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You Can Find'em IF You Know'em!!


The pictures tonight emphasize doll faces, so I have included many undressed dolls (future projects). They are embarrassed, but have agreed to sacrifice their modesty in a good cause. So many manufacturers marketed similar dolls that unless you see them side by side, it's difficult to distinguish one from another. Still, in most cases, there are subtle differences. By the way, I'm strictly an amateur collector, so if you see any errors, feel free to correct me. The only thing I am sure about when it comes to dolls, is that you should never say "never" or "always". All pictures are identified from left to right.

The first picture is a group of 11-12" compositions, and date from the late 1930s to early 1940s.

1. Effanbee "Suzette" or portrait doll, 12", mohair wig, unmarked.

2. "La Madelon" (Madeleine Frazier), 11", mohair wig, doll unmarked, original clothes are tagged. There was a brief mention of the larger doll made by this company in the September 2000 "Doll Reader", "American Doll Showcase".

  3. Vogue "Dora Lee", 11", mohair wig, unmarked.

4. MA "Scarlett" (Wendy Ann), 11", human hair wig, all original. Her hair is glued down too well to see how she is marked. I've noticed that many sellers use "Wendy Ann?" in their descriptions as buzz words.

The Wendy Ann face is very distinctive and shouldn't be mistaken for any other, but sometimes that can work to your advantage. So far I've purchased a "Wendy Ann" Eugenia, Dora Lee, and a twist waist Hoyer.

These dolls are also composition, but 14".

1. Arranbee (R&B) "Debuteen", human hair wig, all original, unmarked. This doll is one of my most "mint" compositions. She has 5 original outfits, complete with accessories. She took off her hat for the picture.

2. R&B "Nancy Lee", mohair wig, all original, unmarked. Without tags or boxes I can't tell the difference between the "Nancy Lee" and "Nanette" faces, so I arbitrarily call all of the compos "Nancy Lee". Also, some of these dolls may actually be marked, but worn down and too faint for these old eyes.

3. Effanbee "Suzanne", mohair wig, all original, marked with name on back and EFFANBEE on head.

4. Madame Alexander "Sleeping Beauty" (Wendy Ann), human hair wig, all original. The only place I've seen this version pictured is in Patricia Smith's "Madame Alexander Collector's Dolls" published in 1978.

More compositions.

1. This is a real mystery doll. She is marked 15 IDEAL DOLL on the body, but the head mold is identical to the Mary Hoyer on the right. The body and head are original to each other. The only place I've seen a similar doll pictured is in Judith Izen's "Ideal Dolls", 2nd edition, where she is identified as "Deanna Durbin (1938". This is definitely not the open mouth version of Deanna Durbin we're most familiar with. Since the first Hoyer dolls were purchased from Ideal, they may have used one as a Durbin doll before the special sculpt. She is actually 14", not 15", original mohair wig.

2. Effanbee "Anne Shirley", 14-1/2", all original, human hair, marked EFFANBEE/ANNE SHIRLEY on back.

3. Painted eye Mary Hoyer, mohair wig, unmarked, @1937, homemade dress probably made from a Hoyer pattern. I don't have a doll book specifically dedicated to Mary Hoyers, so I get much of my information from the Judd's book "Compo Dolls 1928-1955". They picture this doll on page 130. Per the book, only about 1,500 made.

4. This is the marked Mary Hoyer version of the first doll, mohair wig. I received this doll after I had taken the group photo. She is the "twist waist" Hoyer made by Ideal. She has a skating dress made from the "Olga" pattern, but I wanted to show the body construction. 14", mohair wig, unmarked.

These are also composition, approximately 18".

1. Arranbee (R&B) Debuteen, all original, human hair, marked R & B on neck. This is the "true" Debuteen with the compo shoulder plate and limbs and cloth body. The others I have are all composition.

2. Another R&B "Nancy Lee", this one 18", human hair wig.

3. Madame Alexander "Wendy Ann" face, mohair wig, marked MME ALEXANDER on head. Since this doll isn't original, I have no idea who she is. The dress she has borrowed is a tagged "La Madelon".

4. An Effanbee "Little Lady", human hair, all original, marked EFFANBEE on head and body. This doll has the special arms/hands designed by DeWeese Cochran for her American Child series, with the separated fingers so they could wear gloves. The arms are made out of gutta percha, not composition.

These are some of my favorite dolls. They are 14", hard plastic, and marked "14" on the head and "Made in USA" on the body. Various companies marketed them in the 1950s, but I have very few that are original, and none with boxes and/or tags. Unfortunately, I didn't keep the box for the one I purchased when I was in High School in the early 1950s. There are some good pictures of the dolls that were marketed by Vogue in the Izen/Stover book "Collector's Encyclopedia of Vogue Dolls". There are some variations in the bodies, but the head molds are all identical. The main differences are in the painting of the features and the quality/materials of the wigs. These are my favorites to dress---The Ideal Toni's are darling, but will always be little girls to me and I don't like them in formals. These dolls look equally well dressed as little girls or adults. The body type is the same as the HP Mary Hoyers.

This picture shows some of the different wig materials, all original to the dolls except the last one: all original; dynel wig; saran wig; mohair wig; replaced human hair wig---she will eventually be a "Snow White".

End Part One