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Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Beverly with antique teddy bear doll (A.M.?).

Ann with felt Annalee Santa.

Barbara with windup singing church with lights.

JoAnn with angel figure.
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Dorothy with a Shackman doll.

Debra with an antique doll with felted body.

Janet with Madame Alexander doll.

Jill with vintage Effanbee puppet.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010


Our member Dorothy presented a most interesting program about her Valentino dolls from 1923, pictured above.  Her Aunt Thelma was a finalist in a 1923 Birmingham, AL, beauty contest, and was presented with the dolls pictured above by Valentino himself; they are likenesses of Valentino and his wife.  The contestants won a trip to NYC.  Here is Dorothy's story about these dolls:

In 1923 Valentino wanted to tour America for his next leading lady. He was not happy with the movie studio and took off that year with his wife Winifred Hudnut to do a dance performance and choose the most beautiful girl in each of the 88 cities. Each girl would go to NY for the finals in Nov. and be crowned the most beautiful. Aunt Thelma was chosen Miss Birmingham and danced with Rudy and was presented the dolls as trophies. Not all city winners got dolls. Some received loving cups. The dolls are about 30 in. long. The heads are made of plaster and the long lanky cotton bodies are loosely stuffed. She had a comb in her cotton yarn hair and a rust colored silk shawl with fringe. The shawl has rotted but I have some of the fringe with the name tag of the artist.(Sardeaw's Dolls). Helene Sardeaw was a native off Belgium. Made dolls of movie stars 1921-24. On page 542 in Coleman's Encyclopedia of Dolls Vol. 1 ,you will see her history.. A movie was made of this event and produced by a young producer named David O.Selznick. It was his first film and he went on to big fame with "Gone With The Wind" and others. This girl that came to my house from Penn, and is working on a book, said she had never seen the dolls. So with all that, I would say they are very rare . The contest came to Birmingham, AL, Mar. 31 and went on to Louisville after here and ended in Nov. in NY.

Click on this link to read more about Valentino dolls and others.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Here are 2 Bye-Lo baby dolls (L composition with composition hands and cloth "frog" body; R bisque head, celluloid hands, and cloth "frog" body), designed by Grace Story Putnam to represent a 3-day-old infant; they were first available in 1922, and produced in some form or other until 1952. Various German makers made the bisque heads. The cloth bodies were made by K&K in the U.S. Some had composition bodies made in Germany. Composition heads were made by Cameo Doll Co. in the U.S. Both of these dolls have sleep eyes and are marked "Grace S. Putnam."
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Antique dolls in Musee de la Poupee in Paris

I once deviated from my Paris tour group to find this small doll museum, and though I got lost and had to find my way on the subway in French, it was definitely worth it! Notice how they display the dolls in vignettes, some of which have watercolor painted backgrounds.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Here is an all needlepoint dollhouse (about 36" high), a large Shirley Temple (about 26" tall), and a carved wooden Hitty doll.

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Janet and I were amazed at this dollhouse that we saw at the Twidkenham Doll Show in Huntsville. The lady made everything with needlepoint!
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Monday, August 23, 2010


Double click on photos to enlarge:

Effanbee Babyette 1943 (compo). Made cheaply with closed eyes and cloth body during the war.

Ruth Gibbs China Dolls (1940's), mint in box with wardrobes (rare to see this)

Some compos and hard plastics from 1930's and 1940's
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Sunday, August 22, 2010


Here are photos of our Birmingham Doll Club members who enjoyed going to the sale in Huntsville, AL, and also of dolls from some of the sales booths. We had a fun day, and everyone found treasures to buy.

Here is our Road Trip Group. Jill was a great driver.



Peddler China Doll
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Here are photos of a few dolls in sales booths at the August 21 sale at Huntsville, AL. Members of the Birmingham Doll Club of Alabama attended, and found some treasures. We had a great road trip.
Kestner and Jumeau French Fashion

Shirley Temples, an old Peg Wooden, a China, and a Bisque head doll

Nice, large Bye-Lo Baby by Grace Storey Putnam

Some small treasures, including Half Dolls and Googlies
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Thursday, June 17, 2010


Vermont Novelty Co. made wooden jointed dolls, and stopped making dolls in 1873. The hands and feet were cast lead; the arms and legs were turned rock maple. The mortise and tenon joints fit tightly so she could pose. The head was pressure formed and painted. Usually the head is in poor condition, for any moisture would cause paint to pop off due to swelling.
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The 1st photo shows vinyl Cleopatra, 2 1930's compo Wendy Ann's with swivel waists, and vintage compo Snow White (only Md. Alexander with no cheek coloring - "face white as snow"). The 2nd photo is a 6" compo. Double click on photo to enlarge.
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Jill gave an interesting and informative program on vintage Md. Alexander cloth dolls. The first 2 photos are Md. Alexanders, and the 3rd is not. You can tell an "imposter" by looking at many dolls and noticing the molding detail and the way the face paint is applied. The clothing is marked, but the dolls are not. The vintage Md. Alexander cloth dolls are sought-after, and bring high prices on ebay, though they are continuing to make them.
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Monday, May 17, 2010


Here is Region 9 Director Deborah, ready to give her program "German Dolls for the French Trade". The second photo shows her holding her favorite of the group, a Cote Boehm (French? - someone tell me), dressed in a linen coat dress with soutache braid. The third photo is a German doll that looks French, and the fourth is a French doll, the famous Nursing Bru or Bebe Teteur with original clothing and silver and rubber pacifier (note open mouth). This doll's clothing is all original. Deborah made many of the outfits herself from old fabrics and laces. These 3 dolls were made in the late 1800's.
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