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New York Doll Hospital

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787 Lexington Ave., second fl., New York, NY 10065 40.763 -73.967
nr. 61st St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-838-7527 Send to Phone

  • Reader Rating: Write a Review
  • Price Range: ($$$) High End
  • Type: Specialty Shop
  • Products & Services: Toys/Games

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Nearby Subway Stops

4, 5, 6 at 59th St.

Payment Methods

Cash Only

Product Guide

Entertainment

  • Toys/Games

Special Features

  • Rentals
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Profile

This venue is closed.

Back in 1900, Dora and Abraham Chais owned a beauty parlor where patrons would bring their children—who in turn brought their dolls. Soon the Chaises began a doll- and toy-repair business, and today their grandson, Irving, keeps their legacy alive at the New York Doll Hospital. Chais has been attending to dolls full-time since 1946, when he got out of the Army. He works out of a small second-story workshop on the Upper East Side that is a chaotic jumble of dolls and doll parts. Cloth, vinyl, porcelain, tin, wood, pewter, straw, papier-mâché, electronic—you name a doll variety and Irving has probably given it emergency care. He sees his work as art, meticulously matching missing parts, repainting faded expressions, and repairing tiny internal mechanisms that allow a doll to move or talk again. He also gives face-lifts to old stuffed animals, working both in the back of his workshop and in New Jersey with four other artisans. On two walls of his workshop, Chais keeps glass cases displaying discontinued and vintage dolls for sale, such as a 1950 Queen Elizabeth doll by Madame Alexander and a Kewpie doll from 1925. Chais accepts new patients from all over the world, and offers free estimates for the cost of surgery. Procedures can take anywhere from ten minutes to months. And while they can be pricey, a successful outcome is highly likely.

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