|Amber by Annette Himstedt, 1999|
Amber by Annette Himstedt has been neglected for so long that I need to hang my head in shame. The doll was purchased new from a Himstedt doll dealer in approximately the year 2000, having been placed on layaway due to her cost. Standing 30 inches from head-to-toe in bare feet, she represents a 7-year-old Jamaican girl of the 1970s. Amber has auburn natural-textured human hair, portions of which are braided. Her inset eyes are hazel.
Amber's hair was initially worn down as shown in the above photo where she is dressed in her original orange dress and holding a garland of brightly colored, enamel-painted flowers. I had to remove the garland from her hands and store it some years ago after noticing small stains it caused to her wrists.
Along with other dolls representing doll genres in the various chapters of my first black-doll reference book, Amber appears on the front cover. (Additional dolls that represent the types of dolls in other chapters of the book appear on the back cover.)
Never fully bonding with her, I have contemplated selling Amber on several occasions but never made an actual attempt because I know in today's market I would probably suffer a great monetary loss.
Recently after two collectors added an Amber to their collections for a fraction of the dolls' original cost and shared images of the dolls dressed in children's clothing, I thought the affection for my doll might intensify if I too redressed her. In 16 years of ownership, redressing is something I had never done or considered doing for Amber.
After it arrived, I decided Amber would be the doll to wear the dress from Betty. With seven (7) being the number of completion, the following seven photographs illustrate Amber's first redress in the dress I chose in answer to Betty's question, Which print do you like best?
|Amber has stripped down to her original underpants, which she will continue to wear under her new dress. Her orange string necklace with floral pendant and orange headband remain. Before this photo was taken, we removed the Annette Himstedt signature-bearing red ribbon that was tied around her left wrist, as seen partially in the first photo and better seen here. We also removed her sandals and noticed red stains on the bottoms of her feet from the red innersoles of the sandals.|
|Here Amber wears the yellow blouse Betty made. It has a snap closure in back.|
|The green and yellow African print dress I chose from the four styles Betty offered is a perfect fit. To accommodate the matching hat (next photo), her original headband had to be removed.|
|Completely redressed, Amber continues to wear her necklace and her original sandals with the blouse, dress, and open crown-style hat that Betty made.|
|Her hair, which has been in a ponytail for years, was pulled through the top of the hat with some of her braids draped over the front.|
|This profile photo illustrates how she wears her crown.|
|Amber took one final photo.|