Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Monday, November 22, 2021

My Collection Part Seventeen: Tonner Kripplebush Kids, and Ashton Drake Gene Marshall Croquet Set

Kripplebush Kids are 8" dolls that were created by Robert Tonner in the 1990s. They have hard plastic bodies and heads, are strung, and have sleep eyes. Some of the dolls produced wore modern little girl clothes, but the ones in my collection all came wearing antique fashions.

I don't know why that middle picture turned out darker. I tried taking pictures again, and they were still dark. I had problems getting this photo shoot together, so after two tries I just want to get this post up. First I forgot my mini SD card downstairs. Then I had to find my mini SD card somewhere on my desk. Then I realized that I had another Kid tucked away in a drawer (the one with the hat and croquet mallet and ball.) Then I realized that she had accessories, and had to remember where I put them. Fortunately for me, I remembered that all my Kids' accessories and extra clothes were put away neatly in this Ginny wardrobe. I kept dropping things (that's a part of every photo shoot, to be honest.) Argh.

Here is a Kid with some of my similar size dolls for comparison: Eden Madeline, Madame Alexander Travel Friends Ireland, and mini American Girl Samantha.

Speaking of Madame Alexander, I see a resemblance between these dolls and the ubiquitous Madame Alexander 8" dolls. I don't know the story behind the creation of the Kripplebush Kids at all, though. There were some Kids dolls that were pictured in a Tonner catalog and never produced. The Kripplebush Kids body was supposedly later used for the bratty child star Merli Stimple character in the Gowns by Anne Harper 16" doll collection by Tonner. However, Merli appears all vinyl, with a new face mold and painted on eyes.

Lastly, since one of the dolls above has that really cute croquet mallet and ball as accessories, I though this was as good a place as any to show a picture of my treasured 1/4 scale Ashton Drake croquet set for the Gene Marshall collection. It featured in a story about Gene playing croquet with some of the Hollywood set and talked about her grandfather Gene teaching her to play croquet (if I remember correctly.) Since croquet was so popular in the mid-1800s into the early 1900s, someday I want to dress some of my 16" dolls in antique gowns (maybe 1860s) and pose them playing a game. Of course, I should get some male dolls to play as well, since part of the popularity of croquet way back when, I have read, was the chance to mingle with the opposite sex. When has that not been popular?

Sydney contemplates how to challenge the handsome young Lord Dawlish. And how to win the croquet game as well.

The BTEG family is going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving. If I don't get any kind of Thanksgiving doll diorama up, I will at least be taking a doll to the restaurant, I think.

Total dolls: 76

Sunday, November 7, 2021

A Lovely Gift from Down Under

Last week I got a wonderful gift from Rachael, a package of doll dresses and accessories that she made herself. She asked me what my favorite color/historical era was (blue/about 1900-1909) and made three dresses and accessories that fit Tonner dolls with the Marley body. Fortunately for me, I have three dolls with that body, so each girl got a new dress! They're beautifully made, lined, with an underskirt, and use press snaps. No Velcro in sight!

The first dress is a blue sateen, decorated with lace and a ribbon rose, with a grosgrain ribbon sash. It's gathered at the front in the perfect 1905 way.

Next is a plaid dress made of shirting material. It has a yoke and an inverted box pleat.

It also came with a matching necklace

And a detachable collar. 

Lastly, another dress made of shirting material, with a yoke and a box pleat.

 This dress came with a stylish belt

Another detachable collar

*And* a "locket" pin with a velvet ribbon.

Please excuse Dorothy's blue ribbons. They're so perfectly factory tied still that I don't want to take them off.

And here's a group picture.


Antique style calls for black and white photographs, so here are some black and white versions of my pictures.

Rachael also sent me this fun notebook that came with a pen

And the pattern pieces that she used to make the dresses. I forgot to ask, though, Rachael, are seam allowances included with the pattern?

I am so thankful for the new doll clothes. It was so nice of Rachael to make them and send them to me; it's cheered up my November.

So Barb, you ask, why has it taken you so long to put up a new post? Or maybe you're not asking, but I'm going to explain anyway. About mid-October all three of the Evil Geniuses here came down with a cold (Mr. BTEG did a test for the other stuff, that came back negative.) It wasn't horrible, but it was the kind that saps your energy. You feel okay lying or sitting down, then you get up to do one thing, and your body reminds you that you're sick. After that, it was hard getting energy and enthusiasm back, plus I was frustrated by a big project I've been working on that got put on hold while we all were sick.

I'm going to wait to reveal all of the big project, but here's some of it. I told MC about a month ago that I am out of storage space, and I pretty much am, until the Dancer moves out. For the time being, though, I'm perfectly happy for her to live here, as she's saving up a lot more money not having to pay rent. Mr. BTEG, though, decided to move his dresser out of his and my bedroom, because he doesn't really use it anymore. That opened up a lot of space for new storage! I need the Dancer and Mr. BTEG to put some more furniture together, and I'm busy moving stuff around. I do have a couple of "easy" things that I could post about, so hopefully those will be up soon.

In the meantime, I couldn't wait to get up pictures of my dolls' new clothes, and how nice Rachael was. Maybe if shipping is better next year, we should organize a Secret Santa gift exchange among any doll collectors we know who wanted to participate. Or we could make sure stuff was ready to mail out in October. :)

P.S. Mr. BTEG read the comments and colored one of my pictures sepia for me. Thank you, honey!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

My Collection Part Sixteen: American Girl Felicity

Yes, Felicity finally arrived. I'm not going to do a thorough review, just some remarks.

I saw complaints online about re-created Felicity's hair and her pin curls. She certainly does look... odd. Her hair should should not be pulled so far back; it should be covering her ears. I'm afraid her hair is done the way it is because she does not have as much hair as original Felicity did, but I'm going to try to adjust her hair anyway.

Her shoes are single-lasted, which means they are made to fit either foot. This enabled the shoes to be traded off between feet so the shoes wore more evenly and could be worn for longer. She also wears a shift and the thick stockings that you see. In real life, they would be wool. They do feel soft and woolly.

Her accessories included:  her garter ribbons to tie to the tops of her stockings

a brocade purse, handkerchief and coin called a bit

and her round cap and coral necklace. Felicity looks a bit better wearing her cap. Her coral necklace was supposed to be for "good luck." I remember reading about children all the way into the 1860s wearing bead necklaces whose stones were supposed to afford certain gifts to the wearer. Unfortunately, I can't find anything specific right now. I'm guessing the practice was at least due in part to a much higher rate of child mortality.

A little card was also included to explain the origin of Felicity's coin and why it was called a bit. I think I recall bits coming from Spanish doubloons, but maybe dollares were also called doubloons?

I was in grade school in 1976, the year that America celebrated the two hundredth anniversary of its founding. That year, our school picture had us holding a small replica of the Liberty Bell, and sometime around 1976, my class at school also made horn books, used by children for centuries to learn to write their alphabet, among other things. Felicity learns from a horn book in her second story, and Pleasant Company had one for sale for her doll. That interest in the Colonial Era from my childhood may be why I have always found history in Colonial America interesting, although not my favorite era. I'm glad to add Felicity to my collection, and wearing what I think is the most historically accurate "meet" outfit.

While looking up photos of vintage Felicity's hairstyle, I read something interesting. Apparently, Felicity was the first doll that Pleasant Rowland got the inspiration to create, after a visit to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. However, Goetz, the company she went to for her doll making, was only making dolls with bangs at the time, and Felicity would absolutely have not worn bangs. So Rowland created some other dolls first, including Samantha. Bangs were not popular anymore during Samantha's era, but it was conceivable that she would have had them, at least.

I have a big project that I'm working on little by little, which is where my time has been going. I'll only tell you that it involves a trip to IKEA. :)

Total dolls: 70

Thursday, September 23, 2021

2021 Asian Lantern Festival - Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

I still have a couple of short doll show related posts to write up, but until I get everything set for those, here are some pictures of the Asian Lantern Festival this year. If you want to see my pics from 2019, go here.

This beautiful butterfly display was near the front entrance. The colors on the bigger butterflies were constantly changing, and the small butterflies' wings were moving.

There was a lot of color changes and movement going on this year.

That was at the entrance. After you came in, you could go through this beautiful tunnel of wisteria.

There were some lights shaped like different animals. They were pretty, but I didn't find them as interesting as other displays.

Ju-Ting came along to be my doll model. Since we only went through the zoo in the dark this year, it was hard to get pictures without her being too backlit. Here she is underneath a morning glory lantern.

Here she is in a walkway lit up on each side by red and white lanterns. The breeze was blowing her hair in the first picture, and I like the effect.

This year there were moving light effects on the ground.

And this peacock display was magnificent.

It was another enjoyable trip!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Doll Show Buys - Furniture

I picked up three pieces of furniture at the doll show, all at good prices. Let's start with the least interesting. It's an miniature old-fashioned icebox, a predecessor to the refrigerator. I got it for $5, but it's in worse shape than I thought when I first looked at it at the show. I might just use it as a sort of model for making my own icebox. I'd like one that could work with other scales, like 1/6, or mini Samantha's scale. She is in the photo because the icebox is from her era, but I think it's a little on the small size even for Madeline, judging by a real icebox that I saw at an antique store back in June.

Next is a chair. It's a bit large for most of the dolls in my collection, but I bought it because it was only $3! Samantha can sit on it, or it looks okay for posing one of my Pullip dolls.

Lastly, the best find of all, Samantha's Pleasant Company washstand, which I bought for only $25. I discovered that it is missing the drawer pulls for the drawer, but otherwise it is in fine condition. In my Pleasant Company catalogs from the 90s, the washstand would have cost you $38. There was also a "nighttime necessities" set for sale, which included a towel, a mini version of the book The Wizard of Oz, and a washbowl and pitcher. I bought the washbowl and pitcher secondhand years ago. The towel and book would be very easy to make myself. The drawer and doors of the washstand open.

Now I want to get another dust-free storage cabinet, so I can display Samantha with her furniture. I also have her bed new in box, although not original Pleasant Company, and a knock-off version of her school desk. It would be nice to have her out with her bed and washstand.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Doll Show Buys - Vintage Items

If you looked at the pictures that I took at the doll show I attended, you'll notice that there were lots of antique dolls, from the 1860s into the early 1900s. If you want to sew them new clothes, there's nothing better to use as a reference than antique items like the Delineator magazine.

The Delineator was a publication created by the Butterick Publishing Co., to highlight its sewing patterns. Unlike the magazines or catalogs that you see in stores that carry sewing patterns today, however, The Delineator gave detailed descriptions of fabrics and trims that you could use to make up the patterns, which are a boon to the sewer of today who wants to learn about authentic historic sewing. There was also a serial story, articles on subjects of interest to the women of the time, and some patterns for needle arts items.

Dresses for ladies:

For misses and girls:

Among the crafting patterns were these for a crocheted wheel and "mould-crochet" edging.

The magazine that I found at the doll show was the October 1894 edition. I was afraid I already owned it, but I didn't want to take a chance of missing out if I didn't, so I bought it. Turns out that I do own the Thanksgiving 1894 edition, but I'm fine with that. I did get the seller to take $5 off the price, and I'm glad that I did. I don't know if he didn't know better or what, but he implied that there were doll patterns in the book. There aren't, which I already knew, fortunately for me. There are drawings of people wearing items you could make up with their sewing patterns, but no actual pattern pieces are pictured. I couldn't even find anything about dolls in the magazine, in the quick glance that I gave through the index. Maybe the seller was confused by the images of patterns for girls. I'm interested in fashion in this era for its own sake, so I do own some antique fashion magazines and photos. I'm going to have to make up a list of which issues I do own, so I don't take a chance on double buying again.

While this Delineator is in great shape (considering it's over 125 years old!) I am wondering if I should carefully take the magazine apart so it can be scanned. The binding is already worn out around the bottom of the magazine, and any looks I take throughout will just loosen the binding more. On the other hand, is it okay to take apart a genuine antique piece of ephemera (something made of paper that was meant to be discarded but is now a collectible)?

Butterick is still a sewing pattern company today, although it and the other "big 4" sewing pattern companies, Simplicity, Vogue and McCall's, have been owned as a group for a while, and were sold together last year to a company in the UK, according to my research. 

There were also a lot of antique photos. Many of them were of little girls with their dolls, which was not surprising, but again, there were ones as well simply of people wearing the fashions of the times. Most of the antique photographs (or tintypes, daguerreotypes, or whatever) were too expensive for me, but I did get the collage photo below for $5, framed.

Although this could be two sisters, I get the sense it was two friends at the photography studio together. When I took it out of the frame to scan it, I was irked to see that the cardboard backing had been cut up so the photo could be put into a smaller frame. I'm putting this print at about 1902-1903, and I'm guessing the girl standing on the right is a year or so older, judging by the length of their skirts.

Is there another era in time that you think your dolls should represent? Did you or have you thought about collecting books, paintings, photos or other vintage and antique items to learn more about your chosen time period?