Perhaps you’ve noticed the absence of posts from me. Or, more likely, you just received this post and thought to yourself, “Oh yeah—where has she been since June 26?”
Well, let me fill you in. Following “Road Trip 2019”, I returned home to a houseful. Our youngest daughter and her little family stayed with us for a few weeks until they could move into their new home. The month of July flew by as I adjusted to the fact they no longer lived 6 ½ minutes away. After a rough start, resulting from a bathroom flood, they were settled in by mid-August. Just as the need for my “grandma” services waned, it was time for me to go back to work. (Yes, I know I’m retired! Would you like to pay my healthcare until I turn 65?)
However, that’s not why I neglected this blog. As some of you may know, genealogy is not my only interest. For many years, I have enjoyed the hobby of dollhouse miniatures. It was a passion shared by my mother and me. I’ve written many times about my involvement in the world of miniatures and have another blog (sadly long-neglected) dedicated to that pastime.
Ten years ago, Linda Gant and I wrote a book about a line of dollhouse furniture that we both cherished as children—Ideal Toys’ Petite Princess and Princess Patti. We quickly sold out of the 250 copies we ordered from a publishing company. Over the years enthusiasts of the line requested a second edition. It took almost an entire year, but we finally just released the Second Edition of The Complete Reference Guide to Ideal’s 1964 and 1965 Petite Princess and Princess Patti Dollhouse Furniture!
Self-publishing meant we were entirely responsible for the writing, editing, layout, proofreading, and revising. Not a small task. But it’s now done! I must say, I’m pretty proud of what we accomplished.
Part of the motivation for writing the book was to share our collections with others. Another reason was to educate collectors to help them guarantee they purchase genuine Ideal pieces. But the main impetus was to document the history; to ensure this furniture line, cherished by millions of children in the 1960s would not be forgotten. Hmmmm… “to document the history…” That sounds a lot like the purpose of genealogy!! I love it when my worlds collide!
Linda fulfilled her life-long dream when the folks at the National Building Museum accepted her donation of a complete collection of Petite Princess and Princess Patti pieces. Another collector, Roy Specht donated the few pieces Linda did not have in her collection. I contributed what may be the only store display stand in existence. The museum rarely accepts dollhouses. In fact, they have only one other, Bozart’s Kaleidoscope house. The completeness of Linda’s collection spurred them to make an exception, making the donation one of their most recent acquisitions.
Not only is this the only dollhouse line the museum has accepted, but it is also the first permanent exhibit. Nancy Bateman, the registrar at the museum, played a huge part. Thanks to her team and Cathy Frankel (Vice President for Exhibitions and Collections at National Building Museum), the Petite Princess Collection now has a permanent home on the second floor of the National Building Museum! The team recreated a toy store window, showcasing the display just as it was shown in department stores in 1964.
The exhibit opened to the public in mid-August. Linda and I couldn’t wait to view it in person! We pushed ourselves even harder to complete the book so we could present a copy to the museum when we visited. On September 23 we accomplished that goal!! Last week, Scott and I traveled to Washington, DC to meet up with Linda. Another collector, Amy Tkatch, flew in from Montreal, Canada and my wonderful brother, Mark, came in from Virgina to celebrate our accomplishment with us.
Just as it was shown in 1964!
Looking at the “store window”, I was transported back to 1964. The display was exactly as I remember seeing it with my mom!
After more than sixteen years of work, we have completed a truly comprehensive reference guide for collectors of Petite Princess and Princess Patti. But the best part is that people now have a place to see this fabulous line of dollhouse furniture!
For more information on our collection at the National Building Museum, click here.
For more information on the National Building Museum, click here.
To order the book, click here.