|Bisque circa 1940s Japan-made black baby and a variety of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben-type figures|
In April of this year, by text message, my sister sent the above photo of dolls and ceramic figures found at an antiques shop in her southeastern state. I was not interested in any of these Black Americana pieces. Because of the person who made it, one baby doll, photographed separately, did interest me.
|Baby doll photographed by my sister at an antiques mall in her area.|
|Tonner doll's price tag.|
Before the doll arrived (months later -- a long story that I will shorten), I conducted online research to determine the doll's identity and found the white version at the Tonner website in his company's archived 1997 catalog. The doll's name is Ginger. Her original retail price was $99.95.
By June of this year, I still had not received Ginger (recall that it was April when the text photo was sent to me and the doll purchased). Prior to that time, I sent my sister a check for the cost of the doll plus estimated shipping (thinking, maybe she needs me to pay her for it). The next time we talked, she said she was trying to find a box for the doll and added, "You know I haven't cashed that check, right? And I'm not." I instructed her to do so (thinking that would get my doll to me sooner). She said, "I'm tearing it up." Oh Lord, "Will I ever get my doll?" I thought.
|Another Ginger whose eyes remain the original color is shown in an Internet-captured photograph.|
Ginger is a 22-inch baby with vinyl head, arms and legs and cloth body. She wears a gingerbread man themed dress and pinafore, white thigh-length socks, white underpants and cranberry faux suede shoes. Her dark brown wig has loose curls with curly bangs and two top ponytails accented with cranberry ribbons.
My Ginger finally arrived in July of this year at which time I measured her eyes and ordered new hazel eyes to closely match her original eye color.
|Close-up of Ginger's creepy eyes, her left eye color is more faded than the right.|
The faded original color was either due to sun exposure or the type of material used to make some doll eyes during the 1990s. I have seen strange things happen to artist dolls' eyes that were made during that era.
|Ginger with pupils that now look "fixed and dilated."|
Before the new eyes arrived, I darkened the hazel area of Ginger's "creepy eyes" with a brown Sharpie. I didn't do a very good job keeping the pupils centered. As a result, I looked forward to the arrival of the replacement eyes. After the replacement eyes arrived, I was in for a big surprise.
|Ginger and I were all prepared for her eye transplant. Here she holds two cable ties and her new hazel eyes, which are shown in the next photo.|
What a bummer.
So Plan B is to inquire with the Tonner folks about the possibility of replacing the eyes in their doll hospital or admitting her to the resident doll doctor's hospital. I know Doc Garrett can perform the necessary procedure to open up the head cavity. He has never replaced eyes and I'm not certain that I want him to test those waters with Ginger.
I might just leave well enough alone and stick with Plan A -- the Sharpie effect that I have tweaked a bit:
Ginger is okay with the way she is and I'm relatively okay with her as is, too.
I'm just glad that after a three-month wait, she's finally here.