My wife’s grandmother was born around 1880. Her doll was passed along to my wife, Franny, and, as near as we can guestimate, it dates back to about 1890, roughly 125 years ago. We don’t know much about the doll except that my mother spruced up her dress about 40 years ago. It’s length is 32 inches and the skirt is 16 inches wide. A display case seemed in order if for no other reason than to keep the dust off.
More recently, about 5 – 6 years back, Franny and I were visiting Hardware Specialties and noticed a particularly lovely (and large) bubinga board. This baby was 17 inches wide and 11 feet long….great for a special project. It aged and dried in my heated crawl space, waiting for that special project to surface until about two weeks ago. VOILA!
Bubinga (I learned from Google) is grown in central Africa. It is similar to blood wood in density and working characteristics. Nice stuff! The case design is a take-off on Klock-Kit wall hung jeweler’s clock. Capital glass provided the three glass panes and did a great job of matching the pattern that I gave them. The interior of the back panel has been covered with wall paper which I found in plentiful supply (and cheap) at The Re-Store located 5023 Cordova Street (just off International Airport Road).
I’m gonna let the finish dry for a month before closing up the doll to avoid possible damage to the doll from the off-gases in the lacquer and wax. This was suggested by one of the curators at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Monica Shaw. Also, based on her guidance, I will not install the LED light strip inside the case as bright lights can damage antiques. Her other important suggestion is to mount the case on an interior wall rather than an exterior wall to limit temperature variations with possible condensation.
The big thing is, I got it done by Christmas! So Santa is happy, Franny is happy, my shop is a mess and I’m gonna get a new tool. Life doesn’t get a whole lot better.
I gotta go.