My Own “Toy Story”

Posted December 7, 2011

Matching perms! Corpus Christi TX 1952

Wheels for Christmas 1950 Charleston SC

Wheels for Christmas 1950 Charleston SC

Remember the scene in the original “Toy Story” movie where the family car and the moving van pull away from the house, leaving a handful of toys behind?

It’s a scene right out of my childhood. In the movie, of course, the toys that get left are eventually reunited with their owner.

First Grade, Naval Air Station Guam 1952

My case was a little different. My dad was in the Navy, so we made lots of moves (I attended 11 public schools in 12 years).
 With every transfer, the Navy provided a moving allowance for our belongings.  And if we exceeded that allowance, the difference came out of the family budget. So, moving meant weeding out … having to choose.

Jean’s childhood dolls

And what I always chose first were my books, a cherished doll or two, and the occasional school project or award. To this day, I still have my childhood copies of “ The Secret Garden,” “Little Women,” and a handful of Trixie Belden mysteries. I also kept three prize-winning photos I took in junior high. And three dolls: a 1950s Madame Alexander Cissette; 1950s Littlest Angel; and the Raggedy Ann I wrote about in “Providence.”

A dozen years ago I started my antiques business after purchasing several collections of early Steiff animals. To this day, antique toys are an important part of my business. Like the early Bliss toy highchair I recently acquired, along with a J&E Stevens toy cast iron dresser, a pair of antique bell toys, a late 19th c. rag doll from Vermont,  a handcrafted miniature sideboard and more.

Bliss doll highchair lithography detail Stephens cast iron dresser heart motif Two early bell toys

I come across a toy with a date, a name, a place, a maker — something that anchors it in time, like David’s Doll, Helen May Neumeyer’s miniature table, Christmas 1886, and Charlotte’s Bear “Pierre,” pictured in this 1920s photo with Charlotte’s father  (also named Pierre), who gave her the bear.

Charlotte and Pierre

Charlotte and Pierre

I don’t always know the origin of every toy I find. But I do know this: Eventually every toy finds its way home. And every toy has a story.

Pierre sitting

 

 

Leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “My Own “Toy Story””

  1. JANETTE BARTO | June 24th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    J COMPTON: I REALLY LOVE YOUR STYLE AND HAVE YOU ON MY FAVORITES. I LIVE IN CAMBRIDGE MD AND HAVE A BUSINESS CALLED SNUG HARBOR ANTIQUES. I BECAME INTERESTED IN YOUR SITE BECAUSE OF YOUR TOY AND ESPECIALLY YOUR RAG DOLLS. I OFTEN FIND OLD RAG DOLLS FOR A SONG AT THE OLD COUNTRY EASTERN SHORE AUCTIONS I GO TO. NOBODY ELSE SEEMS TO BE INTERESTED BUT YOUR PASSION FOR THESE OLD TOYS HAVE SPARKED MY INTEREST AND IMAGINATION. I BOUGHT A GREAT PAIR OF LITTLE BOYS COWBOY BOOTS AT A AUCTION LAST NIGHT MUCH LIKE THE ONES YOU HAVE ON YOUR SITE. THEY REMINDED ME SO MUCH OF BY KID BROTHER’S BOOTS. SO I WILL BE WATCHING YOUR SITE FOR MORE CHARM AND INSPIRATION. JANETTE BARTO,
    OWNER, SNUG HARBOR ANTIQUES

  2. Jean Compton | June 24th, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    Dear Janette,
    Thanks so much for your kind note. I’m thrilled that you like the gallery and hope you will continue to visit now and then.
    As you might expect, I’m always looking for good early rag dolls and would love to see any that you think are special and that you may not have customers for. My inlaws are in Bethesda, so maybe I will be able to visit your shop on a future visit.
    Best regards,
    Jean

Leave a response

Formatting: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Stay Current

  •