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Welcome to the John Darcy Noble Collection

Within these thirty or so pages, one will see many distinctive objects that represent the wonderfully eclectic, but unmistakable taste of John Darcy Noble. John selected his items with a refined eye that encompassed love, awe and
humor and when you view his very special collected objects, that eye will be crystal clear.

John loved to relate how his collecting began. It was a small, Victorian, porcelain whistle in the shape of a cigar which started it all when he earnestly swapped a brand new toy for this curiosity. The whistle remained in John's collection all of his long life.

Many of the items found here will, most likely, be those you have seen before, as they have been immortalized through charming stories and artful photographs that appeared in John's own books and magazine articles.
Like old friends, the dolls, toys and art objects present on these pages will delight you, just as they did
John Noble himself, throughout his collecting years. Their capability to provide delight is infinite...and a new chapter in their lives is being written...Mr. Noble wrote the first few, so beautifully.

Thank you for your visit,
Michael Canadas and David Robinson





Design sketch for Madame's Gown, executed by Stage Designer David Walker


stands twenty-two, regal inches tall and was introduced in John's article:
"Madame's Dress, a Stage Designer's Tour de Force, or -
How to Get a Rare, Old Doll Dressed Perfectly".

It was David Walker, (the London-based stage designer and designer of Madame's tour-de-force gown) who actually dated this doll for John. John suspected the balsawood lady to be a religious figure, due to her light-blue painted torso and upper limbs, and was uncertain of her date. Mr. Walker, an expert in the realm of eighteenth-century costume, dated the doll circa 1750. In time, using bits and pieces of John's collected period silks, trims and metal lace, the design was realized. It was also immortalized in the exquisite, framed watercolor shown above.
Highlights include an elegant costume of period materials, a carved hairstyle and lovely, carved, wood bare feet. Madame holds a paper face-screen created by John himself which features colorfully painted insects.
Madame reigned supreme over countless dinner parties, as she graced Mr. Noble's dining room for years, gazing out from her crystal-like display cube.

The PapThe Papier-mache Chinaman "When I grow Very rich, I shall collect Chinoiserie"-J.D.N.
The palette of The Papier-mache Chinaman is jewel-like.
Rich pink, deep blue and soft gold have never worked together so beautifully, to create an air of exoticism. And his countenance...perfection. Most likely a product of Germany's Sonneberg region circa 1860, his construction is simple, but the design-effective.
See page 97 of the book "A Treasury of Beautiful Dolls" to see the Chinaman in print.
Measures: 10-1/2" Tall

The Flower Seller

I Love Thee

The sunbeam, after gentle showers,
is not more loved by drooping flowers.
Within their shady, noontide bowers,
Than thou art loved by me, love.

The Flower Seller is sentiment...personified.
Standing twelve and one-half inches tall, this German China Boy possesses inherent beauty. More unusual than Nr. Noble let on in the article where this doll appeared, "Victorian Flower Children", this 1860's boy has lovely china arms and his cloth body appears to be pristine.

Appeared in Antique Doll Collector magazine, May/June Issue, 1998. Victorian Flower Children.


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