Wednesday, August 31, 2016

She Needed a Home

Lil' Liza Jane, a 16-inch, circa 1980s doll with bisque head on articulated composition body
Near the end of July, a member of my doll group shared the Etsy sale page for Lil' Liza Jane. I commented, "She's adorable.  Someone needs to grab her at this price!" A couple of weeks later, while on Etsy for something else, Lil' Liza Jane's photo appeared as one of my last viewed items. I decided to read her description and view all photos. Doing this, and her low price of only $20, reeled me in!  (Dolls and prices that can't be refused have a way of doing that, you know.)

Described by the seller as follows:
Lil' Liza Jane has a bisque head and jointed composition body. She measures approximately 16" tall and has pierced ears. Her eyes are fixed in a sideways glancing position. Her body has some scuff marks and one of her hair bows has come off, but is still with her. There is some discoloration on her outfit due to age and storage, but otherwise Lil' Liza Jane is in good shape.
I wanted to know more about the scuff marks to her body and requested additional photos, which the seller provided.
Lil' Liza Jane's body articulation and separate toes are illustrated in the above photo.  Minor wrist joint paint loss is also visible.
Faint scuff marks can be seen on the side of her torso where a doll stand had been used.
Other paint loss was simply from her joint movement and parts rubbing together, nothing major. I also asked the seller if she knew anything about the artist and if Lil' Liza Jane had any identifying marks.  She replied:

Liza Jane is marked on the back of her neck with I believe a "J" and "M".  She is tightly jointed at her neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and knees with probably some sort of elastic from the feel of it. I was not able to move her hands at this time and believe that the high humidity here may be the problem... There are what looks to be pin holes at the base of her seat, maybe from a mold, not sure. The base of the left forearm where it connects to the wrist is rough. Even though she is wearing shoes, I think she was purposely made with individual toes that make her look like she would be more comfortable barefoot.

Because it is important for me to know as much about my dolls' past "lives" as possible, I sent the seller one final message requesting any added information beyond what was noted in the description and in our separate Etsy conversations.  The seller shared the following:

I do love a good story myself and I wish I had a good one for you, but I just have some basic information. My mother was a doll collector and was a member of the Austin Doll Club for several decades. Sometimes she would purchase dolls and hide them so that my father did not know how much she was spending. Lil' Liza Jane and the KAYO Kid... were found together in her house after she passed away. My sister and I believe she purchased them together from either another doll dealer or the person who made them. The Kid has already sold so I can't check to see if he had the same mark on the back of his neck. My mother did not have one specific doll type that she collected to her collection [which] was varied and very eclectic. I hope this helps a little.


The supplementary information suggests that Lil' Liza Jane had been loved and possibly cherished by her former owner.  I appreciate the manner by which the seller provided the extra details, writing about the doll with as much care as her mother had probably provided.  I might have never known Lil' Liza Jane's toes are separate or thought they were made that way so "she" (the doll) would be more comfortable with bare feet.  A photo of the KAYO Kid that had been the doll's companion when found revealed him to be a white male doll of the same size with similar body but different head sculpt. Clearly Lil' Liza Jane has a face all her own.

I love her distinctly Africanoid facial features which set her apart from other dolls:  broad, flat nose and full lips.

After arriving to her new home, I reglued the loose hair bow to her hair and noticed that the crown of her head (underneath her handmade wig) was loose.  Epoxy glue was used to reseal this.

Lil' Liza Jane takes a seated photo before moving to the doll room.
Lil' Liza Jane asks, "Where am I?  Can you find me?"

"How about now?" she asks.
With the loose hair ribbon and crown of her head reglued in place, Lil' Liza Jane is now as good as new.  I know she will be happy here in the company of many new friends where she has found a temporary place to squeeze herself into until she is placed on another doll stand and moved to an area with dolls of similar medium era.


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10 comments:

  1. She's very pretty and I like the way her body was articulated. I wonder who her maker was.
    Thanks for showing her off, I'm sure she's happy surrounded with all these dollies.

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    1. Hi Maricha,

      I really wish I knew who made Lil' Liza Jane.

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  2. Awesome price for this little treasure. That's my first time seeing a composition body with separate toes. The body alone is worth so much more. Congrats. You've been pulled in a lot lately, but they have all been wonderful finds.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa. I couldn't pass up her price and shipping was only $8. I couldn't have purchased the body for that amount. She may also be a one of a kind, which makes her extra special, too.

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  3. She's lovely! And I was surprised to see how well articulated she is - I wasn't expecting that on this style of doll. Thanks for sharing her!

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    1. Thank you jSarie. I'm glad I shared her nude photos so others could appreciate her construct.

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  4. Congratulations Debbie!! Liza Jane is a beautiful treasure. I couldn't find her in the first picture, but I did in the ne t close up picture.

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    1. I'm glad you were able to find her GG. :-)

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  5. She is better articulated then dolls they offered today! Her body looks in great condition and yes she knew she hit the jackpot when you she found out she was coming home to a whole house full of new friends. I love the last picture because she looks like she is happy. Congratulations.

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    1. Thank you, Brini! I love her body as much as I love her face.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!