|Me, circa 1997 (six years into collecting) holding two Mi-BeBe dolls, which were my favorite dolls at the time.|
I began collecting black dolls in 1991. The story of how this hobby commenced can be read under the About Me tab at the top of the page.
After the initial urge to collect ensued, I purchased every "collectible" black doll that was not "nailed down." My definition of collectible was not very well defined at the time. If it was available, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing, its collecting genre (play, artist, vintage, modern) was inconsequential. If it was black, to me, it was "collectible."
I spent early stages of doll collecting buying without regard to a doll's historical significance, target market, production numbers, or rarity. As a result, the collection grew rapidly, often without rhyme or reason. Eventually I was urged by my husband to take an inventory or at least conduct a head count. "I could move one of these dolls and you wouldn't even know it," he once said. So I counted them, once, and have never since taken another physical head count.
By non-collectors, curious to know why dolls interest a grown woman, I have often been asked the imposing question, "How many dolls do-you-own ?" My standard answer is, "I have no idea." If my vague answer causes further probing, I add, "I stopped counting at 500, and that was several years ago." Brows often furrow, eyes look me up and down as my sanity is mentally questioned by these clueless non-collectors.
Recently the cable guy was here to install a cable outlet in the doll room. After asking the "how many" question, stating, "I've never seen so many dolls," foolishly asking, "Do they talk?" he blurted out, "This is crazy!" (I choose to assume he meant the total number and not the fact that I collect, but who knows.)
I would imagine a true head count is in the high four digits, but honestly I do not want to know. What I do know is that the dolls, particularly the babies that I was so passionate about early on in my collecting infancy, have taken over their allotted square footage. As a result, it is way past time for me to release them to others who hopefully share the passion and will care for them well.
eBay has been my main selling source because I need to decrease the numbers by any means necessary. I'll stop counting at 500 dolls sold (well, maybe not that many). If you have time, do check out my current eBay listings. Feel free to share my listings link with others who may be interested in increasing their doll head counts or simply adding new or different, well-cared for dolls to their collections.