting Dolls from the Past
Back in the 1950s, before toys became disposable items, our dolls lasted us through childhood. They were true friends. But accidents sometimes happened and so every neighbourhood had a Doll Doctor.
Not all Doll Doctors disappeared with the Barbie Invasion. In the hills outside of Melbourne, Sharon O'Brien finds those childhood friends and brings them lovingly back to life,
The Doll Doctor of Melbourne - A Passionate Collector
Sharon O'Brien collects toys which are mostly from the 1950s. Spinning tops, block puzzles, tins of colouring pencils, tiny tea sets, tin cars and trucks, wind up tin toys, prams, teddies and of course, dolls.
Her first repair job was an old 1930 Black Topsy Doll which her daughter brought home from the market.
A special favourite is ''Agatha'', made at the London Pottery in 1920 and in Mint Condition. Sharon also treasures an old Metal-Head doll made in Germany which survived two world wars.
"Even though I have many Dolls I can still remember where and how much I paid for each one. .And I Love everyone of them, no matter what they cost - $2.00 or $500.00.
Metal Head Doll
The Metal Head Dolls were manufactured in Germany from 1894 through to 1925.
The heads were molded from a sheet of tin or metal and usually placed on kid leather or all cloth bodies, with painted hair, painted eyes, glass eyes and mohair wigs.
This doll is Annie, one of Sharon's repairs. She has the usual German made head and her body is made of cloth.
Sharon's DollsClick thumbnail to view full-size
With over 500 dolls and many other toys, Sharon's Collection has almost taken over the house.
The Doll Doctor MuseumClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sharon's dream is to show the world all her beautiful toys.
"If I could have one wish granted for my Collection it would be to have a huge building to house all my toys, to show to children of today and bring back memories for those of my generation. I love to explain all about toys from the past."
The Doll Doctors are few and far between these days. Did you ever know one?
Did you know a Doll Doctor?
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Gone With The Wind Dolls
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Should Sharon get a Toy Museum?
What do you think?
Do you think a museum just for old toys is frivolous or even foolish? Who would want to look at them? Or perhaps you think it's an admirable idea but an impractical one.
How do you think an idea like this would work? Is it possible? Would she accept donations from visitors?
You're welcome to leave any comments, queries, suggestions, advice or mind-shattering ideas. Tell us what you think.
Should Sharon get a Museum for her Toy Collection?
Photos courtesy of Sharon O"Brien
Every comment is much appreciated. Say G'Day to Sharon, the Doll Collector!