|1950s Walking African Girl and African Toddler by Pedigree of England|
Purchased in June 2009, the Walking African Girl by Pedigree (shown on the left above) is a 16-inch head-turning walker with brown flirty eyes. At the time of purchase, her manufacturer’s-given name was unknown. I later solicited identification help from a noted England-based doll historian. The toddler is a recent purchase.
The lovely, ebony-complexioned walker had the opportunity to record her purchase in blog-form, which was published in my book: The Doll Blogs: When DollsSpeak, I Listen. Her entry is as follows:
Friday, June 26, 2009
Debbie found me on eBay in the search results for “black Pedigree doll.” The “Southwest” United Kingdom seller listed me for GBP 125.00 buy-it-now or best offer. Debbie recently saw an auction for a doll like me that ended for over GBP 250.00. Debbie decided to place an offer of GBP 95.00 and said a silent prayer that the seller would accept the offer. Less than 24 hours later, she accepted it. Debbie immediately paid using Paypal and is anticipating my arrival.
I was described by the seller (with minor editing by Deb) as:
“A fine example of the 1950’s hard plastic PEDIGREE WALKING DOLL.
“Still has a lovely sheen and good colour all over.Full black astrakhan wig with red bow in.
“Lovely clear amber flirty eyes, she retains her eyelashes, earrings, two top teeth.
“WORKING MAMA.Her walking action is excellent with her head turning from side to side.
“Pretty red spotted dress with a Faerie Glen, Made in England label inside. White pants and red Cinderella sandals. No cracks, splits, repairs or bad odours.Just a few minor scuffs.”
I should arrive in the US within the next two weeks.
1950s Hard Plastic Pedigree Walking Doll
After her arrival, she made one additional entry in the aforementioned book, using the same photo shown immediately above:
Monday, July 6, 2009
I arrived in the US from Honiton, Devon UK sooner than Debbie’s calculation of two weeks’ travel time. In her eyes, I am as beautiful as the auction pictured and described. My amber colored eyes are clear with all eyelashes intact. I still have my two pearly white upper teeth. My Astrakhan wig is full without discolorations. The brass hoop earrings in my ears may be replaced ones, but Debbie is not sure. My head-turning walking mechanism and my mama voice box both work well.
I wear a red, circle-print dress that is tagged Faerie Glen Made in England for 16 to 18-inch (40.64 to 45.72cm) dolls. The fabric of my white panties matches the white trim of my dress. Debbie thinks I have been redressed and very nicely so. My vinyl, red Cinderella sandals may be original. Debbie removed my socks to give me a more fashionable look. (She considers socks with sandals a fashion faux pas.) She is quite pleased that she browsed eBay for “black Pedigree dolls” on the day she found me and made the seller a decent offer.
With assistance once again from Susan Brewer of British Doll Showcase, Debbie now knows my manufacturer-given name.
1950s Pedigree Walking African Girl
During 2009 through 2011, my self-imposed mission had been to add similar vintage dolls to my collection, made in non-US markets. The goal was to illustrate how black people had been perceived through dolls in these markets. The walker remained here with several other England, New Zealand, and Australian-made 1930s through 1950s dolls until the 15-inch toddler arrived earlier this month.
|1950s African Toddler by Pedigree|
The toddler, described by the seller as harder to find with bent limbs, has the same head sculpt as the Walking African Girl. Her once flirty eyes are now fixed into position. Like the toddler, she also has an astrakan wig and gold hoop earrings in both ears. They both also have two upper teeth. Shown above in the photos taken by the seller, the toddler arrived dressed in ill-fitting "1950s pink dungarees." I elected to redress her as shown below.
|1950s African Toddler by Pedigree now wears a red and white floral print dress with white hat, undies, and white leatherette shoes. The dress and hat are the original clothes of a 16-inch Patty-Jo, reproduced in 2007 by Terri Lee dolls.|
|The lovely sisters pose in this final photo.|
Additional dolls by Pedigree and other non-US companies can be seen here and here.
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