Monday, October 28, 2013

Polly, Pollyanna

Polly Pigtails as Pollyanna

Last night I managed to drag myself up to my office to work for a bit, and here is the result, another Polly Pigtails doll finished. Polly Pigtails, made from 1949-1951 only, is a very rare doll. When I listed this one she was the only original vintage Polly on eBay; all the others were reproductions. It's funny how these unusual dolls come up in spurts. I sold another Polly a few months ago. When I bought my daughter's Sweet Violet two more came up right away, and I've even seen another Margot Ballerina with the super-rare wig I sold recently. So what eBay shows us is even rare items are findable if you know where to look!

Polly is in excellent shape.

She's all original, even down to her hair ribbons, I think.

This Polly is in just fabulous shape for such an early doll. If she hadn't lost all her original clothing I'd be asking around $700 for her. She does have the usual age-related issues. Her shoulder, neck, and hip joints have paint scraping. There is a tiny chip in her face paint right above her mouth. This doesn't go all the way down to the plastic, so it's just a difference in texture, not color. Her bangs have some breakage on the ends so they look a bit uneven, and her hair is a little thin on top. None of this is severe at all, so I didn't do anything to mess with her originality.

She has a slight chip above her mouth, and a brown mark on her forehead, both very minimal.

Polly's face and body paint are superb, retaining a trace of blush in her cheeks, chest, knees, and the tops of her hands and she also has a hint of her original brown eyeshadow left. Her lips had some paint loss so I touched those up and sealed them. Someone gave her new stringing recently enough that it's still very tight and she poses beautifully.

Her mohair wig has slight thinning and breakage of the ends but retains its original style.

I think someone gave her a makeover other than stringing. Her hair was powdered when I got her, especially under her bangs and behind her braids. I just dabbed the powder away with a damp towel. It may have been applied as a mold-preventative. Mohair and wool are prone to mildew and moth damage. Since I removed the powder, the new owner will want to keep an eye on that and handle the doll frequently to check.

Her joints have slight paint scraping.

The back of Polly's head is more pink than the rest of her face and body. I'm not sure if that is due to painting or, more likely, she spent a long time lying on her back and the other paint became discolored from age. This is not visible to any casual observer, though; you have to be really studying the doll to see it.

Polly re-dressed in a vintage "Lucinda" costume.

Since Polly was a blank slate I decided to make one of my exclusive doll and book sets. I do a lot of these, especially around the holidays, and have a lot of success with them. I enjoy uniting my two childhood loves, books and dolls! My own daughter receives a doll and book set for pretty much every occasion and she's become a wonderful reader.

Pollyanna Boxed Set

The vintage box has lots of wear.

The label reads, "Lucinda".

I took a vintage 1960s Madame outfit from my stash, originally for "Lucinda" and found it fits Polly perfectly. This outfit had some yellow and brown spots from age or mildew. I was able to remove most of it from the dress by spraying it with white vinegar and setting it out to dry in the bright sun. I wasn't able to fade the darker spots in the crinoline and pantaloons, though. Since these are in the back and under the dress they aren't visible, though.

All the outfit pieces have brown spots.

The spots are worst on the back of the undergarments.
Polly Pigtails always wears her signature straw hat, so I found a new-old-stock vintage hat to fit her. I happened to have organza ribbon in a perfect match to her dress, so I trimmed the hat with that and vintage-look flowers. I think the outfit turned out well. Polly looks super-sweet in my doll case!

The mohair wig has some fuzziness.

Polly's new hand-trimmed hat.

I had a brand-new copy of Pollyanna, purchased for this express purpose. I was just waiting for a suitable Pollyanna to come along. I had the original Lucinda box as well, so I put together a gorgeous boxed set. I hope the new owner gets as much enjoyment from it as I have!

On the home front, Jerry sanded the top of the other kitchen bench with the belt sander to get it ready for me to colorwash and painted the base with chalk paint. The children, despite every one of them having flipped the benches over and beat their heads on the wall in the past, insist on tipping the benches all the time during meals and homework. When Jerry went to paint this one he found one foot just hanging on by a thread. It's a good thing he noticed it, because the whole thing would have fallen over had he not. This led to his memorable speech at dinner last night: "People Who Don't Respect The Bench Will Have To Eat Standing Up." I hate to tell him, I was awoken this morning by the sound of the bench being tipped and thumping back into place. We live dangerously around here!

Jerry sanded the bench with a belt sander.

I just got an awesome, 11 pound box of dolls, all estate-fresh and stinky, dating from the 1930s to the late 1970s. There's a Harrison Ford in there, not sure is he's from Star Wars or Indiana Jones, and a Triki Miki Dollikin, a Nancy Ann bisque...I can't wait to get started! I feel slightly better today. Poor Jerry had to get up at 4 this morning to travel to a meeting. I woke up as well and started sneezing uncontrollably and couldn't get back to sleep. So I got up and took some NyQuil and was dead to the world until the bench banging. Since then I haven't taken any more medicine and my head only slightly hurts. As soon as I'm back up to par I hope to get a whole new bunch of dolls listed.

A new lot of dolls to fix.

My favorite doll from this new lot, though, is the Ideal Baby Dreams "Velvet Skin" doll. This was my very first baby doll. I thought she was so beautiful! She has a cuddly body and soft peach flocked skin. Her turquoise blue sleep eyes have super-long black lashes. She wore a little pink bunting with a peaked cap. I was only one year old when I got that doll, but I can still see her face clear as day.

For a long time I couldn't remember her name, though. The trouble with Baby Dreams is that her velvet skin turns brown and flakes off if you actually play with her. This is what happened to mine, and one day when I wasn't looking my mother THREW HER AWAY. Until I was 37 years old, I used to have the same dream. I left my baby in the entry way on the floor. I could see our 1970s California house like I was actually walking through it. Then, I would go back to get my doll and she would be gone. I would look and look to no avail and then I would wake up so sad. My mother would protest, when I talked about the dream, "Her face was peeling off! It was horrible!"

Now, I understand this dream was not a longing for the doll so much as for my California life, which ended when my father died. It's the same as the hula girl doll dream I wrote about years ago in this blog. Fed up with these nightly trips through the past, I searched for the baby I remembered. It took forever, but hours of trolling Internet doll blogs with the key words "flocked skin baby pink bunting " finally yielded the name. I got on eBay and discovered I wasn't the only person whose Baby Dreams suffered the skin peeling fate. The only new-in-the-box Baby Dreams was listed at $300 and even damaged ones sold for around $60! I watched it, though, and finally got myself one for a reasonable price. When she arrived I let my own daughter cuddle and hold her carefully and the rest of the time I keep her put away in a box. It worked like a charm! The dreams stopped cold. So, in some ways I guess you can go home again. I am excited to get this Baby Dreams into my store for some other long-ago little mother to rediscover.

Polly Pollyanna is listed in my store right now and the rest of the dolls mentioned will be coming soon, I hope, so please check my store:

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