Doll News Spring 2020 - 8

Dedicated to

Mary E. Lewis
M

Mary E. Lewis and the doll that started her on her
bride doll collecting career, the "Little Mrs. Lewis"
dressed in satin and tulle from her own bridal outfit
made in 1911. (Caption from the book)

The cover of the dust jacket of her book The
Marriage of Diamonds and Dolls including the
History of American Bridal Customs printed by
H. L. Linquist Publications, New York City, 1946.

8

Spring 2020

rs. Mary E. Lewis, who founded our organization, was
a dedicated doll collector, author and lecturer from
Brooklyn, New York. One of her areas of doll collecting
happened to be bride dolls. This issue is dedicated to Mary.
The Marriage of Diamonds and Dolls, including the history
of American Bridal Customs was written by Mary E. Lewis in
collaboration with Dorothy Dignam in 1947. Dorothy Dignam,
who collaborated with Mrs. Lewis, and was responsible for all the
diamond data in the book, was a publicity and feature writer who
specialized in the history of fine jewelry.
Information from the dust cover of this 195-page book gives
us some background information on Mary and her passion for
collecting:
Mary E. Lewis, of Brooklyn, founder of the National Doll & Toy
Collectors Club, has been collecting rare dolls for nearly twenty-five
years. Her favorites are the little brides which illustrate this book.
Dressed in mellowing brocades, lace and tulle, they have been discovered
in attics, in Saratoga trunks and in antique shops. Few doll collectors
have more than one or two bride dolls; Mrs. Lewis has over thirty,
and every type is represented-dolls of wood, cloth, cotton, mica,
composition; with heads of china, parian, bisque, tin, wax and rubber!
Mrs. Lewis tells how she first dressed a doll in the fabric and veil of
her own wedding outfit. Then began the search for other bride dolls,
especially antiques, which, in turn, led to her research on bridal fashions.
It goes on to talk about the topics addressed in the book,
telling us about Mary's wealth of information in what they
describe as "five books between two covers."
A Romantic History-it records the complete story of American
bridal traditions from Colonial days to the present era of peace.
A Fashion Chronicle-the entire wedding procession of changes
in bridal gowns, fabrics, silhouette, garniture and accessories.
Special data on laces, veils, bouquets, bridesmaids' apparel and
lucky blue garters.
A Doll Book-the first book by the famous Mary E. Lewis,
who owns 1600 dolls appraised at $25,000. A valuable guide
for doll collectors and dealers. Dozens of pictures to help you
authenticate dolls, heads, wigs, costumes.
A Diamond Guide-First and only complete story of the
betrothal ring throughout American history. Illustrated with rare
heirloom rings from Hammer Galleries and private owners. Also
buying data written in popular style.



Doll News Spring 2020

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