Saturday, December 17, 2016

Doll Detective

Earlier this week I mentioned a new service I've been working on and now, on Saturday, I finally managed to get some time to tell you about it! Pretty much every week I have someone contact me because they are trying to find a rare doll. They usually want to know if I have one (I rarely do) and what it would cost to buy one, or they want to buy one I featured in my blog which belongs to my daughter. Often I will hunt, sometimes for months, for one of these dolls and buy it and then sell it to my client, but that adds a lot of middle-man cost to the doll. Fairly often someone tells me they'll make it worth my while to sell them a doll, but then wants me to sell it for less than it cost me to buy it. I also have frequent requests from people wanting me to price a doll for them to sell or identify a doll for them to sell.

Don't get me wrong, I love talking about dolls, and I love meeting doll "people." However, these kinds of requests are eating up more and more of my time. As much as I would love to be able to help everyone in the world with their doll problems, I really needed to figure out a way to make a least a small amount of money as payment for my efforts. Research of this type does take away from the amount of time I have to restore and sell dolls for my shops.

Finally, I think I have come up with a great solution for everyone: my new Doll Detective affiliate links service. At least once a week I will try to post links to rare and desirable dolls I find. I will be happy to search on request for you. Then I will create an affiliate link to the doll and post it in my Doll Detective posts. If someone clicks on my link and makes a purchase I will get a small payment, usually a few cents per purchase. I have a few affiliate links up on Pinterest already and so far I average about 7 cents per click. So, I won't be getting rich from this service but I hope it will pay enough to allow me to continue to respond to all the requests. Please be aware, in most cases these are NOT my listings. I have not seen the dolls in person and I don't know the sellers. I am relying on the seller's listing for accuracy, as are you, and take no responsibility for the doll's authenticity or the seller's actions.

My first featured doll MIGHT be a super rare Valentine Manikin or Mannikin, requested by a reader nearly a year ago. I've been searching and searching. The Manikin was a knock-off of Uneeda's multi-jointed Dollikin. The Manikin doll is so hard to find I have never seen a photo. I thought I had one years ago and still think maybe I did, but the buyer wasn't sure. This doll is a little different but has the typical Valentine face. I wonder now if the doll I previously restored was a Twisting Pixie doll instead of the Manikin. At any rate, either of these dolls are rare, and I can tell you the one in my link is rare too, because I've never seen another one like her:
Valentine Manikin

Speaking of Uneeda dolls, here's another one I've never seen before, described by the seller as a Little Girl doll. This doll has a Dollikin 2S type face and she is jointed at the elbows and knees, but she is a walker. Uneeda made a Dollikin lady doll and a Dollikin baby doll with multiple joints, but is it possible they also made a toddler or little girl Dollikin? Maybe so. In any case, I look at dolls every day and I've never seen this one before, so she's unusual. See what you think:
Dollikin Girl Doll

Next up is a Dollikin lady, never removed from the box. These dolls aren't terribly rare, but it is not common to find them new in the box, and this one has a fairly reasonable starting bid. She has cloudy eyes, which may need replacing, but of course if you read my blog you know you can buy eye replacement kits from me:
Dollikin in Box

For my fellow Lonely Doll lovers, here is a super-rare Haut Melton pressed felt Edith doll. I actually found TWO of these listed this week! This is the cheaper of the two, although still not a low-price doll by any means. I would just love to own one of these (hint for any readers who have me on their gift list!): Haut Melton Lonely Doll

Betsy McCall dolls are pretty easy to find unless you want the multi-jointed 29 inch version. These were produced for a very short period by both American Character and Uneeda. They were featured in photographic illustrations on the Betsy McCall paper doll sheets in 1962 because their amazing poseability makes them perfect for photo-illustrations. I had one for a short while and before she sold I used her to make a series of adorable (if I do say so!) cards and prints: 29 Inch Betsy McCall

Effanbee's Baby Button Nose is one I have constant requests to find. Baby Button Nose has been produced by Effanbee since the beginning, the first being a composition doll called "Butin Nose." This week I found an even-more-rare black Button Nose! I rarely have black dolls in my shop because they typically sell out within hours. Vintage black dolls are so collectible, they are always a great buy, especially when the doll is unusual to begin with: Black Button Nose

I have a modern Button Nose by Ann Timmerman for sale in my store right now, and I can tell you, she's an amazingly beautiful and lifelike doll. And I can vouch for THIS seller and authenticity! People who come to our house always comment on how gorgeous she is and ask about her: Modern Button Nose

Cissy isn't all that rare, but she's always popular, and some of her outfits are really hard to find. Here's Summer Morning, definitely an unusual Cissy, and to top it off she's mint in her box! Summer Morning Cissy

Coco, by Madame Alexander, is one of the rarest of the rare. She was modeled after Coco Chanel and only produced until Ms. Chanel objected. I have never been fortunate enough to find on of these I could afford. I found one for you, but she's not exactly affordable: Coco

So, these are my rare doll picks for this week's Doll Detective post. If you have requested one of these I will be contacting you to alert you. If you still want me to buy and restore the doll for you feel free to contact me and we will negotiate a price. Please make sure to check my Etsy and eBay stores for tons of rare dolls, already located and restored!

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