Monday, August 4, 2014

Pretty Princess

Princess Elizabeth
We've been painting our house for over a week now. We are re-painting the inside of pretty much the entire home, and we are still only halfway done, despite painting pretty much constantly since Thursday this week. After long days of painting I did take a "break" most nights to work in my office and finished a few more dolls. Besides the painting, my neighbors asked me to care for their garden while they're on vacation, so I've been working outside as well. My arms and shoulders are sore tonight, I've got some carpal tunnel going on, and to top it off my son stepped in another yellow jacket nest today. He shows a real propensity for finding stinging insect nests! His legs are covered in stings, my daughter got stung, and I was also stung on my temple. I am a bit allergic, and my lips started itching and swelling and turning red almost immediately, so I had to take Benedryl, which knocked me out for three hours. I'm still kind of woozy, so instead of painting or working I'm writing my blog instead!

Elizabeth's eyes were professionally painted at some point.

Little Princess Elizabeth is one of my most recent completed dolls. This is a very old doll; she was modeled after the present day Queen Elizabeth when the queen was a toddler! This doll dates to between 1937 and 1940. She's impressive for her age. Elizabeth came to me already restrung. Her glass eyes shattered but they were professionally painted at some point so they look really good. The princess is marked on the back of her head: Princess Elizabeth, MME. Alexander Doll Co.

I gave Elizabeth repair to all-over crazing following the method shown in my earlier post: The little princess' toes had crumbled away so I rebuilt them from epoxy and painted them. Princess Elizabeth had fine cracks under her eyes like the Wendy Ann fairy princess I restored recently so I fixed those and traced over the painted lashes on one eye as they were faded.

I traced over the painted lashes on one side.

The only flaw I left alone are two holes in Elizabeth's hip sockets where her original stringing hooks pulled out. The first restorer  placed new hooks in a different spot when Elizabeth was restrung. I thought about filling in the holes with epoxy but I was afraid it would interfere with the smooth movement of the hip joints. The holes don't show unless you pull the legs out. The gloss sealant I applied all over the doll should help seal moisture out of the composition, so I felt it was not necessary to fill them in.

The doll after repair

Once I'd finished the doll's body I styled her hair. Her human hair wig is just lovely. The blond locks can be finger-curled and the hair isn't too dry or thin. I made a tiara for Elizabeth from a vintage bracelet and styled her hair around it.

Elizabeth wears her original tagged outfit with new accessories by me.

I also made a little purse from vintage materials for Elizabeth and gave her replacement vintage shoes.

New purse and vintage shoes
I just adore this doll sculpt! The Princess Elizabeth face is so cute, and her chubby toddler body is so lifelike. Look at her showing off her shoes in the next photo; she looks just like my two-year-old niece, who also loves a new pair of shoes!

Elizabeth shows off her shoes.

Elizabeth's hair curls beautifully.
Elizabeth's original tagged taffeta gown was once pink and blue, I believe, but has now faded to mostly a kind of pinkish beige. I repaired the net lace trim around the neck, as it was starting to tear. The gown is shiny from over-ironing and has some age spots, but it's nothing too serious so I didn't do anything other than repair the lace. I replaced the elastic in the blue taffeta panties. These are much less faded since the dress protected them from the light, and you can see how bright the blue lace would once have been. These have a spot on one side which I didn't try to remove. Since the panties don't show I didn't feel it was worth the possible damage that could occur from washing them.

The dress is tagged.

The original panties with replaced elastic.

Little Princess Elizabeth is just so sweet! I think this must have been a very good likeness, because I can see the resemblance to the toddler Prince William and the new little Prince George! Madame Alexander was very admiring of royalty, and of the British monarchy in particular. She would really study the princesses and queens and their clothing so she could recreate them as realistically as possible. These dolls are getting harder and harder to find in decent condition as they age, and I think this one is a lovely example. You can find her in my store, so please check:

I'm working on a composition Wendy Ann as Scarlett O'Hara right now. I hope I'll feel better soon so I can finish her. Keep watching for that restoration.

Elizabeth can sit and stand alone.

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