Like legions of others, I, too, was saddened to learn of the death of Shirley Temple Black last week. She was an incredibly dear child star, plus a loving wife, parent, grandparent and respected diplomat.
As America's "Darling of the Depression," she was wildly popular with the public. Her image was found on cereal bowls, movie posters, pocket mirrors and book covers -- all of which are still avidly collected.
And there were lots of dolls. Virtually every little girl wanted one. So curly-top dolls were produced in huge numbers.
San Jose native Shirley Heffner, named for the dimpled cutie, had to wait many years until she had her own. The veteran doll enthusiast, and longtime member of the Garden City Doll Club, bought her first Shirley Temple doll at a Bay Area flea market a couple of decades ago.
Her treasure, made in the 1930s by the Ideal Toy Co., has a composition face. Heffner had hers restored. The 22-inch-tall beauty (they came in various sizes) has been restrung and sports a new set of clothes.
Heffner now has three other Shirley Temples among her 75-doll collection. The inveterate collector told me, "I love all of my dolls, but my Shirley Temple dolls have a special place in my heart."
We know these mementos have sentimental value, but will they also increase in financial value? Only time will tell. We may need a new generation of young collectors to embrace the "Good Ship Lollipop" as lovingly as Temple's lifelong fans did.
Over the rainbow
Last month, Ruth Duccini, one of the 124 Munchkins who appeared in the beloved MGM musical "The Wizard of Oz," died at the age of 95. Her passing leaves Jerry Maren as the sole surviving member of the famous troupe.
If you take a quick journey down the Yellow Brick Road, you may recall that it was Maren -- the Munchkin in the middle -- who presented Dorothy Gale (portrayed by Judy Garland) with an oversized confection from the members of the Lollipop Guild.
In Maren's 2006 autobiography, which is fittingly titled "Short and Sweet: The Life and Times of the Lollipop Munchkin" (Cumberland House), he reveals that the treat was actually a prop -- a wooden lollipop.
"Oz" will be very much in the news this year, and figure prominently at auctions of film memorabilia, as the perennial favorite celebrates its 75th anniversary.
By the way, a quick check on Amazon and eBay shows the book selling for as little as $7.99 with free shipping.
Dates to jot down
Here's an event readers of this column won't want to miss -- the 2014 Treasure Market. This eagerly awaited extravaganza takes place March 28-30, and proceeds benefit the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. I'll provide specifics in a future column, but for now mark your calendar, and take a peek at www.museum.stanford.edu/tm.
I just learned that the second annual "Vintage in the Vines" antique faire held in Tracy is a "go" for 2014. This event offers a fun mix of antiques, gourmet cuisine and wine. Coming June 21, it is put together by Gail Gabbert of Owl Box Antiques, and the people at Scarlata Farms, a grower of heirloom tomatoes. For more information, call 209-830-0796.
In January, I was delighted to be the guest speaker at a luncheon organized by the Golden Gate Chapter of the American Cut Glass Association. I learned a lot during a marvelous afternoon.
Members gather three or four times annually at a private home, restaurant or antiques show. Some meetings have programs featuring a wide range of topics. Membership dues run $20 per year.
A special sale
The American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in San Jose has an "Only the Best" sale Saturday and Sunday. It's a chance to locate a super bargain while helping an excellent cause.
The volunteers have saved up their finest inventory for this two-day event. Expect collectibles, jewelry and an amazing selection of artwork.
You'll find the shop at 1103 Branham Lane, off Almaden Expressway, in San Jose. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 408-265-5535. All funds raised support the American Cancer Society.
Vintage paper show
Show promoter Hal Lutsky will host one of his Vintage Paper Fairs on March 9 at the Elks Lodge, 1475 Creekside Drive, Walnut Creek.
Expect to find heaps of postcards, stereo views, fruit labels, sports memorabilia, photographs, brochures and myriad paper goods referred to as ephemera.
Lots of folks like going to this show. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission, parking and appraisals are free. To get further details, call 415-814-2330.
Contact Steven Yvaska at email@example.com.