Those of you who know me know that I collect, and am constantly trolling the internet auctions for antique Japanese dolls. My budget is not the best, so I tend to end up with the "Fixer-Upper" type, along with the occasional pristine treasure. There's not a whole lot of literature in English about repairing and collecting Japanese Dolls. One great resource are Alan Scot Pate's books and website, though his pieces tend to be high-class museum pieces. Mine are more pedestrian. Judy Shoaf's pages are also good for the beginner, though most of the links are dead. Stella Rajendran's collection is online, and is much like mine in taste and quality.
I'm not sure what these ladies are. I don't have much to compare them with. They remind me of footmen from a Hina set, but I've never seen female footmen. When they came to me the insides of their heads had rotted away, leaving their heads like eggshells. I was able to fill their heads in with some wood powder from a Kimekomi kit and some elmer's glue. Now, they're pretty stable.
They have labels on the bottom which I'll someday research.
The doll in the foreground is my Maruhei doll. The one in the background is unlabeled, but has such a pretty face that I had to show her. I don't know much about her, but she's in near perfect condition.
Here are some nice hinas. These are probably two of the nicest sanin-kanjo (ladies in waiting) that I've ever seen, with embroidery all over their tops and collars. The girl in the green in front is a tiny sanin-kanjo or tableau doll that I found in a local store.This is a mitsuore, or triple jointed doll. They are supposed to be able to kneel and balance, though she needs to be propped up. Usually, these are kind of out of my league price-wise, but this one is missing her foot and has a small chip in her bottom lip. I had a co-worker model a new foot for her in a 3d imaging program, and "print" it out on a 3d printer. It's almost a perfect mirror of the original foot. I have yet to attach it. Maybe I can find a professional to do so.
This lady's face is not the most expressive, but her kimono is exquisite. I've never seen a doll of this age quite like it.
This lady, to my knowledge, probably dates from around the 1940s. The fabric on her outfit is faded and probably older than that. She's built around a solid base like a kimekomi doll, but the fabric is folded and sewn rather than tucked into grooves. I love the attention to detail on this doll, from the tsumami bauble in her hair made from paper, to her little obidome. Anyway, I'll probably post more at some point, but these are some of my favourites.