Helen Cohen has spent over 40 years in the doll world, beginning with rag dolls and progressing through miniatures, owning her own shop and then onto the larger figures represented in this book. This wonderful combination of cats with the human form in fabulous historic costume “takes the viewer to a different philosophical dimension.” Why cats? You may ask yourself. Once you see them, you’ll ask “why not?” It certainly works!
Lavish, sumptuous, gorgeous are all words I used when admiring the dolls on my first glance through the book. The figures range in size from 4 1/2” to 22” Tiny companion figures of cats and dogs are as equally detailed as the main characters. Cohen uses resin cat faces for her figures, which are purchased and then painted over. Using her extensive self-taught costuming skill is clearly what she enjoys the most. No sewing machines were used to create all the amazing designs, the costumes being permanently attached to the figures. Accurately representing many historical periods, Cohen takes us on a walk through time. While not being a strictly how-to book, much detail is provided on each doll. They are described in great detail, giving us references to the period or character represented and her thinking on the process. Departures into fantasy are also noted, to clarify when a costume is not strictly period.
The photography by David Gehosky is superb. With experience photographing historic costume for museums and publications, his talent brings the work to us in eye popping clarity. The detail shots and camera angles are the essence of the whole presentation of this book.
Anyone who enjoys dolls or costume will appreciate this book, which I highly recommend.
Available from Schiffer Publishing and Amazon