Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lost and Found Baby Dear

A fellow collector asked me if noted doll designer, Eloise Wilkin, sculpted the 1960s dolls Welcome Home Baby Turns Two by Vogue and Alexander's Baby Precious.  According to the collector, these two dolls share the same head mold but have different hair and eyes.  I was not sure that these dolls were Wilkin designs, but I informed her that I knew Wilkin sculpted Vogue's Baby Dear line of dolls.  Thinking about the two versions of Baby Dear that I own, I went to retrieve them but could only find one! 

I removed several dolls from a doll shelf in the doll room where I "thought" the larger doll was, but the doll was not there.

I looked in a bedroom where several other baby dolls have been banished to the bed and other areas in this room, but Baby Dear was not there... at least not where I could see her.

I abandoned the search because I knew, if I still owned the doll (the thought that I had sold it worried me), I would eventually find her. 

A day or so later, I went back into the bedroom where I looked previously, took my time and focused on each doll, and there Baby Dear was lying peacefully on the bed, having been overlooked previously.  My lost but now found 18-inch Baby Dear is now back in the doll room with the 12-inch version.

Both dolls have E. Wilkin incised on the upper back portion of their right thighs with ©1960 above the artist's name. Wilkin is one of only a few doll doll designers from the1960s era to mark her dolls.

Eloise Wilkin was an author, illustrator, and doll designer.  She designed dolls for Vogue and Madame Alexander and did, in fact, design the two dolls that prompted my search for my Vogue Baby Dears.  Wilkin illustrated children's books, specifically Little Golden Books.  Her illustrations often featured yellow-haired, cherub-looking children.  Some books even featured little girls with baby dolls.  The book  Baby Dear, written by Esther Wilkin, Eloise's sister, is one such book that features a little mommy with her doll.  

While Vogue manufactured black versions of some of the dolls Eloise Wilkin designed, I have been unable to document any Wilkin-illustrated  books that feature black children or black dolls. 

For more information on Wilkin, visit her facebook fan-created page.


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1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am a Vogue doll collector in need of assistance. I have 2 original african american baby dears by Wilkens. nI have recently had a flood in my home and cannot find the value of either. One is in the original vogue box, one is not. If anyone has any information where I can have these (along with 3o more baby dears) of different patterns. Please contact me at lncosgrove@gmail.com Thanks!


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