Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Miss Peep by Cameo circa 1950s - 1960s

Miss Peep by Cameo was made from 1950s through 1960s.

While moving around dolls on one of the adjustable wooden shelves in the doll room, Miss Peep vied for my attention.  So I picked up this darling baby doll that I fell in love with sometime during the 1990s after discovering her.  She had been among a huge black doll collection that a woman in Florida purchased as an investment from a collector.  The collection was so large that the Floridian woman stored the dolls in a school bus on her property.  Barbara was her name.  She had advertised the dolls as "black doll collection for sale" in Collectors United along with a VHS video she was selling for $10 which featured the dolls.  I purchased the video (still have it) and viewed it from the comfort of my bed, taking notes on which dolls I wanted to inquire about and possibly purchase if they were still available.


Miss Peep by Cameo is one of the many dolls I purchased from Barbara.  I fell in love with her face.  If memory serves me correctly, the doll's cost was between $35 to $50.

Miss Peep's wrist tag

Miss Peep arrived in pristine condition wearing her original pink flannel romper, matching hat, and original Miss Peep wrist tag (see above and next photos).  A hand written price tag was attached to Miss Peep's wrist that had been placed by Barbara.  "Special pin joints by Cameo 50's - 60's" is written on one side; "Miss Peep," is written on the other.  The manufacturer's wrist tag describes Miss Peep's movements as, "She flops her arms; hug (press) her body -- she coos; pinch her arms -- she cries." She still does all these things.

Inside of Miss Peep's tag

Back of Miss Peep's wrist tag

Miss Peep is described on VintageDollCollector.com's Cameo Dolls page as follows:
Miss Peep was a baby doll sold in the late fifties and through the sixties. She is all vinyl with inset plastic eyes. A black version was made as well as the more common white doll. Most versions have unusual joints at the hip and shoulder that allow the arms and legs to rotate completely as well as move back and forth. A version with regular flange joints was also made. The design for Miss Peep was evidently licensed to another company after Cameo closed, as she was advertised under the name Baby Wendy at least as late as 1973.
Pin joints at shoulder

Pin joints at hips/upper legs

The doll is also featured on page 111 of Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide 1820 to 1991 by Myla Perkins (Collector Books).  Myla's description reads:
"Miss Peep," 15" tall.  Vinyl head with stationary brown inset eyes, molded, painted hair; vinyl squeaker body with hinged legs and arms.  All original in white robe trimmed in pink. Marks:  USE 53 CAMEO, on head; CAMEO, on body.  Early 1970s.  Collection of Julie Perkins Scott.

The doll in Myla's book was owned by her daughter.

Head is marked U__/ CAMEO ©  (The underscore represents illegible characters.)

Upon examining my doll, whose back is not marked and clothing differs from that described in Perkins' book, I noticed her romper had some discoloration from dust and other particles in the atmosphere that had settled mostly on the leg areas.  I hand washed the romper and hat and hung these over the shower rod to air dry overnight.

Miss Peep is back on her crowded display shelf.

Miss Peep is now so fresh and so clean and back on her display shelf after having received the attention she craved.

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9 comments:

  1. She's lovely. It's funny, but based on the photo alone, I expected her to be much more modern - there's something about that expression that I hadn't associated with dolls of that vintage, but it's brilliant to see that there was more variety in the dolls of the day than I'd known.

    I've never seen joints in that style before either - what an interesting work of engineering!

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    1. The people who designed Miss Peep were ahead of their time, jSarie. I suppose their desire to create a life-like doll as opposed to a typical baby doll with a "dolly face," quite possibly helped in the body design and facial appearance. Both are more realistic than what was typical of that era. For me, she's an oldie that is still a goodie.

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  2. I love this little Miss Peep. What an interesting and beautiful doll. I am finding your blog so enjoyable and love learning about all of these different dolls that have come across your path. I agree w/ jSarie in regards to her face and joints. She must be quite snuggly now that's fresh and clean :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing that you enjoy my blog, Farrah Lily!

      Miss Peeps is quite snuggly. I hesitated putting her back on her shelf, but had to do it. She's in good company.

      :-)

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  3. Very interesting backstory on how you acquired this doll! Was the video a home video of her showing the collection or was it about these types of dolls in particular? Are you able to upload the video for us to see?

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    1. Hi Muff,

      Yes, the video was a home video that was obviously shot from the "bus" where the dolls were stored. Barbara walked around with a pointing stick (that looked like a yard stick), pointing to each doll as she provided each doll's name, who made it, and additional details. Unfortunately, I do not have the capability of sharing the video. I don't even have the capability of viewing it as I do not own a workable VHS player. I believe my SIL can still create DVDs from VHS tapes. Perhaps I'll ask him if he can create one for me.

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  4. wiekowy bobas - ale ciekawe ma łączenia kończyn...

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