Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Merry Christmas, Cissy!


Merry Christmas, Cissy

Cissy is sure to be the belle of the Christmas ball! Of course she attends a fancy ball, nothing as mundane as an office party! Longtime readers will recognize this Cissy as the one formerly listed as my Scarlet Roses Cissy. A customer bought her outfit right off of her and so I had to find another one, which took me a few months.


Cissy after restoration

She has paint scraping in her joints and one knee won't straighten.

The repaired knee

Paint scraping on her neck
Cissy came to me after a previous restoration. That must have occurred a pretty long time ago, because she needed lots of new work. I re-painted her joints, which had paint scraping, and refreshed her cheek and knee blush. The paint on the end of her nose was chipped and I painted over that. The joints started scraping up again immediately, which is disappointing because I've tried all sorts of varnishes and waxes and things to prevent that. This time I just left the scraping.

Cissy sustained damage to her leg in the past, which the previous restorer fixed. The leg still has a dent and the knee doesn't completely straighten. I didn't feel like I could do any better repairing it so I left that repair alone. I gave Cissy pantaloons to wear to help hide the damaged leg.


The original barrette

The original hair pins

I think these roses are original.

This Cissy caught my eye and cost me more than a typical Cissy because she has a very unusual hairdo. Her hair is styled in an elaborate style, with part pulled up and the rest gathered into curls at the nape of her neck. I've never seen this hairstyle before, but I do think it's original because the barrette fastening her curls looks just like the typical Cissy barrette but is placed in a different spot. The wig retains its original pins and the roses are fastened right into the wig cap next to the pins so I think they were placed when the doll was made. I have not been able to identify this doll, but I do know a Cissy was made with roses in her hair in 1958. She was #2026 but I've never seen a photo of that doll. I surmise this might be she, but can not positively affirm that.




Unfortunately the previous restorer, in an apparent excess of effort to keep Cissy's hair in place, applied a great deal of hair gel or hair spray to the wig. I cleaned it as best I could and removed as much as I felt I could remove without the hair losing its style, but the hair is still quite stiff. There are a few tiny red and green spots on the side of the wig and some thinning of the hair at that point. It makes me wonder if additional roses were once pinned to the sides of the wig.


The Alexander mark

Cissy's gold hoop earrings are original

Cissy's gold hoop earrings are original and are also quite rare. I've only seen these a couple times. I think this Cissy is a very special and unusual doll! Since Cissy's neck paint started scraping in the joint again I made her a choker necklace from vintage rhinestones and an old clip earring. The poinsettia earring charm can be removed after Christmas, but Cissy felt it was perfect for Christmas!



I replaced the elastic in the crinoline waist.

The outfit I found for Cissy is the Scarlett portrait outfit #2292 of 1975-76. The doll had been played with and the bonnet and jacket sustained damage and pieces of the costume were missing so I didn't feel bad taking the gown and underclothes for Cissy. The pantaloons hide the damaged leg well! The slip has some little black marks and yellowing of the net underneath which I wasn't able to remove and I replaced the elastic in the waist.

Cissy wears a real fur stole.

The stole is fragile and very old.



The stole has a satin lining.

Cissy knows she looks lovely in her gown, but it's rather chilly and she feels she needs a certain something extra to set herself apart. She remembers her fur stole with a two tone satin lining and ribbon closure that just happens to match her gown perfectly. Cissy looks exquisite and feels much warmer.

I made Cissy's stole from an antique child's muff. I would guess from the fragility of the fur and the batting, which was real wool roving, not a synthetic or cloth product, stuffed between the fur and lining, this muff was probably at least 100 years old. I think it's beaver fur but I'm not positive. It's very thick and soft. It was falling apart and had several bald spots and tears. Re-purposing it took me an entire day! I cut the best pieces of the fur off and sewed them together. Then I lined the whole piece with white satin and put on a border of green ribbon and a green ribbon closure. The old fur is so fragile it tore in one spot as I was sewing it and I repaired that by hand. You will still see some bald spots here and there and the stole does shed a bit, but it's fine for display. It should not be used for play or handled much and it should be stored in a room with good climate control: no attics or basements!



Cissy has a marvelous time at the ball, dancing the night away. More than one beau remarks on how beautifully her gown brings out the green in Cissy's eyes! This is an undoubtedly lovely doll, and a rare one as well. To add her to your collection or to delight your favorite doll collector please visit my store, Atelier Mandaline.


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