Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Hitty's Halloween

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Hitty's Halloween: This wonderful Hitty was a gift from my friend, the paper doll artist and doll author, Steph Hammonds.  Hitty often goes to work with me and...

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dark Angel; PBS story of Mary Ann Cotton, Victorian Serial Killer

Nothing but husbands and children and demands, states Mary Ann Cotton in the PBS version of her life.  This less than excellent woman died on the gallows in England, circa 1873, for poisoning numerous people, including husbands, her mother, children, step-children, her best friend, etc.  So notorious was she, that a rhyme was coined in her name, "Mary Ann Cotton, She's Dead and she's rotten."  In "With Love from Tin  Lizzie, A History of Metal Dolls . . ." I wrote about a doll called "Hanging Mary," a mechanical doll on the gallows that was hanged.  Her eyes popped, her tongue lolled, and a funeral march played.  I've never seen the doll, but a noted collector and owner of a former doll museum in Galena told me about it.  He had seen one.  No doubt in my mind, the doll was about Mary Ann.

The PBS version of her life is chilling, yet sympathetic at the beginning.  As Colin Wilson has written in his books, including "The History of Murder," some murders, like Mrs. Cotton, killed because they wanted a better life.  She never, for example, missed an opportunity to take out life insurance.  Her parents insisted her first husband take out a policy on his life because she had lost 4 babies before she finally had three healthy children.  She liked the idea, obviously, especially after she learned that life insurance could be taken out on the life of a child.

In fact, she was not one of Barbara Pym's gentlewomen, and women of her working class did end in the poor house if they were widowed or encumbered with children.  Encumbered she was, with her children, with family, with step children, with money woes.  She couldn't seem to stay in a relationship long enough to make it thrive.  Life try psychopaths, she couldn't seem to see past her own needs. 
Image result for mary ann cotton public domain
The Real Mary Ann Cotton, Public Domaikn

Arsenic was her poison of choice, a poison that appears in much literature, and history.  Florrie Meybrick was accused, then exonerated, for the arsenic poisoning of her husband, whom some believed to be Jack the Ripper.  He, and other like him, was a drug addict, and apparently addicted to small doses of arsenic.

Mrs. Cotton was not sympathetic in this film at all; her main concern is collecting life insurance, and she comes off cold and unfeeling by the end of the program.  Desperate people do desperate things.  The most dispeicable prey ont heir own children, Rosemary West, Belle Gunn, Andrea Yates, and Sharon Smith.  Where is the rhyme or reason-- perhaps we'll never know.

Image result for mary ann cotton public domain
Public Domain Image

The Crime Library has a very good article about her, for those who wish to read more.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Theriault's Rendezvous,

Rendezvous, ah, what a wonderful word!  Tomorrow is yet another chance to bid on amazing, beautiful antique dolls!  There are dolls made in the image of Erzebet, and the other women blogged about here, so I include this announcement.

Don't forget to
 pre-register here.

Theriault's Rendezvous, Nights at the Auction, are conducted at Theriault's headquarters office in Annapolis, Maryland.
 Plan in advance, get registered, and when the auction is set to begin - 7 PM EDT - click the audio/video on button.

Join Theriault's for a fun and fast and fact-filled one-hour auction of great antique dolls. Just have fun and maybe bring home a doll. The dolls are all available for viewing and bidding online. You can leave pre-bids, you can absentee bid, or you can make a reservation to bid by telephone at the actual time of the auction. Or you can be there online when the fun begins and watch the live audio/video feed.
For technical help with bidding live online call Proxibid toll free at Theriault's Premier Line at 855-264-8262.

To receive notice of Theriault's auctions, go to and register to receive email notices. If you would like more information call Theriault's at 410-224-3655 or email

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