Monday, November 26, 2012

D'Azucar Dolls

After recently receiving Matoka's new dress from friend, Betty A., I telephoned Betty to personally thank her and praise her for such lovely sewing work after having not done so in decades.  During our lengthy conversation on dolls with my leaving her in suspense about which doll would wear the lovely red dress, she happened to mention owning a doll that I have been wanting for approximately four years.  With the manufacturer's name, D'Azucar, provided by Betty, and with the aid of's search engine, we both learned the desired dolls name is Buba. 

In 2008, I documented Buba's markings and other physical attributes in my second book along with his photograph.  These had been provided by my late friend, Ruth Manning.  Ruth did not know much more about him as she had purchased him on the secondary market some time prior to 2008.   She did not even know his given name.  He is listed in my book as "Unmarked 30-inch Boy Made in Spain."  Ruth named her doll, Abel.  (See Ruth's doll here, after scrolling down.)

Based on Abel's image alone, I thought he was wonderful and subconsciously placed him on my mental "gotta have" doll list.  I never actively looked for him until Betty mentioned him recently.

My search found that mint condition examples of Buba and his sister, Kolo, had been listed several times on eBay since this past September in auctions that never sold.  The seller described them as having an original retail of $400 and dating back to the 1970s or 1980s.  Initially, they had been listed for $199 each in their separate auctions.  Each of their final auctions were separate buy it nows for 2-1/2 times less, plus reasonable shipping.  During my conversation with Betty, I emailed the seller through eBay to check on the dolls' availability, specifically Buba's because I was not really interested in Kolo and expressed this to Betty.  She questioned, "You don't want the girl, too?" even though she had not seen her.  My answer then was, "No.  I don't really like her.  I just want Buba."

Well, by the time the seller and I completed our email correspondence, I had decided I could not separate Buba from his sister.  So they are now both mine and I am very happy I made that decision.

Buba and Kolo by D'Azucar Creationes of Spain, circa 1980s

Now, I know I have recently said I no longer collect large dolls their size (approximately 30 inches), but with me and dolls, there are always exceptions.

Betty wondered, during our conversation, since these dolls were made in Spain during the late 1980s, if they are copies of early Annette Himstedt dolls.  Originally her dolls were made in Spain and it was during the late 1980s/early 1990s that she discovered some of her doll molds had been counterfeited. I recall seeing an ad to this effect in one of the major doll publications which warned collectors and the culprit of this deed.  This is not to say that D'Azucar Creationes did or would have done this, but these dolls do resemble Annette's Fatou from the Barefoot Children series. 

Annette Himstedt's Fatou, the center doll, is flanked by D'Azucar Creationes' Buba on the left and Kolo on the right.  They could be from the same family, perhaps cousins. 

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe Ruth suggested the possibility to me that her "Abel" may have been a Himstedt copy.  Who knows?  What I do know is that had Betty not made and sent Matoka's new dress, I may not have conducted my mini search for "D'Azucar dolls," Buba would still be on my mental "gotta have" doll list, and his sister's existence unknown.

Something else good doll-wise (to be shared later) resulted from Matoka's gift from Betty. 

As my dear friend Ruth used to say and write, "...all things work together for good..."


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