Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wendy's Wish Come True

Wendy-Kins from the 1950s with a Shackman baby and cradle

If you've been watching my store you've no doubt noticed and influx of souvenir dolls recently. Many of the lots I've purchased to get a different doll contained a healthy dose of those. I've done well with them this year, so I'm happy to get them. As so often happens, I purchased this lot for a particular doll but found a different doll is more rare. I was thrilled to win the lot with these dolls because I saw the Wendy-Kins in pieces and recognized her as a 1950s bent knee walker. I could tell she was a walker because the walker mechanism was partly outside her body. Thankfully the seller was conscientious enough to retain it, as it's a tiny piece. I also saw the cradle, black with rosemaling-type painting, and that immediately appealed to me. My grandmother's kitchen chairs looked something like that.

When I got the doll lot, however, I found a truly rare group: two miniature 5-inch black dolls with open mouth, side glancing faces, a bit like Pee Wee dolls, and a larger black Dress Me doll with a pretty crocheted dress. Ethnic dolls were quite rare in the 1950s and they are worth a lot now. I can tell these are 50s to early 60s dolls because the small ones are marked "Japan". Another recent lot had a Liddle Kiddles doll or maybe a copy called "Miss Africa" with a grass skirt still intact and a little Hawaiian or Native American boy. So, my recent purchases have paid me in more ways than one; I got some really unusual dolls and also got to put a sweet little set together.

A 1950s bent-knee walker Wendy-Kins

Her wig is dark red.

The ALEX mark

Wendy-Kins is a really nice example of a late 1950s Alexander-Kins. She needed cleaning and re-stringing and I also styled her hair and refreshed her lip and cheek paint. She cleaned up easily and looks really good. I repaired tiny splits starting in her upper and lower hip sockets. These are visible only when the leg is off, as it was when I got her. Since she had the splits starting I strung her as loose as possible while still making sure her walker works. Wendy's wig is a pretty and unusual dark auburn and has the vintage triple stitching.

A German Shackman baby still in its box.

The baby is jointed and fully clothed.
Also in the lot with Wendy was this adorable Shackman baby. These were made in Germany and I just adore them. They are only about two inches long and yet are fully jointed and clothed with real clothes. This one was still in its original box! I decided this baby must of course be Wendy's baby sibling. My own children are constantly begging for a baby brother or sister, so I have it on my mind. We can't have any more children, however, and I haven't been able to make a decision about whether to adopt domestically or internationally. Whenever I think I've made up my mind I change it again. So for now they will have to live vicariously thorough Wendy.

Wendy wears Ginny panties and Muffie shoes.

Vogue dress #1210 of 1959
The Vogue snap

The Vogue tag

I gave Wendy a hair ribbon.

I went through my doll clothing stash and came up with a pair of tricot panties which I'm almost certain are late 1950s Vogue, made for Ginny. I took them in a bit in the waist for Wendy. Then I found a pair of Muffie shoes with the half-circle on the soles, and made a pair of replacement socks. Then I found an adorable Vogue tagged nautical dress. This is sometimes called #1410 and sometimes #1210 in my Vogue book. It looks classic and just too sweet on Wendy. I gave her a hair ribbon to wear with the dress. Once Wendy was dressed she was all ready to act out her story.

I made the blanket from vintage flannel.

Wendy's been wishing for years for a baby brother or sister and finally her dream has come true! Wendy is the best big sister ever. She loves rocking Baby, wrapping Baby in her tiny flannel blanket, cuddling Baby.

I made the bottle from a Christmas light bulb.

Wendy can even feed Baby her bottle. "You're such a big helper, Wendy-Kins," says Mother. "I don't know what I'd do without you!"

Baby's bottle is made from a Christmas light bulb so it's real glass and not for a young child to play with. I tied a loop from vintage ribbon around it so Wendy can hold it.

The cradle is probably also by Shackman.

Wendy feeds Baby and rocks her until she's almost asleep. Then Wendy puts Baby down in her real wood vintage cradle. This is probably a Shackman piece but it isn't marked. Baby falls right to sleep when Wendy sings a lullaby.

Wherever they go Wendy and Baby cause a stir. Everyone has to come congratulate Mother on her lovely family. You can buy Wendy, Baby, and everything shown here in my store, so please check:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Ginny!

Yesterday I finally finished another Ginny trunk set. This is the third of the four filthy dolls I got as a lot. This one mostly escaped damage somehow. This is one of the last Ginnys produced in the United States. She was made only from 1963-1965, so now she's very hard to find. She's a vinyl head, bent knee walker with rooted hair. Her hair is perfect! Her head doesn't turn as she walks; only her legs walk. Now that I've cleaned her and re-strung her arms she looks wonderful. The only remaining issue is some brown spotting to her arms that I couldn't remove. It's pretty light and not too noticeable.

Ginny's original tag

The previous owner wrote on Ginny's original wrist tag, which is too bad because it's in perfect shape otherwise. She had notes on all the dolls, however, and obviously wanted to make sure she carefully archived her collection. She noted on the tag that this Ginny was the last one made with bending knees.

The panties look original.

There is some light age spotting on her arms.
Besides her original tag, Ginny wears panties that look original and what I think is the #18341 party dress outfit of 1962. The panties have a small brown mark on back. The dress sash would have been a much darker pink when new, I believe, as the stitching is darker than the ribbon. Ginny has white shoes marked "Ginny", socks that seem correct, and a slip that matches her dress. So, a well-preserved early 1960s doll!

I replaced the elastic in her slip's waist.

The Vogue tag

I think this is dress #18341 of 1962.

Since I had a party dress for Ginny, of course I she has to have a party! Looking through my stash I found a birthday cake. This is a puzzle eraser set that was meant to stack up on a pencil I stacked it on a crayon so it has a flat base and can be placed on a cake stand. I looked through the rest of my stuff and the story just played itself out.

Ginny helps mother bake the cake for her birthday party. It's a three-tiered cake with tons of candles! Each layer is a different flavor so all Ginny's guests have their favorite. Ginny wears her work dress to help in the kitchen. It's her work dress because it has some faint red dye transfer here and there and some age darkening, especially along the hem.

Although Ginny's work dress isn't tagged it really looks like a Vogue piece. It has a hook and eye closure and attached eyelet slip. The fabric appears to be the same as in the photo above, used in the Kindergarten series #27, Hope. I'm pretty confident it's a Vogue dress, but there isn't a tag and I can't find an exact photo match.

A Mommy-made felt coat.

Mother suddenly realizes she's forgotten the grape juice she needs to make the punch. She gives Ginny some money and asks her to run down to the corner store for some. Ginny puts on her Mommy-made felt coat. The color really brings out the blue of Ginny's eyes. There is a small brown mark inside the coat but the outside is fine. The coat is very well made.

Ginny's puppy

When Ginny returns the guests have arrived. "You'd better go ahead and open your present," says Mother. "We can't keep it quiet anymore!"

Ginny opens the biggest box and out tumbles a real live puppy! He has his own food bowl and rubber bone. "I'm going to call him Sparky!" Ginny exclaims. Sparky and his accessories are modern fashion doll pieces.

Ginny's dresser set

Glamorous Aunt Carol is visiting just for the party and she brings Ginny a beautiful gold dresser set, with a fancy comb, brush, hand mirror, and a bottle of real French perfume. "It's fit for a princess!" Mother says. Ginny sprays on some of the perfume and feels really grown up. The dresser set is another modern fashion doll piece.

A vintage Kewpie doll

Ginny's been leaving hints for months, so Grandma knows exactly what she wants. Ginny is thrilled to open up her new Kewpie doll. "Thank you!" she says, cuddling her doll. The Kewpie is a real miniature vintage doll. It's from about the same era as Ginny. It looks like a Cameo piece but has no markings. The Kewpie has jointed arms and neck and sweet little starfish hands. This has minor play wear, small gray marks on the back of the head and legs.

After the party as an extra treat, Ginny gets to spend the night at her friend, Betsy's, house. She changes into a factory made mini-dress and bloomers set with flocked collar and button covers. This came in a lot with a vintage Nancy Ann Storybook Lori Ann doll but it isn't tagged so I don't know the brand. It has big flat painted snaps in the back. This outfit also has age yellowing.

Ginny goes to Betsy's church for Sunday school. She wears her pink cotton dress with attached organdy pinafore. This has no tag. It is a factory piece and closes in back with a Greek key snap. The snap is loose and I sewed around it to reinforce it, but the closure should be worked with care.

Ginny's homemade stand.

Ginny comes with her homemade vintage stand. The previous owner made this by gluing Ginny shoes to a heart-shaped plastic stand.  I do wish she hadn't done that to the shoes, but it is a good idea, I guess, especially if you have a doll with loose joints or something that has trouble standing up.

Ginny and all her accessories

The trunk has some wear to the outside.

This is my second Ginny trunk set and uses the same trunk as the other set, #7862 from 1957. This one is in better shape than my other trunk, with less paint wear and much less wear to the interior Ginny logo paper. There are still some scratches and dents in the metal, especially around the buckle. This is still a really nice, sturdy wooden trunk sheathed in metal. They certainly don't make things like this anymore!

I'm such a sucker for trunks and trunk sets, I usually have a bunch of them. It isn't really sensible financially; you'd get more selling this stuff piece by piece. I've seen people selling just the Kewpie doll in this set for $10 and over. I can't help myself, though. I just love making the trunk sets! This one made me feel better. I was sick last week after I caught my 5-year-old's cold and then when I was almost better my 10-year-old came home with a terrible cold and now I caught that one too. I could just go to bed and cry! But instead I made a trunk set. You can find this set and many more wonderful things in my store so please check:

Rare 1963 Ginny

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ginny Loves Summer Camp

Ginny with all her summer camp accoutrements.

Ginny is a little nervous as she packs for camp. She's never been away from home so long before! Mother tells Ginny she will make lots of friends and have ever so much fun, but Ginny isn't sure. At last, Ginny's yellow suitcase is all packed. This is from a Barbie or similar doll and is more modern than Ginny. It is hard to close and sometimes you really have to squeeze it. Ginny solves that problem by sitting on it! One corner of the suitcase has a minor crack. Ginny's vintage dress is not tagged but bears many signatures of early Vogue pieces, such as a hook and eye closure and attached eyelet slip. Ginny comes with an eccentric homemade stand made for her by her previous owner by gluing Ginny shoes to a heart shaped Knickerbocker stand.

Ginny wears a new hair net.

Her homemade stand.

Ginny is a straight-leg walker doll with a mohair wig. I am dating her to 1954, as that is the year the Ginny walker was introduced and also the year Vogue switched over to Dynel wigs. My guess is this is one of the first Ginny walker dolls since she uses the old mohair wig.

The Ginny mark
Given her age and the condition in which I got her, which was deplorable, Ginny is doing quite well! This doll came in the same lot as the Wendy doll from my Wendy Visits Coney Island post, and as you might recall those dolls were absolutely filthy. Ginny was so covered in grime her skin looked brown. Her eyes were caked with dirt. She cleaned up well, however, and under the dirt I could see she needed only a little split repair to her shoulder and side seams. When that was done I re-strung her arms with elastic cord.

Ginny's chest and lower arms are faded.

Repaired seams.

One of Ginny's arm holes is still a bit large because of the seam split, so that arm will occasionally go too far into her body, making the other arm loose. You can just pull the arm back into place. Ginny's sapphire blue eyes mostly stick. Sometimes they almost close but then they don't really open all the way again on their own. They can be worked manually. There is fading to her face, chest, and lower arms. I refreshed her cheek blush to help with that. Ginny's walker works, albeit rather stiffly, and she can sit and stand alone. Now that I cleaned her and re-styled her hair she's a pretty little doll, great for play or display. I certainly had fun "playing" out her summer camp story!

Ginny's face with refreshed blush.
The doll after restoration.

When Ginny arrives at camp she immediately realizes her mother was right: she's going to have a blast! As soon as she's met her cabin mates and unpacked it's time for recreation. Ginny chooses tennis. She gets all decked out in her Gym Kids #6028 outfit from 1956. This is tagged with the Medford Vogue tag inside the waist. I reinforced the original waist stitching inside. Ginny adds the brown belt with brass buckle from outfit #7028 of 1957. Her molded felt hat is a modern replacement of the original green Gym Kids hat. Ginny's shoes are marked with her name on the soles and her socks are vintage Madame Alexander. Her sunglasses and tennis racket are modern fashion doll pieces.

Ginny wears the Gym Kids outfit.

The Gym Kids set as shown in my book.

The next day starts early, as Ginny and her friends leave right after breakfast for a nature hike and camp out. Ginny wears her vintage Mommy-made wool plaid shorts outfit and makes sure to take her binoculars.

After their hike it's time to set up camp. They pitch their tent and then Ginny lights the campfire with her modern fashion doll lighter. They use their Coleman Dutch oven, with a real removable lid, to whip up delicious hamburgers. The fresh air really gives Ginny an appetite. She's never felt so hungry before!

Ginny cooks.

The Dutch oven has a removable lid.

The hamburger is a puzzle eraser.

The girls are tired from their hike so they spend a day resting. The counselor announces they are going for a sail in the morning. Ginny hasn't ever been in a boat, and she's almost too excited to fall asleep! In the morning she dresses in her vintage sailor dress, probably for a doll like Ginger or Penny Brite. Her Madame Alexander hat, from the 1960s Mexico Alexander-Kins outfit, is the perfect accessory. Ginny makes sure to take her camera along.

The sailor dress is tagged Hong Kong.

The camera is a modern fashion doll piece.

Everyone takes turns helping out at camp and it's Ginny's day to help the lifeguards as Swimming Monitor. She wears her custom sun suit, which is an altered Vogue dress. This originally had a yellow linen bodice with matching panties and a skirt made from the same fabric as the Bridal Trousseau #63 dress of 1955. When I got it the bodice had almost completely rotted away, so I made a new halter top bodice. The Medford Vogue tag is still intact, and the matching panties are fine. I trimmed a straw hat to match and added vintage Madame Alexander gold sandals. Ginny carries a whistle, which she can wear around her neck, and makes sure to put on her sunscreen. These are modern fashion doll accessories.

An altered, tagged 1955 Vogue dress.

The whistle can be worn as a necklace.

Ginny puts on her sunscreen.

Ginny can't believe it's the last night of camp. The days have flown by! Ginny hopes she can return next summer. She makes sure to get her new friends' addresses so she can write letters through the year. As Ginny puts on her nightgown and flannel robe from the suitcase set #840 of 1952, she wishes the summer could last forever.

Nightwear set #840 of 1952

I hope you've enjoyed sharing Ginny's summer camp adventures! Ginny and every outfit and accessory shown in this post are included in this set. They are all packed in her metal and wood trunk #7862 from 1957. This has a dent in one panel and crazing to the paint here and there. The paper lining has discoloration. It is still  a good, sturdy case for Ginny. Please check my store for this Ginny trunk set and many other dolls and accessories:

The doll and all her accessories.

The trunk's paint has wear.