Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kid At Heart


Edith and Little Bear
Many of you know of my obsession with The Lonely Doll and other books about Edith and the bears by Dare Wright. The very first post on this blog was about an Edith replica I created! As a child of ten, having moved to the South from the Midwest, finding myself completely out of my element and alone, I sought refuge in the library. The library just happened to have a book called Edith and Midnight. The book is about a doll and her horse. Horses were already a major obsession of mine and one of the greatest sorrows of my young life was leaving our horse, Ginger, in Indiana with my aunt while we moved to North Carolina. My mother doesn't like horses or farms or anything of that nature, so she had no interest in allowing us to keep our horse (or my rabbit, Fluffy, who I was also forced to give to neighbors. My parents really knew how to make a move agreeable to a child!). Ginger was an incredibly gorgeous Tennessee Walker, chestnut with a white blaze on her forehead and a lot of attitude.

So, when I found a book illustrated with photos of a doll taking care of a horse, I was hooked. Dare Wright was an incredible photographer, and she makes Edith and the bears look alive. I had never seen another doll like Edith. She was Wright's childhood Lenci doll, one of the big 20 inch ones, made of pressed and jointed felt. The bears in the book are antique Steiff bears, also jointed. I quickly located and read as many of the books as I could find.


The trunk set

Sad to say, in the bustle of life, I forgot all about Edith until one day I found a re-printed copy of The Lonely Doll at a consignment sale. I snapped it up for my daughter. I went on to collect all the books, except Big Bad Bill, even the newest one by Dare Wright's niece or somebody, although that one has none of the magic of the originals. I also bought my daughter the large Edith felt doll by Rothschild and the Edith trunk set by Kids At Heart. The trunk set features a 10 inch Edith doll sculpted by Martha Haut Melton. Melton made a larger replica felt doll, but that one sells for about $1000, so it is out of my price range, especially for a play doll! I read all the books to my daughter and collected and sewed clothing for Edith and Little Bear... and she could quite frankly not care less! Now she has outgrown dolls. With our recent spate of air conditioner and surgery woes I decided we need the money and that I could stand to let this set go. It's not easy, I admit, but I comfort myself I can find another if we ever want to replace it; that's the great thing about the Internet! Nothing is ever lost!



Edith is jointed vinyl and Little Bear is jointed plush.



Edith's mark

The trunk with the original paperwork


The storybook is one side, the catalogue the other side.

The trunk has minor marks from play.

It's not to say my daughter never, ever played with this set; she did some. She especially loved puzzle erasers, and they are the perfect size to use as accessories for this doll. Edith and Little Bear have rubber ice cream cones and a soccer ball.


Edith's original dress

The Playtime skirt with a handmade bodysuit.

Handmade and vintage winter gear.

The Tuck Me In pajamas and a possibly handmade vintage sleeper.
The expressive nature of the Melton sculpt allows you to imagine Edith in all sorts of situations. She's a comfortable size for children and her large feet make her easy to balance. She was made in 1997, so she probably still meets standards for play, but it is worth mentioning this is a fairly rare doll, and some of the pieces, like the trunk, are extremely hard to find. This set should only increase in value as the years go on, but I have to stop writing about it or I will talk myself out of selling it! You can find Edith and many other dolls and trunk sets in my shops when you link from ateliermandaline.com.

Original, vintage and handmade clothes with extra shoes.

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