Monday, April 11, 2016

14R and Other 1950s-1960s High-Heel Fashion Dolls


Last year in anticipation of buying birthday and Christmas gifts for a friend, I asked her to share names or types of dolls that were on her want list.  "I'm always looking for 1950s high-heel fashion dolls" was her answer.  I was able to find five for her last year, which will be shared here, along with two that I own, and photos of others that she owns (shown on the left and later in the post).

All of the dolls I purchased for her and the two I own are categorized as 14R dolls.  The dolls I purchased and the two I own vary in size from 18 to 19-1/2 inches.  All have brown sleep eyes.

According to page 138 of Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide 1820 to 1991 by Myla Perkins (Collector Book 1993), "Dolls marked 14R are a collection of glamour dolls made between 1957 and 1965.  It is not a company mark.  Dolls marked 14R were sold undressed to a variety of companies who then dressed and marketed them.  Companies known to have used the 14R doll were Bell, Deluxe Reading, Eegee, Natural, Rita Lee, Royal and Sayco.  In some cases, other marks were added to the 14R.  An example of this is [a] doll marked 14R-1.  Some dolls with this mark are known to have been made by Eegee."  A very informative website devoted to 14R dolls also attributes 14R dolls to Roberta Dolls.  See link at end of this post.  As a result of my purchases, I can also attribute 14R-type dolls to Eugene Dolls.

All except one of the dolls I purchased needed a little help to make them presentable as gifts for my friend.  I will share before and after photos of these with details of what I changed or added.


The doll in the ill-fitting blue ball gown and light blue faded shoes, above left, was redressed in a pink ballerina outfit that includes white tights, white slippers with white ribbon ties, pearl earrings and necklace (above right).  The doll's hair was quite dry upon arrival.  I washed, conditioned, reset and styled it as illustrated in the photo on the right before sending her to my friend. The complete ballerina fashion and jewelry was found on eBay from a seller who continues to sell this in pink and a variety of other colors.  (The before photo above was taken by the eBay seller.)



The above photos on the far left and in center are before photos of Eugene's 18-inch My Little Lady from the 1960s.  The doll arrived in her original box, which is an added plus.  Her hair, however, was jacked up, very fuzzy and flyaway.  I washed, reset, and styled it, as illustrated in the photo on the far right, which was taken by my friend because I failed to take an after photo before sending the doll to her.   Before sending, I also had to repaint the doll's black shoes as some of the original black paint had begun to chip away with the slightest touch.  Now she is near mint with original box.  (The before photo above was taken by the eBay seller.)



This doll has the loveliest face of all the ones I purchased.  Unlike the others, she has a stuffed vinyl body.  She arrived wearing a lovely pink satin dress, white satin panties and slip, and bare feet.  (Her before photo was also taken by the eBay seller).  I redressed her in a two-piece aqua sweater fashion (above right), added the pearl necklace, and purchased shoes (poorly) handmade for 14R and Miss Revlon dolls.  To make them fit her ankles, I had to cut and resew the elastic straps on the shoes.  Mounds of glue residue also had to be removed. Needless to say I did not provide this eBay seller any feedback.


The aqua two-piece wearing doll's hair was pretty unruly upon arrival.  After shampooing, I applied gel and placed several metal hair clips on both sides and in back to create waves.  One side is wavier than the other.  (I tried.)  I gave her a new pair of vintage doll earrings, too.

Except for wiping off their vinyl, I did not have to redress or restyle the hair of the next two dolls.




The doll in the lime green hand-crocheted dress is 19-1/2-inches tall.  She has frosted brown hair with brown sleep eyes.  The doll on the right, also 19-1/2 inches, is My Dream Bride by Eugene.  She wears her original bridal gown, veil, and white high-heel shoes.  Much to my surprise, after their arrival, I discovered that the above two dolls are featured in Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide, books 1 and 2, respectively. Based on the return shipping label, I concluded that the eBay seller was Perkins' granddaughter.  I shared their provenance with my friend.

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My Little Lady (the center doll in the photo on the left, previously described) was photographed by my friend with two 25-inch 1950s high-heel fashion dolls.  Two other 25- and 23-inch 1950s high-heel fashion dolls from her collection are shown in the above photo on the right.  She has stylishly redressed each of the taller dolls.

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The two 1950s high-heel fashion dolls above have been part of my personal collection for several years.  Both wear their original fashions.  The bride is marked 14R while the one on the right is marked with a P.   Both wear the typical pearl drop earrings.  A full view of each is next.



For additional information on 14R dolls navigate here.

I have also created a Pinterest board where photos all dolls featured here, as well as others, have been pinned.

A prior post on two additional 1950s high-heel fashion dolls can be read here.  These are not 14R dolls but they do share the 1950s high-heel fashion doll category.

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Check out my eBay listings here.

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13 comments:

  1. They're all so pretty and elegant. I had no idea there were so many beautiful black dolls available as far back as the 50s. Thank-you for showing them and you did a lovely job of restyling their hair and dressing them. Did you have to boil perm their hair or was just setting it enough?

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    1. Hello Maricha,

      For these I didn't have to do a boil perm. I just wet and set.

      Black versions were available during the 50s and 60s but produced in far fewer numbers than their white counterparts and many did not survive child's play. These are two reasons the black versions command more money in today's market than the white versions, in most cases.

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  2. I agree....such elegance. You did a nice job restoring them. Finger waves? Go 'head with yo' bad self.

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    1. LOL! Yes, that was the goal, to create finger waves. Since I couldn't create them with my fingers, I opted for the next best, on-hand thing. :-)

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  3. You worked your magic with these dolls, because they are absolutely lovely! I enjoy seeing before and after photos of what people do to dolls, so thank you for sharing them. Excellent post!

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  4. They all look like elegant ladies! The kind that enjoy a spot of tea and conversation on a sunny afternoon.

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    1. Chuckling at a "spot of tea" and probably crumpets with. :-)

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  5. I love them all, so elegant and pretty.

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  6. Stunning restoration jobs! They look great!

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  7. They are beautiful! Great job on the finger waves. I initially thought that it was a factory hair style until I read the information. I have a habit of looking at the pictures first and then going back to review the contents. Lol! Very Dorothy Dandridge-ish! I love it!

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!