SHEILA KNOWLES of Whitefield, will be at the Bath Antiques Show and Sale on Sunday to discuss dolls.

SHEILA KNOWLES of Whitefield, will be at the Bath Antiques Show and Sale on Sunday to discuss dolls.

BATH — In addition to a wide array of quality antiques and collectibles, the 2012-13 Bath antiques shows will feature an expert in a particular field of antiques at each show. The first show, to he held at the Bath Middle School on Sunday, will host doll collector Sheila Knowles of Whitefield.

Knowles was born in Lawrence, Mass., and moved to Richmond when she was 15. She was introduced to dolls in 1974 by Irene Strout, a elderly collector from Dresden and it didn’t take long for Knowles to find out she was hooked, a news release said.

Knowles’ in-laws were antique dealers who frequented flea markets, so she tagged along. At that time, her collecting leaned more toward composition and plastic as German bisque and china dolls were too expensive. In the mid-1970s, she started teaching at a local ceramic studio and began making dolls. She also did some doll repair and made doll clothing. Soon she had too many dolls, so she packed up her stationwagon with both her young son and daughter and a load of dolls and began selling at flea markets in Freeport, Nequasset, Montsweag and Fosters.

When both her children were in school full time, Knowles got a job as production manager and shipper at a local pottery studio. She went from making ceramic dolls to ones made of porcelain like the old German bisque. She attended dollmaking classes to add to her knowledge of dollmaking and china painting.

When her children graduated from school and moved out, Knowles’ collection began to change. She began to collect more antique dolls and began selling antiques as well as dolls. She attended auctions and estate sales and found them to be a great source for “as found” dolls.

Now Knowles has over 200 antique dolls in her personal collection including French and German bisque, chinas, cloth, wood and more. She also has an inventory of more than 2,000 dolls from modern to antique for sale. She maintains a booth at the Fairfield Antiques Mall.

People are encouraged to bring their dolls to the Bath show where Knowles will help identify, value and advise on repair. Like any dealer, she is always looking to buy, swap or sell dolls and doll parts. She loves to “talk dolls” and share information. She will have many of her own dolls on display.

The Bath show and sale will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bath Middle School, 6 Old Brunswick Road. To get there, exit U.S. Route 1 at Congress Avenue and follow the signs. Admission is $4.

For more information, call 582-5908 or email [email protected]


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