Dolls, Toys, Holiday Items At Sturbridge Show

STURBRIDGE, MASS. — Kim Kittredge filled the Sturbridge Host Hotel Exhibit Hall with more than 90 exhibitors and many hundreds of shoppers for a one-day show on April 21 of antique and collectible dolls and toys and holiday collectibles.

Under her management, the show, in its second year, has already become a prime destination for selling and buying for the aficionados of this highly specialized category of antiques.

Kittredge took over the show from Joy Kelleher, who had been running the event in her hometown of Coventry, Conn., at the local high school for about ten years. The show was dolls only there, so with the move necessitated by growth in the doll portion of the show, Kim was able to add the toys and holiday antiques and collectibles.

Mary White, Rowley, Mass., offered a doll and complete wardrobe, including the chair, all modeled after the Lebanon, N.Y., Shaker style. She was sure of the provenance and was showing a prize the ensemble received. Buyers agreed and the set sold at the start of the show. Rounding out her collection was miniature dollhouse furniture, more early dolls and the clothing/accessories for them.

Anne Bedics, trading as the Cat Lady Antiques, Ackermanville, Penn., was selling very well with her “high end dolls,” selling several during the show. She also sold a fine group of vintage and antique clothes and accessories.

Setting up alongside Anne was Lisa Breish, Fort Washington, Penn. Her collection included German pressed paper toys from 100 years ago, Santa Claus dolls and miniature furniture and trunks.

Julia Hoik, New York City, was selling early toys. Among her early sales was a hand carved miniature village known as a Putz village, which were most often used around the artificial feather trees at Christmas.

Canterbury, Conn., dealer and collector Jan Praytor was doing well here with her collection, which included a diorama of a Nineteenth Century bathroom, dollhouse scale; an assortment of dolls; and a large collection of clothing, all from a similar time period.

Toys and stuffed animals were the focus for Acworth, N.H., dealer and collector Kathy Schoemer. One part of her exhibit was a horse and buggy, which was paint decorated as an ice wagon. The horse was made with a cloth covering and small wheels as a pull toy, both dating from about 1900.

Tory-Beth Radwick, Torrington, Conn., was offering dolls and furnishings from the late Victorian era. Her sales included “several of the best I brought and even one doll on layaway,” she said.

Handmade rag dolls from early in the Twentieth Century were the principal ingredient for Rae Seifert’s inventory. Usually the dolls were made with found materials and many were made in black face. Rae sold several in a strong price range, making it a good day for her efforts. She also sold some toys that were homemade in the same time period.

Early toys were the stock and trade for Brentwood N.H., dealer Sandy Elliott. She had several sets of Putz villages, some finding new homes.

Pat Hatch had some of the most valuable rag dolls seen here. She said the value in these has risen quite well over the last 20 years, with the collectors taking them as a form of early folk art. A  doll with white face and one with a black face were among her strongest sales.

Joy Harrington, Yardley, Penn., specialized in doll clothing, mostly period outfits from the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, with the dealer reporting very good sales.

From Manchester, Conn., Shirley and Joseph Tully were selling dollhouse furniture and doll clothing. Jewell Novak, Monson, Mass. offered Nineteenth Century paper dolls.

Nancy Stronczek, Greenfield, Mass., had lost her voice for the day but her vintage holiday outfits for children spoke volumes, selling well here.

The show has become a fixture at the hotel and for collectors. Kittredge will be back here in April next year. For information, 860-559-5040 or

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