Monday, September 26, 2016

Curlicue Times Two

Shirley Temple by Ideal, 1950s
I am once again playing catch-up with this blog. I have gotten way behind in  documenting recent restorations. In part this is due to my Auction Event on eBay, which I initially planned for 10 days. It went so well I extended it to 15 days and it ended yesterday. Well, the new listing part of the event is finished; there are actually 10 more days of auctions you can bid on. The premise was that for the past 15 days I listed new items for auction each day, at starting bids about 50% off of the usual prices. Most of the new listings were baby and kids' clothing but there are some dolls and toys thrown in as well. It's a fantastic way to stock up for the holiday season, and I hope you'll check it out at Atelier Mandaline on eBay. I am also running a stock-up sale only accessible through this special link to save $5 off every $50 you spend when purchasing Fixed Price listings. On Etsy I am offering 10% off any order when you use the coupon code: BLOGGER at checkout. So, as you can see, it's a fantastic time to shop all the Atelier Mandaline stores!

New dolls to restore

Besides the Auction Event I have just been slammed with work since school started. Getting three kids off to school with all their accoutrements before 7 AM is hard enough. Today I had to chase down the elementary school bus in my nightgown and robe to give my son his forgotten bag. Naturally several neighbors were waiting in their cars behind the bus, so they got to watch this fiasco. Then once the kids are off I have to get my shipping and accounting finished, get a workout in, complete my household chores, attend band competitions and performances, and then restore new dolls for the shop. It doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging! In fact, several times over the past few weeks I've been in bed before 10:30 on Friday nights because I just couldn't hold my eyes open. Last Sunday I had such an awful migraine I couldn't see straight and ended up sleeping for about 14 hours that day! I just really needed the rest, I guess. I have managed to finish a couple dolls over the past two weeks, however, and they are both curly-headed darlings.

Shirley's eyes needed replacing.

Shirley's unusual head hook

First up is Shirley Temple by Ideal. This doll dates to the late 1950s and came in a lot with the Toni I restored a few weeks back and several other dolls. These dolls were all slightly damp, a result of being stored in a box with a Tiny Tears whose eyes were leaking because water had been left inside her. Shirley's eyes had gotten wet as well and they were cloudy and sticking open so I decided to replace them. When I removed Shirley's head I couldn't believe my eyes. She has the biggest head hook I've ever seen! I'm not sure why Ideal felt the need to place such an imposing apparatus inside the head; she's not a walker or anything. She was made when vinyl was a new material, so all I can think is they were afraid the face might collapse after a while (as sometimes happened with latex rubber and "Magic Skin" dolls) and put a wide metal armature in to support it. At any rate, I was lucky my husband was able to get the head back in place after I replaced the eyes. I couldn't do it. He heated the vinyl with a hair dryer and then used a special tool, a screwdriver used to repair irrigation system sprinkler heads, to pull the vinyl back down onto the hook. Another thing to note if you need to repair one of these dolls is that you will have to remove the teeth before you remove the head because otherwise the teeth could get broken. You just pop them out and then stick them back in when you're finished.

The special sprinkler screwdriver.

Gently heat the vinyl head to replace it.

After Shirley got new eyes she had her hair styled because it was a bit flat in back. Then she got dressed in her untagged but original outfit. The only pieces she didn't wear upon arrival are her shoes and socks, which I had to special-order. The shoes are marked "Ideal" but all the rest of her clothes are unmarked.

The restored doll
The doll is marked on her back.

The doll is marked ST-17-1 on her head.

Shirley's only flaws are dye transfer on her waist and arms and hands, as well as light age spots here and there. These aren't very noticeable at all. Shirley and her clothes are perfect for display and even sturdy enough for play, although you should remember vintage toys may not meet today's standards for playthings.

Dye transfer on the waist

Dye transfer on the arms and hands.

Shirley's original clothes

Her dress has an attached slip.

She wears her original barrette.

My next curly cutie is a doll I've named "Briana" after my husband's niece, who has the same enviable blue eyes and dark curls. This is a Horsman doll from the 1950s or 1960s. She's marked B-18 and is a drink and wet vinyl and hard plastic 18 inch tall baby doll, almost a toddler style doll, which is unusual. Th closest matches I've found for her, as far as the mold used, are "Tearful Tammy" and 1954's "Pretty Betty". Neither of those is marked B-18, however. This doll originally had golden blond rooted short, curly hair. Her hair was completely fried when she arrived, just totally matted, but otherwise she's in great shape. So I shaved her head and gave her the adorable wig of brunette corkscrew curls.

"Briana", an OOAK doll
She is marked Horsman B-18 and has been re-wigged.

I gave Briana a good scrubbing and styled her wig with red ribbons. I dressed her in a vintage Korean knitted sailor suit and matching red shoes. The sailor suit looks almost like something Shirley Temple would wear! It's perfect for Briana, too.

I styled her wig.
I was able to find a lace-trimmed diaper-style pair of panties for Briana that are a perfect fit. I can't tell if these are handmade or factory, but they are well done. They do have some age spots. I picked them because they look like the toddler training pants my little sisters (and I suppose I, though I can't remember) wore under plastic "rubber pants" diapers.

Her diaper or panties

The panties have age spots.

Briana's arm and hand have some dark marks I couldn't totally remove, but they aren't very noticeable either, just like Shirley's.

Her arm and hand have spots.

I gave Briana a bottle and real vintage baby toy to hold. The bottle can be filled with water, but you have to squeeze it to squirt the water into the doll's mouth, as the nipple doesn't fit into the hole in her lips. I don't recommend "feeding" drink and wet dolls, however, as it causes them to get full of mold and deteriorate over time. It can turn their eyes cloudy as well. However, sometimes you have a child who really wants to feed their doll and change diapers. For a while my daughter was just obsessed with these dolls and I bought her a cheap vintage one to play with. It can be really helpful while potty training to have a doll like this because it teaches the concept of being aware of needing to go after drinking or eating a lot and can help kids watch out for that in themselves. In fact, my youngest son played with his sister's wetting doll when we were training him and he really enjoyed caring for his "baby". If you do allow a child to play with this doll in that manner just make sure to empty all the water from the doll before storing her away. It doesn't hurt to dry her out with a hair dryer set on low to protect her eyes, either.

The finished doll with her accessories

She can drink from her bottle.

Her sleep eyes work.
Both my curlicue dolls are for sale, along with many others, in my eBay and Etsy shops and you can use the offers and coupons shown at the beginning of this post for all of them.

She holds a real baby toy.

Her paint is all original.

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