Humpty Dumpty Doll Hospital, 7019 Brookville Rd., Chevy Chase. Open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday by appointment only. 657-9088 .
Only once has a patient at the Humpty Dumpty Doll Hospital received received get-well cards. But all of their patients have gotten well. Elaine Buser opened the hospital this spring after her doll and toy restoration business burgeoned right out of her home work space. But the new second-floor hospital looks like a turn-of-the-century boutique, with racks of miniature velvet Buster Brown suits, and ruffled pink gowns with matching bonnets. Bisque dolls lounge on wicker settees. Glass-fronted cases show feathered satin picture hats and aged tiny sewing machines. Everything is for sale - the antique tricycle, the human hair wigs, the Howdy Doody doll, the socks and shoes, the tiny china tea service - and whatever is not displayed, particularly handmade reproduction doll clothes, can usually be ordered. Lest it all seem too serious, there is a corner with coloring books and crayons for children, and Mrs. Buser's desk holds a jar of jelly beans. But the backbone of the operation is the restoration of antique dolls, including carving, painting and minor bisque rspair, with special expertise in Schoenhut dolls. Once Mrs. Buser even resurrected a teddy bear that had been loved to death.