Like many young girls, Cindy Hammerquist was introduced to the world of dolls by way of Barbie.
“I grew up in the 1980s, but my neighbor’s mother used to let us play with her 1960s ponytail Barbie,” said Hammerquist, program director of the Patchogue Doll Fanciers Club of Long Island. “I fell in love with her — especially her clothes, some of which had real metal zippers.”
That love blossomed into a career: She buys and sells vintage toys and dolls for a living. An avid collector of dolls from every era, Hammerquist, a Huntington resident, said she is especially fond of vintage Barbies. On Sunday, Jan. 8, she will have many on display at the Patchogue Doll Fanciers Club’s 41st Doll, Teddy Bear and Toy Show and Sale in Hauppauge. The daylong event will feature antique and modern dolls, one-of-a-kind artist creations, teddy bears and dollhouses for sale. Free appraisals also will be available for any antique dolls and on Barbies made before 1970.
“For me, dolls are a snapshot of the culture and fashions of their moment,” Hammerquist said. “Really, the study of dolls is the study of humankind.”
MORE THAN A DOLL SHOW
Guests can expect to see dolls from 150 years ago to today, including antique bisque porcelain and china heads; midcentury vinyl varieties such as Madame Alexander’s, Barbies and Betsy McCall; and the wildly popular American Girl dolls. The event, which typically attracts about 400 people, may be known as a doll show, but it is really a marketplace, Hammerquist said. Prices range from a few dollars to several thousand dollars. There will be more than 70 exhibitors present.
“We have people of all ages, ethnicity and backgrounds, from the serious collector to the grandmother showing her grandchild dolls she played with as a child,” said Hammerquist, the event’s co-organizer.
The Patchogue Doll Fanciers Club is a branch of the United Federation of Doll Clubs, the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. The Patchogue group meets monthly in Blue Point as part of its mission to research and preserve the history of dolls.
This year, the club decided to phase out the competition portion of its doll show because of the time and effort needed to put it together. Instead, there will be a series of raffles, including one for a rare large, electrified Georgian dollhouse.
A significant part of the allure of the annual show is in the rarity of the featured finds. Last year a popular exhibit was an antique puppet show stage with interchangeable backdrops and fully articulated puppets made in Venice. It came with playbooks of “The Merchant of Venice” and “Cinderella” in Italian.
Says Hammerquist, “With the addition this year of dollhouses and dollhouse miniatures, it should be a feast for the eyes as well as a walk down memory lane.”
Patchogue Doll Fanciers Club of Long Island
41st Doll, Teddy Bear and Toy Show and Sale
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, UpSky Long Island Hotel, 110 Vanderbilt Pkwy., Hauppauge
ADMISSION Adults $7, children younger than 12 free