|Victoria with her Rempel toy lamb|
|Baby Dreams Velvet Skin|
A few posts back I mentioned a "baby boom" coming to my store. Well, today I have two new additions to the baby dolls already listed. I finished restoring a Madame Alexander Victoria baby and an Ideal Baby Dreams Velvet Skin doll and got them listed last night. You can find them, and many other baby dolls, in my store: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.
|Original pink tissue paper stuffed in Victoria's seat.|
Victoria came in a lot of Madame Alexander dolls dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. All these were
complete to nearly so and none had been play dolls. Somewhere along the way they'd been stored improperly and so all unfortunately have fading and age spots or mildew and damp stains.
Victoria still retained her original pink tissue paper stuffed into the seat of her panties to keep them from getting crushed, but her coat, dress, and body were all stained. She has particular staining on one arm and her back and all over darkening which is more pronounced on the areas of her arms, legs, and torso near the edges of her clothing, so probably resulting from sun and air exposure. Victoria is a crying "mama" doll with a working cryer so I didn't dare wash her too vigorously. Instead I cleaned the stains with carpet spot cleaner and let her dry in the bright sun. The result is lightened but not eradicated stains. The only real remedy would be to sew a new body for the doll, but I don't want to do that to a completely original doll if I don't have to. I do have an older Alexander baby in my studio whose body is beyond repair, so I will be replacing that one's soon and will try to write a good tutorial showing how to replace a cloth body.
|The Alexander mark|
Baby Victoria was made for several years in many versions. This one is 19 inches and comes wearing a taffeta dress with matching bloomers, coat, and bonnet. It looks like these were all originally pink, but the dress and coat are now faded to a beigey-pink color. I haven't seen this doll in this outfit before, so I'm not sure if she originally had shoes or booties but I assume she would have. One of my Madame Alexander books shows Victoria #5756 of 1977 wearing a similar but not identical outfit with booties.
|The dress has age or mildew spotting.|
|A ding in the hair paint|
|Victoria's coat and bonnet|
This baby doll has one of the most beautiful and realistic face sculpts I've ever seen. Her paint is gorgeous, too, with blushing even on her little ear lobes! The only flaw is a little ding in her hair paint. Victoria is a really wonderful, heavy baby doll, satisfyingly lifelike for young mothers to hold. I recently bought a lot of vintage baby toys, and I couldn't resist giving a little Rempel lamb to Victoria and a set of teething rings to my other baby doll.
|Two buttons missing from the coat|
|The coat is tagged.|
This next baby is dear to my heart. This is Ideal's Baby Dreams Velvet Skin. Ideal had been making a Baby Dreams doll, sometimes called "Dream Baby" for many decades starting, I believe, in the 1930s or 40s, when they decided to produce the doll with flocked "velvet" skin in 1975.
The new doll had a completely new sculpt, with a sweet, smiling face and chubby, lifelike arms and legs. She had silky blond rooted hair and bright topaz blue sleep eyes with extra long lashes and, at 19 inches, was a cuddly dumpling perfect for little girls to hold. My mother said she was the cutest doll she'd ever seen. I know all this because Baby Velvet was MY very first doll. I got her when I was only 1 and I was a devoted and loving little mother. I adored my baby. Then one day I went to get her and she was gone. She'd just completely disappeared! As it turned out, my baby's flocking was turning brown and flaking off and when I wasn't looking my mother threw her away. This incident might have dissolved into the mists of memory had it not occurred shortly before my father died suddenly in an accident. We left our house and moved from California to Ohio to live with my grandparents fairly soon afterward. To me it seemed as though my entire world had disappeared overnight, which of course it had. I had a recurring dream from that time until my mid-30s about this doll. I would leave her on the floor of our California foyer, which I can't recall when I'm awake but which appears in all its minute detail in the dream, and go to do something else. I can see her lying there on the floor in her pink bunting with its little peaked hood (OK, so I wasn't the best mother after all, perhaps). Then I return and she's gone and I spend the rest of the dream searching for her.
Well, a few years back I woke up from this dream and decided to find my baby doll. I had nothing to go on other than she wore a pink bunting and had flocked skin. I searched and searched the Internet and finally got her name. I decided I would purchase a new doll for my own daughter. HA! As it turns out, most Baby Dreams Velvet Skin dolls were thrown out when their flocking flaked off and Ideal didn't make them long, probably for the same reason. Naturally, my "baby" is now one of the rarest dolls. I tried and tried to buy one of these and would always get outbid. I've seen them sell without any clothing for $50, $60, $70... once I saw one still new in its box go for over $300! By the time I finally managed to acquire one my daughter didn't really care about baby dolls anymore. Just as well, since she can't play with it anyway. We keep our new Baby Velvet in a box and my daughter is allowed to take it out and hold it gently. Even with her present maturity, my daughter loves to cuddle this doll; it's just irresistible! I still haven't managed to find the little pink bunting she wore. I will probably have to make one.
Then one day, after all that searching, I bought a big lot of dolls and lo and behold, there was another Ideal Baby Dreams Velvet Skin! At least buying mine made my dreams stop!
|Ideal Baby Dreams Velvet Skin|
The girl who owned this doll had a less dramatic mother who very practically scrubbed the flocking off the legs and feet when it started to flake, so now the legs are just plastic. The doll's face and arms are very well-preserved, with only a tiny bit of darkening and flocking loss on the fingertips. The face has a few spots. I did clean the doll but couldn't remove the spots completely. She's in really good shape for this doll, though, and is a nice example of this version of Baby Dreams. Her hair is a little dry at the ends but I gave her a conditioning treatment that helped a lot.
|Marked on her neck and tagged|
|Tagged with a second tush tag|
|I am including a copy of the original care brochure.|
|Flocking loss on the fingertips|
|The face is very good with only a few spots and no flocking loss.|
|This doll has unique sleep eyes that work when she lies on her side.|