Monday, October 6, 2014

Sugar Plum, Sweetie Pie

Today I have a mystery baby doll by Effanbee from 1969. I originally tentatively identified her as "Sugar Plum". I've searched for weeks to find one of these dolls in the original box with no success. This doll is marked "17 Effanbee 1969 9669" on her neck. Her face appears identical to the "Sweetie Pie" doll by Effanbee, but that doll is marked "9469" on her neck. Some of the Sweetie Pie dolls also have bent pointer fingers, but this doll's are nearly straight. Both dolls are crying dolls. UPDATE: Now that this doll sold, I finally saw one other, still with its tag so the identity is verifiable and this IS "Sugar Plum". I will say, I spent months and months searching for this doll and didn't see another until now, so if you see this doll snap her up. She's RARE!

This looks like the doll I have but mine is marked 1969.

My Internet searches haven't revealed anything conclusive. One person claims this doll is her original Baby Button Nose by Effanbee. I have a book with a photo of that doll, however, and it's not this one. Baby Button Nose is described as a very rare doll, and every version I've ever seen has an open mouth, other than the original composition dolls. This baby's mouth is closed. I had a Baby Button Nose very briefly a few weeks ago, but she sold before I could even list her in my store or write a post about her.

Vintage Baby Button Nose always has an open mouth.

I've also seen this doll identified as Sweetie Pie or Sugar Plum, but most people just call her #9669. I ordered a lot of four volumes of Modern Collector's Dolls by Patricia Smith, but unfortunately these have contradictory information. According to her information in the first volume Sugar Plum is the only doll this could be because she was made in 1969, whereas Sweetie Pie was made in 1968. But then the second volume lists Sugar Plum as having been a 16 inch doll in 1969 and an 18 inch doll in 1964. This doll is about 19 1/2 inches, though, and so doesn't fit the descriptions in the books at all! The photos aren't much help, as they aren't terribly clear. Mr. Smith was the photographer, and quite honestly I don't believe he would have landed the job if his wife hadn't been the author! At any rate, forget "rare" Baby Button Nose; this one is every bit as difficult to find!

Whoever she is, this is just a lovely classic baby doll. She's large and heavy and feels like a real baby. Her face is just beautiful. I replaced her original cryer, which was broken, with a new working one, so now she cries when you put her down on her back. Just like my babies: every one of them would wake up screaming if their backs hit a mattress! I guess it's never too early to find out how babies really act!

The doll with refreshed cheek blush

Besides replacing the cryer I touched up the doll's cheek paint because one side of her face had a light spot in the vinyl. I used water-based oil paint because it provides the durability of oil paint with the ease of cleaning and fast dry time of acrylic paint. I washed Baby's hair with vanilla and lavender scented fabric softener, so she smells clean and sweet. Her hair is very soft and shiny. One of her eyes sticks often. I cleaned and oiled it so if you tap her cheek you can usually get it to open and close again.

There is some uneven stitching on one arm casing.
The only flaw I found on the doll and didn't fix is some stretched stitching on one arm. The arm isn't loose and the thread hasn't pulled through or anything, so I believe this is just a result of a factory flaw. Other than that, she's missing one of her original booties, so I gave her replacement shoes, and she didn't have any diaper or bloomers so I gave her a vintage replacement diaper.

The doll's markings.

The new cryer works.

The tag.

I think this is a wonderful doll for a little girl, and also for a collection. As I can attest, she's certainly not common and a difficult doll to find. You can get her in my store so please check:

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