Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Toy Box Philosopher on eBay...and Portraits of a Philip Heath Doll

I'm taking over the internet!  Today it's eBay, tomorrow--the world!  Bwahahaha!  Seriously, though, I have my eBay page up and running.  My call sign is "toyboxphilosopher." There's a button on the right hand side of the blog which is a bit annoying, but it should take you to my auctions any time you want.  My plan is to start all auctions at $1 with actual shipping.  I'll probably need to tweak things and try different selling methods (Buy it Now?  Longer auctions?), but I'm hoping this can be a way to clear out reviewed or extra dolls at fair prices.  Please feel free to offer advice or suggestions in the comments.  I am not a very experienced eBay seller.

To avoid this being a totally boring post, here are a few pictures of a favorite doll from my collection (who is not for sale on eBay).  She is Leisandra by Philip Heath:

Philip Heath's Leisandra.
Philip Heath designed dolls for the Gotz company for many years, producing vinyl child dolls like the 24" World of Children collection.  I "rescued" a World of Children doll a few years ago.  Her outfit and stuffing was eaten away by bugs and her wig was ruined.  I replaced her wig with a crimped human hair wig and then re-stuffed and re-strung her body.  She is wearing a hand woven outfit from The Terra Experience, a store that commissions handmade doll clothes from women in Central and South America.  It's a neat store, and the clothes are beautiful.  This doll's name is Alessandra:
Modified and re-dressed Alessandra.
In 2001, Philip Heath left Gotz and began to manufacture his own dolls in very small editions.  I think he personally painted all of the dolls that were made in his small factory between 2001 and 2004.  I ordered Leisandra directly from Mr. Heath in 2004, back when my kids were tiny and my grocery bill was much smaller.   


Leisandra, with her red hair and abundance of freckles, was made in a limited edition of 50.  Leisandra's heartbreaking face sculpt was used for several other dolls, including Leila and Adrian.  I think they're all gorgeous.  It's hard to find a Philip Heath doll for sale anywhere except on eBay these days, and the prices are all over the place.  The Dollery still has pictures of many Heath dolls here, but most of them are long gone (check the secondary market page for used dolls that are available).  


Leisandra is 33 inches tall and has a vinyl head, hands, feet and upper torso/neck.  The rest of her body (including the middle part of her arms) is cloth.  She has mouth-blown glass eyes and red human hair. 

Another one of my favorite Philip Heath dolls is Aaron.  He was made for Gotz in the late 1990s.  You can read a great post about him and see some more pictures here.  I wish I owned him, but the chances of me getting another of these amazing dolls is about zero.  That's okay--I am very fortunate to have this one:


There's nothing quite like the personality of a Heath doll.  Mr. Heath's soulful and emotive dolls pushed a lot of collectors to embrace a broader definition of beautiful.  He sculpted gorgeous children of all ethnicities and gave them exaggerated facial expressions that reflect complex, difficult emotions.  Many of his dolls look somber or even pained.  I get the sense that Philip Heath had real compassion for the range of childhood experiences across the world.  Philip Heath passed away in 2011, and I doubt there will ever be another artist quite like him.

I have had this doll for a long time now, and the color of her hair has faded a bit, but I still adore absolutely everything about her.  


25 comments:

  1. These dolls are precious, Emily. I'm not familiar with Philip Heath and will be checking out your links, but these two faces are amazingly realistic and the expressions are so evocative. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Barb! I noticed while writing this that it's getting hard to find information on Philip Heath and his dolls, which is sad. It seems like yesterday to me that he was branching out and creating these exciting larger dolls.

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  2. Yes, thank you for sharing this. I saw these in Doll Reader once and Leisandra was one of the dolls pictured. The picture only showed her face so I had no idea how detailed the rest of her is! Very nice.

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    1. Oh--I wish I had seen that issue of Doll Reader! I should have posted some full-body shots of her here, but she's too big for my current set-up (well, and her face steals all of the attention...). She can only be posed sitting, but she sits beautifully!

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  3. These are very beautiful dolls and I can see why you treasure them. Thanks for the information about your ebay store. Are you going to ship internationally or in the United States only?

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    1. I am starting in the US only...I got a bit overwhelmed with all of the auction information, especially the shipping since I have no idea how to estimate international shipping. I will probably add international shipping when I get the hang of things. :)

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  4. Hello from Spain: Philip Heath is adorable. She looks like a real girl. I really like her freckles. I see they are your treasures. Right now I still do not have any of these dolls in my collection but they are in my whislist. You're right that the children money to spend on dolls is lower. Keep in touch

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  5. I first saw Phillips beautiful dolls in Harrods just before christmas in 1994. They were the most fascinating things I had ever seen, truly beautiful, large dolls that looked as if they were live little girls, with real personality. The face sculpts were amazing and the Gotz production was exquisite. My husband( via my children) gave me two dolls for Christmas that year. My darling Precious 1, and Lauren. From then on it seemed to be my mission in life to find every doll that I could. It became an obsession and I became an avid collector of Phillip Heath Dolls. My passion has now burnt itself out but not before I had collected almost all of his dolls including many " Specials" and 'artist' proofs; i have 3 differant Jertehs, 3 different Lisas, 6 different Precious. Its possible that I may have one of the biggest collections of Phillip Heath dolls. I think it is around 40 dolls. All of my dolls are personally signed, to me from Phillip, having met him on several occasions. The one thing that i am still disappointed about is that I never managed to add one of his porcelains to my collection. The only one I ever found for sale was a porcelain 'Irene' that was just exquisite but she was in New York and I just could not subject her to that kind of journey in case anything bad happened to her. Now that Phillip has sadly passed away it would be nice to think that there might be an exhibition of his work at some time and that I might be able to contribute to it. As you can imagine, the dolls take up an enormous amount of space and I can only have a couple of them around at any one time. This makes me a little sad as it would be nice to see them all together again.
    if anyone ever hears any whisper of an exhibition or a permanet collection being set up anywhere do please let me know at jezebel@mess.demon.co.uk

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    1. Oh--what I would give to see your collection! I think if I could choose any doll artist in the world and attend an exhibition of their work, it would be Mr. Heath. I say this not just because the dolls are so beautiful, but because they are all so different--they all tell a unique story.

      I miss Philip Heath and I miss the old hard vinyl, glass-eyed, high quality Gotz dolls. :(

      How kind of you to be on the lookout for a way to share your collection with others. It would be amazing if an exhibition like that was set up someday!

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  6. When I stopped collecting the Phillip Heath Dolls, I became very excited about ball jointed dolls.
    it started with falling in love with some beautiful asian dolls in Japanese kimonos. The pictures of these exquisite dolls led me to a few Korean websites where I found some irristable pieces and so started my next doll collecting obsession.
    I thought that I would give you the websites in case you might be interested, http://www.dollmore.net/ is my favourite. The dolls that I have from this site in my collection are. Special Edition Model Dolls Ipsae ( white Lingerie), White Ha-Yarn From Black Raven and Vulpes, Model doll Dragon Haneoi, Model doll Evgeneia Haneoi, Model doll Male Lawrence Owen, Glamour Eve doll Noir Hosoo, Model doll Lingerie III Lisa Rubik, Model Doll F - keeley Sum.
    http://www.elfdollshop.com I bought a few dolls from Rainman as his sculpts are really lovely but the dolls I bought are no longer on the website.
    These dolls are fully poseable and quite weighty. They feel very solid in your hands and are quite big- 58- 70 cms.
    They are also completely customisable with a huge variety of eyes, wigs, clothes etc.
    I bought a couple of the 'Youth' dolls for my daughter, for Christmas, a couple of years back and had a wonderful Autumn that year making loads of very lovely clothes for the dolls. i really enjoyed making them and was very happy with the results. i briefly thought about marketing them. Let me know what you think of these dolls.

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  7. Philip Heath Dolls are the most amazing creatures and they are very very sought after. I've seen them go for thousands of dollars. A collection like above would be worth a mint. Economic times are not so flash right now but they hold their value and people who have never seen them will give their eye tooth to have one.

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  8. I have the Philip Heath Prince and the Pauper set and I am thinking of selling them. Any ideas as to where I should advetise these and how much do you think they are worth.

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  9. Philip Health dolls creep me out, no offense.

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  10. They really should not be called dolls as they are works of art, I picked up a Nkiki last year, she is still in her box with all her papers and tags and is numbered 1 in a ltd edition of 500 so she stays in her box...I bought her to sell as I deal in antique dolls but it is a beautiful thing and I have held onto her.
    It is a waste for me to have her.

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  11. Hi everyone I have a few Philip Heath dolls. I was just wondering does anyone have an idea the value of prince & pauper dolls 1997?

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    1. Hi I was just wondering if you ever got a value for your Prince and Pauper doll set.

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  12. I have a miniature philip s heath baby. He is only about 51/2 inches. Fits in your palm and anatomically correct. Do you know anything about them?

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  13. I am familiar with the Phillip Heath dolls, but I was never lucky enough to own one. Yours is gorgeous. I think his face sculpts are timeless and we lost a great doll artisan. I do see them on ebay from time to time. So beautiful . ..

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  14. https://scontent-a-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/995212_466325796816883_1342774686_n.jpg

    I did a Pastel Drawing of your Leisandra Doll.She is beautiful and inspired me for some reason. Here is the link to the drawing.I thought maybe you would like to see it.

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    1. Oh wow! That's gorgeous! I'd love to be able to show that on the blog! You captured her mood perfectly.
      Thank you for sharing. :)

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  15. We used to live by this toy store that has a child size gotz doll that looks quite like these dolls. The lady at the store said she is a peice of art with crystal eyes and real hair. She is $900. Do you think she is one of these

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  16. Emily,
    Thank you! I would love for you show it on your blog :).
    Sorry I'm just now seeing your response.

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  17. Most human hair weaves come from parts of Asia and India.This is because Indian hair is easily blended with hair of women in other countries.

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  18. Phillip Heath has now passed away. he died in 2011, that's why you dont see anything else from him. My wife and I have had the pleasure of calling him a personal friend of ours. We actually know Aaron that he made a doll from. He is one of the greatest doll makers of our time!!

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  19. We have dolls for sale from Phlip Heath. Please email to us.

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