Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby Be Mine, Black Baby Bumps

I immediately recognized this doll as Horsman's Baby Bumps, circa 1910, after seeing it identified for sale as Baby Mine by Ideal.  In spite of the severe head and facial imperfections, I wanted this doll for its historical significance.  A non-stereotypical black doll manufactured by one of America's oldest toy manufacturers during a time when black doll manufacture was usually an afterthought, if a thought at all, is always appealing to me. 

The waist of my doll's romper is tagged "Ideal/Baby Mine/Trade Mark," but Baby Mine and Baby Bumps are clearly two different dolls, manufactured some 40 years apart by different companies.

Baby Mine was made by Ideal Toys during the 1950s as an all-composition doll with straight legs. Black versions of Baby Mine are not documented in any of my doll references.  This is not to say that black versions do not exist, but it is my belief they do not.   The doll sold to me as Baby Mine, dressed in Baby Mine's original romper, is either Horsman's Black Baby Bumps (originally named Colored Baby Bumps) or it could be a Baby Bumps lookalike, adding to its historical significance.   

Other than their original clothing, which bore the outer waist tag, "Genuine/Baby Bumps/Trade Mark," Baby Bumps dolls were physically unmarked by Horsman.  Without original clothing, Baby Bumps' distinct "art doll" character face, sculpted after Kammer and Reinhardt's No. 100 Baby, aka the Kaiser baby, readily distinguishes it from other dolls.

According to Collector's Guide to Horsman Dolls Identification and Values 1865-1950 by Don Jensen,

In the dog-eat-dog toy industry, successful companies such as Horsman continually were fighting off competition, some of it fair, some of it not so fair, from smaller "copycat" firms.
As early as 1910, the Horsman company published "warnings to the trade" in Playthings magazine. 
One such warning regarding copyright infringement of Horsman's Baby Bumps line of dolls is shown on page 105 of Jensen's book, as illustrated below:

Horsman warns other doll makers of their Baby Bumps trade mark.

200 Years of Dolls: Identification and Price Guide  by Dawn Herlocher, confirms that Horsman manufactured black versions of Baby Bumps in 9-, 10-, 12-, and 18-inch heights.  The 18-inch version is probably the most elusive. 

My doll, if an authentic Horsman, is the 12-inch version.  Below are additional images of the doll before I restored him using glue to fill in the cracks and crevices followed by an application of paint and sealer.

With a head made of "Can't  Break 'Em composition," that could "take all kinds of bumps," Horsman's chosen name for their doll, Baby Bumps, seems quite appropriate.  Throughout the past 102 years, however, as evidenced above, this Baby Bumps or a knockoff of the same, has not aged gracefully.

He looks much better now, as illustrated in the images below:

Baby Bumps now

Along with Baby Bumps (or his lookalike) the seller included a circa 1930s glass doll baby bottle, as shown in the background of the above image.

Baby Bumps, restored, is now ready for another 102 years.

Whether or not he is an authentic 1910 Horsman doll or a Baby Bumps lookalike remains a mystery.  There are two things I know for sure:  Baby Bumps is now mine and he looks so-much-better!

To learn more about Horsman's Baby Bumps, read a previous post here.


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  1. Interesting history and great restoration!

  2. You did a wonderful job restoring the doll. I enjoyed learning about the doll's story.

  3. Nice job restoring Baby Bumps. He looks a lot happier now.

  4. I know he is glad to be yours too! You did a wonderful job restoring him. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks everyone!

      Brini... if he could talk, he'd probably say, "thank you."



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