Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hula Girl



I returned from my aunt's funeral and got right to work, as I have always found work is a wonderful distraction from emotional distress. My cousins did an amazing job honoring their mother with the beautiful service and I am thankful I was able to attend. I guess it's fitting I chose this Hawaiian hula dancer doll to restore, as it is another tie that side of the family. Over the years I know I've mentioned  few times how, shortly before my father died my parents took a vacation to Hawaii without me. They brought me back a hula dancer doll. Mine was a cheap 1970's version but I loved it. After my father died and we moved to Ohio I never could find the hula doll again. Sometimes I still dream that I left it in a closet in a hotel, so I guess it's possible that's what happened to it. It's been hard for me to list this Hula Girl for sale, after missing my childhood version for so many years!



The Stover Small Dolls book documents this doll.

Something else I've written about over the years is how doll companies in the early to mid-20th Century sold their molds to other companies or even made dolls for other companies to sell. The most notorious example of this is Cosmopolitan's Ginger doll, but lots of other companies also followed this practice. Fortune Doll Company sometimes used their Pam doll to make souvenir dolls for various places and Virga made their Lucy as a souvenir doll sometimes too. These are not quite the same as Vogue's and Madame Alexander's practice of releasing their Ginny or Wendy dolls dressed in international costumes; these dolls are unmarked and were branded by whichever company was selling the tourist doll. Because of this it can be difficult to identify the doll. This doll was sold as a souvenir by Mapela's at Waikiki in the 1950s. She is a Type #1 Pam doll by the Fortune doll company, and although Fortune did not document this doll there are several indicators of the manufacturer.


Peg-shaped arm hook


T-strap molded shoes

Fortune's Type #1 Pam doll is virtually identical to Virga's Lucy. Both are 8 inch walker dolls with a Ginny type face mold. You can see which is which by looking at the arm hooks. Pam has a peg-shaped arm hook and Lucy has a C-shaped hook. Both arm hooks are plastic. I got a great idea from another blogger one time, although since then I have been unable to find the post again to give credit: the other blogger said to remember think "Peg for Pam and Lu-C". Type #1 Pam has molded, unpainted T-strap shoes, so that is another way to identify her. Carol Stover's Small Dolls of the 1940's and 1950's book is a really helpful reference when you're trying to identify unmarked dolls. As you can see from the photos above, this doll is in near-mint condition, so she was pretty easy to identify. Just as the Ginny and Wendy dolls made as Native Americans or Hawaiians or other ethnicities are more than the white versions, ethnic Pam and Lucy dolls are quite valuable and difficult to find. This doll would be worth upwards of $100 if she had her box. Since she doesn't and is also missing a hair ornament I have her priced below that.


Picking the hair

I have to admit, I can hardly call this a "restoration". Hawaiian Pam is in such good shape I just picked out her wig with a bamboo skewer where it had gotten crushed from her lying on her back. Pam's wig is synthetic mohair but you style it in the same way: rather than brushing it you use a bamboo pick or wooden toothpick and you wash it in cold water rather than using the boil perm method. I cleaned Pam's skin and restrung her arms with elastic cord. The arms were still nice and tight but the rubber band would eventually rot and break so I replaced it with elastic cord. Pam didn't have a flower or headband in her hair, as the dolls shown in the Stover book do, so I made her a headband using vintage materials and got it as close to the original as I could. Then I tagged her with my own signed tag and gave her a hair net, so she's all ready to join your collection or be a perfect gift! You can find her, and many more dolls, in my Etsy and eBay stores.



The finished doll

She wears a cotton bodysuit under her skirt.

A spot of old glue on her foot

I made the headband from vintage materials.

The Lucy face

Before I listed Pam my youngest and I took her to the beach for her photo shoot so I could get it out of my system. It was a lot of fun and the pictures turned out to be really cute! Besides Hawaiian Pam I have a lot of dolls for sale on Etsy and I have listed a huge number of doll eyes in various sizes and colors and a great many outfits for babies and kids on eBay since I got home. If you haven't checked in a while you will definitely want to see all my new inventory! I am running several different sales on eBay and you can take 10% off any order on Etsy when you use the coupon code BLOGGER at checkout.





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