The Ideal Toy Company made several versions of dolls based on the likeness of child movie star Shirley Temple. The first set were composition dolls with mohair wigs and were made during the 1930's when Shirley's movies first came out. These are the most valuable Shirley dolls and command high prices when found in good condition without cracks in the finish (known as "crazing") and nicely styled hair.
A second set of Shirley Temple dolls were made by Ideal in the late 1950's. At that time Shirley was an adult and had an afternoon television show where she read stories to children. These new dolls were made of vinyl and had rooted hair. They ranged in size from 36 inches down to 12 inches. Although they are not as valuable as the composition Shirley's from the 1930's, they are still worth quite a bit. Shirley Temple dolls are always in demand not only by doll collectors, but by fans who collect Shirley memorbilia.
The photos below are of the 1950's Shirley Temple dolls. The clothing and sewing patterns made for the dolls were more in the current 1950's style rather than the 1930's styles worn by the original dolls and by Shirley in her movies.
Here is a 15 inch Shirley Temple wearing outfits I made from a vintage sewing pattern designed specifically for these dolls. The picture on the pattern envelope is shown for reference. The first outfit is view 2 and the second outfit is view 3.
Most old Shirley Temple dolls were played with by their original owners and quite often their hair needs to be re-styled. I re-curled my Shirley doll's hair by setting it with small perm rods and pooring boiling water over it. After it dried, the hair looked very similar to the original style. Below are photos before, during, and after this process.
Some of the original 15 inch vinyl Shirley Temple dolls were sold wearing outfits from various storybook characters such as "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Little Bo Peep". Here are some photos from an old eBay auction that show a 15 inch Shirley in one of these outfits.
Below are some photos of the 12 inch vinyl Shirley Temple doll. She is wearing a vintage dress, but I do not believe that it is an original Ideal dress. The shoes and socks are also replacements.
Below is another 12 inch Shirley who had a haircut. She is wearing a dress I made from a vintage Shirley Temple pattern. The pattern envelope is shown below. This dress is View 4. She is also wearing a Shirley Temple script pin which is a reproduction of the pin that came with the original dolls.
Here is a link to a great reference book on Shirley Temple dolls and collectibles:
Shirley Temple Dolls and Fashions: A Collector's Guide to the World's Darling (Schiffer Book for Collectors) by Edward R. Pardella
To learn more about "Shirley Temple" and other Ideal dolls, refer to the following reference book:
Collectors Guide to Ideal Dolls Identification and Values : Identification & Values (2nd Ed) by Judith Izen
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