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Burnet Antique Mall lands unique Daddy’s Long Legs Dolls

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

BURNET — Even though Carol Will of Burnet Antique Mall has been into antiques and collectibles since the 1970s, occasionally, she comes across something that even leaves here a bit stymied.

That happened in December, when she and her husband, John Will, obtained four Daddy’s Long Legs Dolls and a three-piece Nativity scene.

“I had never heard of them until this year,” Carol Will said. But after a bit of research, she learned the dolls, crafted by Southlake doll maker Karen Germany, definitely fit the bill as collectible.

For one thing, the hand-made dolls are African-American, something still rather uncommon even by today’s standards. Germany began making the dolls about 1985 after noticing there weren’t many African-American dolls available, though there was a market for them.

“And each one of them is handmade, even the clothes,” Will said.

Burnet Antique Mall, 206 Main St. on the square in Burnet, has a Santa, a Tubbin’ Santa and Odessa (they have a tub of water in which they rest their feet) and a Nunny. Along with the four main dolls, the Wills have a three-piece Daddy’s Long Legs Nativity set featuring Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus.

“Now, that’s rare,” Will said of the Nativity set.

This Daddy's Long Legs Nativity set includes Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. The three-piece set is part of a collection Burnet Antique Mall, 206 Main St. in Burnet, recently obtained from a Killeen-area doll specialty shop. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton
This Daddy’s Long Legs Nativity set includes Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. The three-piece set is part of a collection Burnet Antique Mall, 206 Main St. in Burnet, recently obtained from a Killeen-area doll specialty shop. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

While the Nativity set is on display as part of the Christmas selections, she keeps the other four tucked away for now. She’ll gladly pull them out of the boxes for people to look at.

“Just look at the detail,” Will said while looking over the dolls. The faces of each doll look extremely human, right down to the cleft in Joseph’s chin. Even the dolls’ shoes reveal details few mass-produced dolls can replicate.

Each of the Daddy’s Long Legs Dolls includes a authentication certificate. While some dolls on their own are collectible, Will said since the Daddy’s Long Legs line went out of production in the early 2000s, it’s only made them more desirable.

“As I understand it, they are highly collectible,” she said. “Being handmade means they’re aren’t that many of them. And since they’ve stopped making them, well, that only makes them more collectible.”

For Will, the dolls not only represent a collectible item but something about which to learn.

“I’m always learning new things,” she said. “You’d be amazed what comes through our door. That’s one of the things I love about this business, you’re always learning.”

Go to www.burnetantiquemall.com or call (512) 756-7783 for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com