Sunday, November 16, 2008

An early strung Sweet Sue

While I'm taking a short break from listing dolls for sale, I decided I'd briefly return to the subject of Sweet Sue (click here to read about how I saved Sweet Sue) and blog about one of my favorite Sweet Sue dolls.

I found this doll at a doll show several years ago, and paid a pretty price for her (about $80, as I remember). She has beautiful face paint, clear blue eyes, and lovely carrot-red mohair braids with curly bangs. She is also one of American Character's earliest Sweet Sue dolls. You can tell because of the different face: The lips are painted smaller and appear more pursed than on the later Sweet Sue.

Early American Character Sweet Sue

Compare her face to the Sweet Sue I blogged a little while back:

Sweet Sue's later face

The earlier face was not used for very long, so most strung Sweet Sue dolls you find have the later face. The early Sweet Sue dolls are very hard to find, making them desirable and quite valuable.

Of course, as with any hard-to-find doll, early Sweet Sue outfits are even harder to find, so my early Sweet Sue is one of my only dolls NOT wearing either an original outfit or an appropriate replacement. Her dress is a tagged Madame Alexander dress for a 14-inch doll. It matches Sweet Violet's dress exactly, and is made in a similar style as Active Miss's dress, so I'm guessing it's for a Winnie Walker or a Binnie Walker around 1953 or 1954. This is the only time I've ever seen this dress for a doll other than Sweet Violet, so I am assuming it is pretty rare.

Early Sweet Sue in a rare Madame Alexander dress

The color of the dress — an iridescent fabric that shifts between blue and violet — looks so pretty with her red hair and blue eyes that I decided I had to leave her in it. I bought an original Madame Alexander slip and undies combination to go under it — the eyelet lace and a faded blue ribbon bow on the outside of each leg identifies it as most likely originating from an early 1950s Alice in Wonderland.

Madame Alexander slip and undies combination for an Alice in Wonderland doll

Madame Alexander slip and undies combination for an Alice in Wonderland doll

Her shoes are suede, fuzzy bottom, side snap shoes that are definitely Madame Alexander and most likely from a Winnie or Binnie Walker. Her socks are the correct rayon socks that were used on dolls in the 1940s and early-to-mid 1950s.

I've toyed with the thought of finding an early Sweet Sue dress for this doll, and then finding a Winnie or Binnie Walker to wear the Madame Alexander outfit, but I think actually I won't have the heart to separate Sweet Sue from this dress. It just looks too perfect on her!

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