Monday, September 29, 2008

Effanbee strung 16-inch Honey - $75

Here is another of my mom's dolls that we are listing for sale, on this site and at the upcoming doll show: an early Effanbee Honey, strung and 16 inches tall. Honey is in excellent condition, redressed in a vintage outfit that we believe to be appropriate, but with an odor that we can't seem to rid her of.

The doll itself is in excellent condition, with light play wear, such as the tiny rub on the end of her nose. Her face is lovely, with light blush on the cheeks, ruby lips, clear eyes, and that sweet Honey expression.

Honey also has a beautiful honey-blond saran wig, still in the original set. It is a wig and style that is very similar to that worn by my Winnie Walker — a style I haven't seen on Honey before, but I don't see any signs of the wig being replaced, so I think it might be original. In any case, it is beautiful, vintage, and suits her sweet expression perfectly.

Honey has been redressed in a completely vintage outfit. The dress is made of polished cotton and is very high quality; the style is very similar to other dresses I have seen Honey wearing, so I wouldn't be surprised if it is actually a Honey dress. In any case, it is well-made and fits her perfectly. The dress closes in back with two red buttons.

She also wears vintage cotton underwear and fuzzy-bottom 1950s brown suede shoes. The snap is torn off on one shoe, but they are the correct vintage and fit her (Honey had bigger feet than other dolls of the same size and is therefore difficult to find shoes for).

Honey's only down side is a mothball odor that we have been unable to rid her of. If she is standing in open air it is not noticeable, but as soon as you shut her up in a cabinet for a while the odor becomes evident. Perhaps someone out there knows how to get rid of this smell, which is — I think — her only real flaw.

This early strung Effanbee Honey is beautiful and priced to sell. On sale for $75! Take advantage of this special price and buy her now — just in time for Christmas!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Madame Alexander strung 17-inch Maggie - $125

We have a new doll for sale! This doll is a strung hard plastic doll from the early 1950s: a Madame Alexander Maggie. She is 17 inches tall, has the desireable "suntanned" complexion, and is in played-with condition. Her outfit is not original but is all Madame Alexander or vintage replacements, as you will see.

Maggie has the normal play wear — scuffs and rubs through the flesh-colored paint at the joints, tips of her fingers, etc. She has pretty green eyes with a little bit of minor yellowing from age. They open and close smoothly and are missing no lashes.

Her hair is beautiful and all original, if a little wild. The pale yellow-blond wig is not in the original set but retains some curl.

Here are some pictures of a mint Maggie with the same wig, so that you can see how the hair was styled originally. This is not the doll for sale, just a model to show how the hair should be styled.

Maggie is wearing a tagged Madame Alexander dress. This dress came in two colors, blue and pink, and is typically seen on Maggie dolls, so it is completely appropriate even if it isn't original. The dress has a couple of problems:

1) The print is faded in the bodice. You can see this in the pictures above.

2) There is another faded spot, about the size of a quarter, along the hem. This spot is different — instead of looking faded by sun, it looks like a manufacturer's error that caused the fabric not to be printed here. In any case, it is on the side and could probably be hidden in the folds of the dress.

3) The slit down the back of the dress opens a little too far. It looks like the stitching has come loose. No torn or ragged edges.

The dress is tagged "Madame Alexander" and has probably been laundered at some point, but is not excessively limp or worn.

Maggie is also wearing ivory satin panties with lace trim, appropriate to a doll of the era but may not be Madame Alexander. She wears appropriate white rayon socks and vintage black oilcloth centersnap shoes with smooth bottoms. All of her clothing is appropriate for a doll of this period, and it took us several months of searching in order to complete her outfit.

Maggie will come to you newly strung and lovingly packed for shipping. Contact me immediately if you are interested. Maggie has a new price of $125, so buy her now — just in time for Christmas!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A note on Winnie Walkers and Binnie Walkers

A couple of days ago I blogged about my Winnie Walker project doll. I realized I never mentioned anything about her year or value in my blog post. Since Winnie Walker and Binnie Walker are often confused, I decided a separate post was justified.

Both Winnie and Binnie were Cissy-faced walker dolls, but Winnie was made first, starting in 1953. They both had different outfits and there were other subtle differences — for instance, some later Binnie Walkers had vinyl arms that were jointed at the elbow. Also, I've never seen the wig and hairstyle that my Winnie wears on a Binnie Walker, so I think it was just Winnie who wore it.

According to Linda Crowsey's 2008 price guide, Winnie was made in 1953 and 1954, and Binnie was made in 1954 and 1955. I think Binnie was also used in 1956 for some specific dolls, such as the non-walker 1956 Wendy Bride that I have (and am actually considering selling).

Really, the best way to learn to distinguish between Winnie and Binnie is to do the research. Study listings of complete, all-original Winnie and Binnie dolls on eBay, and consult every doll book you can find. With a little persistence and a lot of attention to detail you should be able to identify your doll!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Winnie Walker project doll

I had completely forgotten about my 15-inch Winnie Walker project doll, until my mom and I started going through our collections this week, looking for dolls we no longer want.

Of course, this being one of my project dolls, I put a lot of love into completing her, so she's not a candidate for our downsizing efforts. However, I decided that her status as a nearly-completed project doll meant she deserved her 15 minutes of fame on my blog.

I bought Winnie right after Christmas in 2001. I remember because there was hardly anyone bidding right after Christmas, and as a result I got a really good deal.

When I bought her she was wearing a white dress that was possibly factory-made but nothing that I recognized. However, she was also wearing red centersnap shoes with fuzzy bottoms — shoes I was pretty sure were Madame Alexander.

After some research, her shoes and her hairstyle convinced me that she had originally worn the red dress with a navy sailor coat over it — a popular Winnie outfit. As it turned out, my mom had bought the dress and matching underwear a while back to go on her Binnie Walker, and I had a two-piece red-and-white Binnie Walker dress — so we traded.

Some time later, I found the navy coat to go with the outfit. It was a little faded to purple in places, which is pretty common with this outfit.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find the navy felt bonnet — and I rather suspect I never will. Other than that, though, the outfit is complete — right down to the matching undies!

It was a year or so after I completed Winnie that I started favoring the 14-inch strung dolls. I always kept Winnie, but after a while I forgot about her. Now that I've rediscovered her, I've moved her to the front of my doll case in the basement.

We had fun with our photo shoot the other day. Winnie's outfit reminds me of a model's costume, so I took a picture of "Winnie the model."

I love rediscovering old favorites!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Most collectors go through cycles of adding to collections, and downsizing collections. I think it's triggered by an instinct for self-preservation — my dolls would take over my home if I didn't downsize periodically! Besides, selling dolls I am tired of means more money for my current interests.

I have recently started thinking of downsizing. It's hard to decide what dolls to part with, especially in an economy where I know I won't always get what I paid for them, but I've chosen a few to start with. My mom is thinking of downsizing, too, so we're going to rent a table at a doll show next month and try our hand at selling.

I will post pictures and descriptions of all the dolls we're selling on my For Sale page over the next few weeks. Any dolls that haven't sold by then will go to the show with us. I'll post more information as the time for the show draws nearer.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Melanie, a modern Madame Alexander

I'm not usually into the modern Madame Alexander dolls — I prefer the early strung hard plastic dolls, from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

However, the other day on Craigslist I saw this modern strung doll, an 8-inch Melanie from the 1992 Scarlett Series. She was only $15, and she looked awfully pretty in the picture, so I decided I had to get her even if she wasn't the kind I normally collect.

One of my complaints with the newer dolls is that their faces aren't as cute. This isn't the case with this little doll — I think her face is just darling:

Her clothing also seems to be well made from higher quality fabrics, unlike the Madame Alexander dolls of the 1970s and 1980s. And I just love that hat!

Isn't she a cutie? I'm thinking of finding a Scarlett to go with her, although I'll have to go with a different year because I don't like the 1992 Scarlett!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More dolls and doll stringing stories coming soon

I am back from my long hiatus!

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've updated my blog, but I had an extraordinarily busy summer. All that is over now, though, and I'm back to my old work schedule — complete with plenty of time to blog.

Starting tomorrow, I'll have all-new blog posts about my dolls and doll stringing stories. Stay tuned for:

1) Pictures, descriptions, and stories of several new dolls I've gotten — as well as why my tastes have changed

2) Doll stringing stories of dolls I've had that I just hadn't gotten around to tell you about yet (I've got well over a hundred dolls, so really this blog has only just scratched the surface)

3) Pictures and descriptions of several dolls and related items that my mom and I are offering for sale


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