Friday, October 31, 2008

Elise in her peignoir set

This doll is not one I have up for sale, but another of my Elise dolls. Madame Alexander Elise is by far one of my favorite dolls to collect, albeit one of the most expensive dolls I collect, so I have several nice ones!

I bought Elise's peignoir set several years before I bought the doll to wear it. In fact, the peignoir set was one of my earliest Elise purchases. For some reason many people don't care for nighties and peignoir sets, so I bought this tagged, near-mint set for an extremely good price.

Elise's peignoir set is made of a light pink material that is like super-silky, super-soft, super-light nylon. My mom has an Elise peignoir from her childhood that is made of a slightly different material. I think my mom's is Elise's crepe peignoir, but I'm not sure what material mine is made of.

The doll, on the other hand, I bought just a few years ago at a local doll show. The man I bought her from collected and redressed Elise dolls, and had many beautiful examples. In particular, I remember an Elise doll dressed in an exquisite black ballerina outfit that appeared to be patterned off of Elise's original ballerina outfits.

Anyway, what triggered my interest in this doll was her perfect wig, which still has its original barrette, and is still tied up in its original hairnet. (I have a penchant for Madame Alexander Elise dolls with perfect hair, it seems!) The wig is a beautiful golden blond color, and very shiny.

Elise's face color is slightly paler than her body, with a very faint grey cast, but as you can see in the pictures, her vivid blush and lip color more than makes up for it.

Elise also has beautiful original rhinestone drop earrings. Since she has the hairdo that was often reserved for ballerinas and brides, these earrings make me wonder what she wore originally.

Finally, Elise wears pink taffeta panties that I actually stole off of another Elise, one of the two Elise dolls I have left that I haven't photographed. I think she was probably a pink bride originally, but since she isn't any longer, I gave her pretty pink undies to this doll.

Eventually I would like to find her a pair of Elise's pink low-heeled mules with the big pink flower on each toe. If I can't find a pair, though, I may have to have replicas made. I hate doing that, but reproduction shoes are better than no shoes at all!

Here my Elise doll is, all ready for bed. Isn't she a lovely girl?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New doll pics, coming soon...

I mentioned in my post about the doll show that I bought a new doll there. I will take some pictures and post them soon, but first I think I am going to clean her up and soak her dress. (Someone has washed it and wrung it out — arrghhhh — but a good soaking should remove most of the wrinkles!)

In the meantime, I have plenty of other dolls that I have photographed and have yet to blog about, including some other dolls for sale, so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Live blogging the doll show!

Here we are at the doll show, with an hour left to go! I can get wireless Internet here, so I wanted to post an update.

It has been a long day — I got up at 6:30 am to get dressed, get breakfast, and load up the car with my mom. We arrived just before 8:00, with an hour to get ready before the doors opened to the early birds.

The first hour and a half was our best. Within perhaps forty minutes, I sold three dolls — my 1950 Wendy Bride and two Binnie Walker "project dolls" — as well as some vintage doll clothing. Of course, I also bought a doll (which I will post pictures of soon), so I pretty much broke even.

My mom sold several doll books and some more vintage clothing — enough to buy a different doll book she wants. I guess that's really why we do these doll shows: so that we can buy more!

I took a picture of our booth before we sold a couple of things:

The next doll show is December 7th, and we're planning on doing that one too. I think next time I'll market a little better, and perhaps we'll get some more money — or should I say, some more dolls!

1950 Madame Alexander Wendy Bride - SOLD!

We will be at the doll show for much of the day today, but I thought I would post pictures and a description of one more of the dolls we are selling. I'll let you know if she is still available after the show!

This 14-inch strung bride is an early Madame Alexander hard plastic Wendy Bride, dating from 1950. She is all original and has clearly never been played with; unfortunately, she has probably been displayed in open air for many years, and her fragile outfit is discolored and deteriorating.

First let's look at her positive qualities:

1) Wendy Bride is all original. She has white oilcloth shoes with bows (one bow missing), thigh-high rayon stockings, and white taffeta undies. She even has her original bouquet still tied to her hand. It looks like it's never been removed so I left it alone.

2) Wendy Bride's dress is tagged.

3) Wendy Bride has a beautiful strawberry-blond mohair wig, still in the original set. Mohair is super soft, and is therefore notoriously difficult to work with. To find it still in the original set like this is extremely rare. And I love the color of this wig!

Now for her problems:

1) Wendy Bride's dress and veil is in extremely poor condition. There are many large holes in the netting and it all feels extremely fragile. It also is a little discolored with age, most likely from being stored in open air for quite some time.

2) Wendy Bride's face appears to be a little discolored. I hardly noticed this before taking the pictures, but my camera picked it up: Her face, besides being pale, has some varying shades of flesh tone.

A pristine mint example of the 1950 Wendy Bride appears on page 194 of Linda Crowsey's Collector's Encyclopedia of Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965. The caption says that in mint condition, she books for $900 and up.

Now, my doll is clearly not even close to being in mint condition, but even considering her problems $65 is a reasonable price. Perhaps some talented seamstress could remake her dress and make her beautiful again!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our first doll show is tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the doll show — the first doll show my mom and I have ever sold at, although we have frequently attended these events. We are very excited!

We are taking a number of dolls with us, as well as a big box of doll clothing. I didn't get around to posting pictures and descriptions of everything we'll be selling, but here are the ones I did get to:

* Madame Alexander Princess Elizabeth outfit

* Madame Alexander strung Maggie

* 16-inch strung Effanbee Honey

* Fortune Ninette or Duchess Randi

* 19-inch Horsman Cindy fashion doll

* 1953 Madame Alexander 18-inch Wendy Bride

* Vogue Ginny Formals #6062

* Vogue Ginny in school dress and raincoat

We are taking many other dolls to the show with us: a 1950 M.A. Wendy Bride, several Cosmopolitan Ginger dolls, a Madame Alexander "India" Alexander-kins, and more. Unfortunately, I underestimated the time I would need to get ready for the show, and ran out of time to photograph and post on each one.

After the show I will post updates, and list items for sale that are still available. Stay tuned!

Vogue Ginny SLW in school dress and raincoat - $25 DRESS/SHOES ONLY

Here's another Vogue Ginny for you Ginny collectors: a SLW (straight leg walker) doll in a pretty pale yellow tagged school dress, and a red and black Ginny raincoat.

One of this Ginny's best selling points is her beautiful face. She has lovely blue eyes, perfect lips and brows, and prettily blushed cheeks.

Ginny also has beautiful long brown hair. I believe the wig was meant to be in pigtails, because the stitched part continues all the way down to the nape of her neck. However, it also looks pretty in loose waves, so I'll leave the decision to her new owner.

Ginny's dress is tagged with the Medford tag, which dates it to 1954-1956 — appropriate for a SLW doll. She wears basic undies just like those our Ginny Formals #6062, also for sale, wears under her bloomers. Her shoes are marked Ginny and don't have heels, which makes them the hard-to-find 1954 shoes.

Ginny will also come to you wearing a red-and-black plaid raincoat, marked "Ginny" on the hood. This vinyl raincoat is not original to this doll; we added it after we bought her several years ago, but it looks so cute on her, we just can't sell one without the other!

This Vogue Ginny is a beautiful little girl, but her outfit isn't as desirable as our Ginny Formals #6062, so we have priced her a little lower. She is a real bargain at $75!

Please note: The doll has sold, but her dress and shoes are still available for $25. Raincoat is available for $5.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vogue Ginny Formals #6062 - $75

This darling little socialite is a Vogue Ginny BKW (bent knee walker) wearing a tagged 1956 Formals #6062. The outfit is meant to be for a SLW (straight leg walker) doll, but we bought her from the original owner and she didn't know anything about the outfit being changed.

As you can see, Ginny's eyebrows have some rubs. She has a beautiful wavy blond wig that goes perfectly with her formal gown. Her hair may have been cut but if so it was done well, and the length suits her.

As far as I can tell, Ginny has all of her original outfit except for her pink tulle wrap and her black velvet hat. Her tagged dress is in perfect condition, and the taffeta on both the dress and the bloomers is crispy mint. The bloomers do have stretched elastic. Underneath the bloomers she wears what I believe must be the standard Ginny undies, so she may have been a nude doll that was bought and dressed (which would explain the different year on the outfit).

I believe Ginny's shoes are also original. They are black satin ballerina slippers with fuzzy bottoms. They are in great condition too, and the fuzzy bottoms are perfectly intact.

You can find this Vogue Ginny on page 131 of Judith Izen and Carol Stover's Collector's Encyclopedia of Vogue Dolls, the pink edition (1998/2000). Ginny dolls from the 1950s are worth quite a bit, particularly in the formal outfits, so get this beautiful doll now for only $95 $75. Take advantage of this special price and buy her now — just in time for Christmas!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

1953 Wendy Bride #1852 - SOLD

This doll is the 1953 Wendy Bride #1852, shown on page 197 of Linda Crowsey's Collector's Encyclopedia of Madame Alexander Dolls 1948-1965. According to the book, a mint version of this doll with bouquet and hat box books for $1,800.00 and up. Our doll does not have her bouquet or hat box, but she is definitely near-mint, and therefore an unbelievable deal at $275!

Wendy Bride is 18 inches tall and a walker. Her dress is tagged. We have a lot of pictures of her, but as you'll see they are all worth waiting for!

Wendy's face is lovely: nice painted brows and lashes, ruby lips, and delicate pink blush on her cheeks.

Wendy's hair is also perfect, with the original pins and curls still in place, except for one tiny spot in the back where the curls droop just a touch — probably from being stored flat at some point.

Wendy Bride has all of her original outfit, including her hard-to-find half slip with hoop! The hoop is bent from storage. I don't know if it could be straightened out or not, as we never tried. It doesn't detract from her beauty when she is on display.

Wendy's undies, stockings, and shoes are in excellent condition. Her center snap satin shoes have the desirable fuzzy bottoms.

Besides the one small place where her curls are drooping in the back, the only flaw I can find is a small hole in one of her puffed tulle sleeves:

This is an absolutely gorgeous, near-mint example of one of Madame Alexander's most beautiful brides in the 1950s!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Horsman Cindy 19-inch fashion doll - SOLD!

This 1950s/1960s fashion doll is a 19-inch Horsman Cindy. She has a soft vinyl head with rooted hair, a hard vinyl body, a swivel waist, and jointed knees. Vivid coral face paint adorns her lips and cheeks, and painted lashes frame her clear blue-green eyes. Her hair is strawberry blond and very definitely out of its original style, but not quite as frizzy as most Cindy fashion dolls I see.

This doll came to me naked, but she'll come to you with three different dresses, two pairs of shoes, one pair of nylons, and one pair of earrings. The earrings, nylons, shoes, and one of the dresses are all modern reproductions.

The first dress is a beautiful aquamarine 1950s-style street dress that was made for me by a very talented local seamstress. It features a snug bodice and a full skirt supported by a separate half-slip in matching satin and tulle. There are also matching satin undies that tie on one side of her waist with a ribbon. I chose this color because it brings out the blue in her eyes.

Cindy will also come to you with two different vintage dresses, both most likely homemade or made by average seamstresses. Neither fits her perfectly, but since I bought them for her I thought they ought to stay with her.

The first is a green taffeta that makes her eyes look more green than anything. It has a little fur poof at her waist and closes in the back with a couple of hook-and-eye closures. It is very definitely from the 1950s era, judging by the quality of fabric. It comes with a stiff tulle slip.

The other dress is a little more worn, a multi-colored dress of some sort of nylon fabric that reminds me of imitation silk, vintage but perhaps not quite as old. It closes in the back with several large round sewing snaps.

She has two pairs of shoes, white and blue, so that she can color coordinate as she pleases. She also has modern earrings and stockings to complete her outfits.

Her problems are her slightly frizzy, mussed hair, a touch of "green ear" around the earring holes (invisible with her earrings in), and a pale body that no longer matches her peachy-tan complexion.

These Horsman Cindy dolls are hard to find, especially with the 19-inch jointed body — usually you see the slightly smaller dolls with the stuffed rubber bodies. This Cindy is a beautiful example of a large 1960s fashion doll, and a real steal at $55!

Cleaning mold off of a hard plastic strung doll

I recently blogged about a Nancy Ann Style Show doll we are selling. Dash of Spice is made of painted hard plastic, a type of doll that seems to be rather susceptible to mold problems.

Basically, a fine, almost powdery mold grows on the painted surface of the plastic — I'm assuming only on dolls that are stored in humid climates, as Colorado (where we live) is too dry for that type of thing. The mold can be cleaned off but tends to leave pale discolorations where it grew.

My mom bought Dash of Spice fairly early in our years of collecting and acquiring dolls. We're not sure if we just didn't notice then, or if it has gotten worse over the years, but when we were getting ready to take her picture we noticed that she had a powdery-like white residue on her clothes. We stripped her, and found splotches of mold on her arms, chest, back, and legs.

At the same time, I realized that the doll was filthy: She had a thin shadow of dirt over every bit of exposed plastic. I immediately set out to clean her up.

I like to use Cathie Lee doll cleaner, which you can buy on eBay, for cleaning hard plastic dolls. Rather than applying it with a rag, I cut into thirds those red scrubby pads that are made to clean glass cooktop surfaces without scratching, and use that. It's gentle enough not to remove paint from the plastic, but scrubby enough to help remove caked-on dirt — like what was on my mom's Nancy Ann Style Show doll.

Here is a nice before-and-after demonstration: a picture of the dolls legs after only one of them had been cleaned. The focus is a little soft, but you can still tell that the leg on the left (your left) looks a little more grey than the other. That's not a shadow that makes the leg look darker — it's dirt!

This ought to demonstrate how much you can improve a hard plastic doll's appearance by cleaning it — if you have a good doll cleaner and are careful not to take off any paint, of course!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nancy Ann Style Show "Dash of Spice" - SOLD!

This little beauty of my mom's is an 18-inch strung Nancy Ann Style Show doll. The outfit is called "Dash of Spice" and the doll dates to the early to mid 1950s. (I don't know the exact year — I'll have to look that one up!) We are asking $150 for her.

Dash of Spice has absolutely beautiful face paint. Nancy Ann Style Show dolls had not only blush and painted eyelashes, but also smoky eye shadow. You can see her gorgeous face quite clearly in this picture.

Her hair is also still tied back into the original chignon.

Dash of Spice has all of her original costume except for her hoop, which would have been sewn into a half slip worn under her dress. The Nancy Ann Style Show dolls had voluminous skirts with great big hoops, which is why the dress is so long. A seamstress could probably make a new hoop slip for her.

Also, the lace trim on her dress is rather torn. It would probably improve her appearance a great deal to carefully trim away the tattered lace, but I'll leave that decision to the buyer.

Her undies, stockings, and shoes are all original and in great condition.

One of Dash of Spice's best features is her hard-to-find silver foil hang tag. On the outside it reads "Style Show by Nancy Ann / 1504 Dash of Spice". On the inside it lists all of the Style Show dolls' names and numbers. The hang tag is a little bent and the crease where it folds in half is torn partway up, but hey, it looks pretty good for a 55-year-old piece of paper!

Besides her missing hoop slip and tattered lace, the doll's only problem is that she is a mold survivor. Her painted hard plastic body has the odd splotchy discolorations that comes from mold, but she has been thoroughly cleaned with a good doll cleaner. Her dress also had a powdery white residue on it, presumably from the mold, which has been wiped away as best as possible with a soft (dry) cotton cloth.

The discolorations on her back, chest, arms, and legs is faint, so the camera doesn't pick it up very well. You might be able to see some of it in this picture on the left side of her back if you look closely. You can also see a faint semi-circle where one of her snaps left a slight dent and discoloration on her back. Fortunately, none of this will ever show when she is dressed!

Even with her issues, she is a beautiful, hard-to-find doll — and a great deal for $150. Nancy Ann Style Show dolls are highly collectible, especially the early strung ones!


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