Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Difference Between Cloth and Rag Dolls

During the same week of Pat's purchase (seen and described here), I was informed of a doll offering I could not refuse:  Andy and Mandy Organdy, a pair of cloth dolls with molded faces by Deb Canham.  According to page 28 of The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls, the dolls were made in approximately 1998.  Another source indicates 2001 as their year of manufacture.  An image of Karen Rae Mord's pair, and the entry I included in my first book (based on Karen's description of her dolls, including the year she indicated they were made) is shown below:

Andy and Mandy Organdy are the two dolls above on the lower right.

It was not until I sat down to record their purchase information onto my Excel doll inventory worksheet that I realized the dolls had been documented in my first book (published in 2003).  Their image and descriptive information had been shared with me in 2002 for the purpose of including in the book by the collector who owned them.  Some twelve years later, after googling "Andy and Mandy Organdy," in an attempt to find Deb Canham's website to verify my new dolls' height, a link to the book's index resulted where, much to my surprise, their names appeared.  Who knew or even remembered documenting them in book form?

Andy and Mandy Organdy's names are highlighted above in the screen capture of a Google search using  the dolls' names.

My new cloth pair:  Andy and Mandy Organdy

My dolls, shown above, were made by Jane Davies for Deb Canham, who is noted for the bears and other animals she fashions into three-dimensional collectors items. Canham emigrated from England to America and now resides in the States.  Davies, Canham's doll artist-sister, still resides in the United Kingdom.

A fellow collector informed me of the dolls' availability, their price, and additional information Deb Canham shared with her.  The price alone enticed this purchase as I was not at all enamored by the dolls' physical appearance in their online photos.  Seeing them in person has changed my initial impression considerably.  I appreciate them because they are definitely not just white dolls colored brown.   Mandy has half opened eyes, while Andy's eyes are fully open.   Both have broad but not over-exaggerated facial features which make them undeniably African American or Black.  My Excel entry for the pair under the heading "Description" reads as follows:

5-3/4-inch cloth dolls have cloth over molded faces which are hand painted.  Mandy wears a white Boneka dress with embroidered flowers at neckline and green embroidery at hem, pink undergarments, brown leather Mary Jane shoes. She has molded black cornrows styled in two side pigtails with tiny ribbons on each.  Andy has molded black textured hair and wears a yellow button-down shirt with rust and black suspender pants and brown and white leather saddle oxfords.   Each has numbered hang tag.  Mandy's tag indicates she is #27 of 150 (but according to reliable sources only 100 were made); Andy's tag indicates he is #33 of 150 (but only 100 were made).

Front and back images of the dolls' hang tags

Under the heading, "Other," I entered: Dolls were designed by Jane Davies for Deb Canham. Davies is Canham's sister. The dolls were purchased directly from Deb Canham.  The price I paid and their current market value is also included on my spreadsheet. 

Thank you, DS, for informing me about these exquisite cloth-over-molded face little dolls.  While I indicated in my previous post that cloth dolls are a minority in my collection, this still holds true.  However, a better way to phrase this is "rag dolls are and will remain a minority in my collection."  There is a huge difference between rag dolls like Beloved Belindy and cloth dolls that have realistic facial features like those given Andy and Mandy.

Andy and Mandy Organdy  are definitely not just rags! 

 The little Organdys have already settled in with other cloth (felt) dolls that are also not just rags.




  1. These dolls are wonderfully made! I made my neice a cloth doll when she was born and sadly my sister threw it out!! The craftsmanship was absolutely beautiful. My mother made me a "cloth doll" when Holly Hobbie was the rage back in the day but she had to be brown like me, lol. These two are gorgeous!

    1. Thank you, Brini.

      That was very loving of you to make a cloth doll for your niece. I can't believe your sister threw it out.

      How sweet of your mother! I have a black Holiday Holly Hobbie here somewhere from 1988. She is still in her box.


  2. Wow, those are beautiful. I can't imagine how hard it must be to capture such detail at such a small size. Really delightful little dolls. I've always, since I was a child, been a sucker for small dolls.

    1. Thank you, RLC.

      The facial detailing is amazing.



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