Here's some email about identifying a doll
I have an old squeak baby doll who is 9 1/2 inches tall, she is wearing pajamas with feet and a hood, and holding a little teddy bear. On her back there is a triangle with Jemlee Inc. N.Y. I would just like to do a little research on her but have no idea were to start.HELP.
Well, ya got me. I have looked in a dozen books, old and new and can't find anything on a Jemlee Company. You might get an idea of her value or maybe even find one like her on eBay if you search in dolls on "rubber" or "Jemlee". When you consider that ebay is world wide, if there are any more in the world, one will show up on ebay eventually.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help, good luck!
Hi Michele, your friend brenda sent me to your web site for answers so i hope
you can help. but before we get started i wanted to say that your web site is
very good!! the way you are willing to share your imfo is excellent. i work
on old compo dolls and i find to that nobody likes to share their secrets. if
they only knew if we don't help out our poor compos today,there will be none
left for the future generations. and i find not to many people restore them
so iam glad you have your sight for the ones that want to but don't know
where to get started.i think you might add the importance of dressing dolls
to original.it would help the others realize that you can fix your dolls but
clothing is also very important part to any of these dolls. the reason i said
this is i sew for my old babies and dress them to look as they were when new,
i have studied clothing and find it just as involving as repair. it is just a
suggestion and you might want to think on it.
now to my question.the doll i am sending you is unmarked,but she has a
backward 13 on her back and 13 on both arms and legs. she is all original.
the dress and bonnet , her green shoes and sock, and she is wearing a shirley
temple slip under her dress. i have guessed and guessed with others to
identify her, but nothing rock soild has come out of it. can you help me find
out who she is, brenda thinks you can and so do i seeing the knowledge you
have by looking at your web site. please let me know either way.thank you so
much for your time and effort, i hope i can return the favor some time.
god bless, kari
I think the same company was making dolls for both Ideal, Vogue and Alexander in the later 30s, early 40s. All the same doll are Ideal's Cinderella with a dimple in her chin, Ideal's Betty Jane or Mary Jane with long braids, the Princess Elisabeth, McGuffy Anna, and Flora McFlimsy for Alexander and a child doll for Vogue. All have human hair wigs and were marked with X in a circle, 13, or no marks at all. Some had their names and the company as marks but many were unmarked except for the X or the 13 and the hang tag on the wrist or sometimes a tag on the clothing identified them.
If your doll's clothes are original (or an exact copy of the original), I'd say she was a Princess Elisabeth. The outfits on the other models were simpler - of cotton with rickrack and pinafores. The clothes for the Princess gave the impression of the little rich girl. Cinderella of course had floor-length grown-up type gowns and there's that dimple in her chin. Your doll's hair color is correct and the length could be curled up onto the neck and around the face? It's hard to tell under the bonnet. What throws me is the brown eyes. Elizabeth had blue or green eyes but that doesn't rule her out as Elizabeth because manufactures used what they had to fill orders. There's even a picture of a marked Elizabeth in a pinafore with a long single braid and pinwheel curls for bangs. So Elizabeth could dress down, but the others rarely dressed up to the Elizabeth standards.
Speaking of dresses, yes I love the research of finding the doll and dressing her in a copy of her original outfit. Long before my hobby evolved into restoration, it was duplicating outfits. The thing is, there are so many seamstresses out there who are so much better than I am in this department that teaching the skill is something I have no business doing. I'll have to leave the how-to details of that for someone else's web page, I'm afraid. I might get into general pattern shapes and making a dress without a pattern but when it comes to actually making the outfits, it's a seat-of-the-pants proposition for me. On the other hand, I know some ladies who do unbelievably beautiful work but can't sew a stitch without a pattern. So maybe a discussion of general pattern shapes and sizing it to the doll would be useful.
Every day I get more ideas for the site and every day I get a task that takes me in a different direction and keeps me away from my dolls. Two weeks ago I took on two dolls from readers to restore. Last week two of my computer clients had system crashes and what was supposed to be finished Monday and today has turned into two two-week projects. The site is usually a demonstration of what I'm doing at the time in the daylight when I can take pictures of it. It might be making a wig, filling craze lines, replacing eyelashes, or whatever. I have the sewing machines set up but lately it's just to make accessories or repair a factory outfit. Someday I'll have some of these dolls finished and ready for outfits and I'll have the time to make them.. at least I hope that day comes soon.
Thanks for the input and I hope I've given you an idea about your doll. The book that has some great pictures of Elizabeth is Composition Dolls 1900-1950 by Mertz.
The one with the Vogue dolls is Vogue Dolls by Izen/Stover
and the Ideal dolls are pictured in Ideal Dolls by Izen. All of these books are in print and can be seen at Borders or bought on the web from BN.com or Amazon.
Good luck with her - she's a lovely doll!
I have an antique doll that I am trying to find information about. She is an
Effanbee, her name is Anne Shirley. I would like to know her history and
Thank you very much for any info. you can send me,
Anne Shirley was made in the 40s. Another doll using the same mold was Little Lady. They were made in several sizes - from 14" to 22" (at least that's the largest I've seen.) The wigs were either mohair or human hair, but in 1943 because of the war, the wigs on Anne Shirley (Little Lady) and Sweetie Pie (another Effanbee doll - a baby) were made of cotton yarn. The outfits for Anne Shirley and Little Lady ranged from simple dresses to wonderful gowns. The detail on these dolls was excellent and they were probably the most popular Effanbee dolls of their time. When hard plastic came into use, the Little Lady mold was retired and the Effanbee Honey that was rare in compo became the new Effanbee young lady in hard plastic.
Depending on condition, outfit and size they can range in value from $125 to several hundred dollars.
Here are some pictures of dolls marked Anne Shirley or Little Lady
Have you ever seen or heard of the Ricky Ricardo Jr. doll . I'm sure Iremember it as a child of the early '50's.
Yes, I have heard of the Ricky, Jr. doll. From "I Love Lucy" he was also called "Little Ricky". He was made by American Character in 1953. He had a stuffed vinyl
head and had a fully jointed vinyl body. His mouth was open for a bottle and he had sleepy eyes with lashes. The doll was made in two sizes, 12" and 20" and today,
depending on size, condition and clothing values range from $70 to $200.
I have acquired a Betsy McCall that was said to have come from the late 50's.
She is EXACTLY like the other Betsy's that I own in every way, but she does
not have the circle stamp on her back. Do you know why this would be? Were
there any known "knock-offs" of the original 8" Betsy that you know of? Any
clue as to where I can go to find the answers to these questions would be
On page 22 of Betsy McCall / A Collector's Guide by Marcie Van Ausdall (a great new book, by the way but sadly out of print) the end of the first paragraph explains that the dolls sold by Montgomery Ward and Sears were in plain boxes instead of the printed boxes American Character was using. These dolls were still Betsy McCall by American Character but weren't stamped on the back. There's no mention of this affecting the value of the doll. As for knockoffs or the AC Betsy, I don't think there ever were any. If there had been, there would be substitute, factory-made clothing and accessories available and I've never seen any!
So I guess it's safe to say if it looks like a Betsy, it's a Betsy!
Subject: Marilyn Monroe
could you please tell me the price range of this doll?
My doll reference is limited to dolls of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Sorry, but there is nothing in my books about a Marilyn Monroe doll. I know there have been several made in recent years but I have no idea what their current values would be. Perhaps if you did a search on eBay past auctions for Marilyn Monroe in the Dolls category, you could get an idea.
My great grandmother has a doll that she refers to as a Big Boy doll. Big
Boy being the name of it. Unfortunately she doesn't know much more than
that. If you have any information that would help us it would be appreciated.
"Big Boy" doesn't give me much to go on. It would help if I knew how old your grandmother is and if she got is when she was a girl, what the doll is made of, if it has hair, is it mohair or human or synthetic. How large is the doll? How is it dressed? Are there any marks on it? A trade mark or name?
If your grandmother is in her 50s or 60s she may have a doll that was the trademark of Big Boy restaurants. He would be fat with black hair with an early Elvis Presly haircut. His pants might be black and white check with suspenders and a T-shirt. I've attached a picture of the current Big Boy doll. If the one your grandmother has is old, it will look different, but the similarities may be enough to ascertain his identity.
If it's not anything like your grandmother's doll, then I'll need some more details and if at all possible, a picture.
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