Monday, August 7, 2017

She'll Have to Reschedule

Circa 1940s 28-inch hard plastic Rita Walker by Paris Doll Corporation; when the doll's legs are moved in a walking motion, her head turns from side to side.  She remains one of my top-favorite hard plastic dolls.

After recently taking updated photographs of my 28-inch Rita Walker doll by Paris Doll Corporation (circa 1940s), I noticed another hard plastic, head-turning walker doll's head was loose.  I had attempted to repair her some time ago, but my repair was shoddily done.  I decided to take her to the resident doll doctor to allow him to properly restring her.

17-inch head-turning walker, made in England with loose head
After undressing her and retrieving the elastic the doctor would need to complete the task, I took the patient to Doc Garrett and announced, "I have another patient for you."


He said, "She'll have to reschedule." So I left her in the capable doctors care until he could find time to complete the repairs.

She's all better and her wait for treatment was not as long as expected.

The very next morning upon entering the doll room with a cup of Hazelnut Teecino and two cinnamon graham crackers, I found her lying on my desk along with the package of elastic, already repaired.  I smiled.

"My head is no longer loose and I am as good as new."
This 17-inch, hard plastic, head-turning walker, has "Made in England" on her back as her only identifying marks.  She  has light blue-gray eyes and black short hair of mohair over which I placed a black two-ponytail, banged wig immediately after she arrived in 2010.  Her upper legs are pin jointed and her knees are articulated.  She arrived wearing a dress with white bodice and mock red/white/blue/yellow print vest that matches the skirt of the dress.  Handmade white knit, two-piece undies, white socks and red vinyl Cinderella-brand Mary Jane-style shoes completed her attire.  The seller identified her manufacturer as Rosebud of England and indicated the doll appears in Frances Baird's book, British Hard Plastic Dolls of the 1940s and 1950s, which was published in 1999.  It was not until her most recent restringing that I decided to purchase this book to confirm the seller's claim.

After the book arrived, I was pleased to discover a doll like mine on page 2 along with a black doll by Roddy ("Top Knot Baby") and a "Pedigree Negro Baby." My doll's name is Rosebud Knee Joint Girl.
The doll is seen two additional times on page 126 of Baird's book as illustrated below:

17-inch Knee Joint Doll, marked "Rosebud' on back of neck, "Made in England" across shoulders, mid 1950s.

The doll in the book has amber eyes.  Other described attributes are the same as my doll's.  She is said to have been made in the mid 1950s along with a white counterpart.  Some dolls that use this mold will bear the name "Rosebud" on the neck and "Made in England" across the shoulders/back.  My doll does not have Rosebud on the neck, but as Baird indicates in the introduction:


It is quite possible my doll was a store exclusive or other special-order doll.  Upon examining her neck once again for the manufacturer's mark, I found a scratched or etched away area, which may be where Rosebud was formerly located.

The 17-inch Knee Joint Doll is shown once more in Baird's book on page 126 in a tea party setting with the white counterpart.  The book indicates the white doll has the same "Made in England" mark on back but also has "Rosebud" on the neck.  The description from the book reads:  Dolls' tea party with two Rosebud knee joint girls sitting naturally at the table. On the left with auburn mohair wig, sleeping blue eyes and a tiny Kleeware thumbsuck in the pocket of her teddy print dress.  On the right a black knee joint girl with black mohair wig, amber sleeping eyes and a pretty turquoise print dress.  On the table a Chad Valley aluminum tea set from 1949 and on the floor, her dolly is a tiny Rosebud baby with moulded hair and sleeping eyes.



With my Rosebud Knee Joint Doll's restringing properly completed, she is now redressed in her white knit undergarments, dress, socks and shoes,  and replacement wig.  She is back on display with other similar dolls, feeling and looking so much better!



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15 comments:

  1. YAY Doc Garrett! I'm fortunate to be married to a doll doc as well; restringing is by necessity his specialty. He's rescued many a doll from the Curse of Loose Joints. Here's to Knee Joint Rosebud, good as new.

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    1. Hi Gini,

      It is truly a blessing to have someone do the repairs that I am unable/unwilling to tackle. Re-stringing is one that I have little experience doing. Without Doc Garrett, I'd probably have several limp-limbed and loose-necked dolls here (or be forced to learn to learn to do the repairs myself).

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  2. What a lucky break Rosebud got that the Doc was able to fit her in. :)
    Your walker dolls are very pretty and elegant. Thanks for sharing your pictures and information about them.
    I grew up with a simpler Walking Doll, she was the size of a toddler and only walked when you held her hand. It was ingenious to have her seem to ge going along like a real child but what made it happem wasn't even mechanical. It was such a common design that you probably have one.
    I saw a doll like those you have once, quite some time ago, but I wasn't sure what made them walk and if the head movement was necessary to balance it out like a pendulum. I was too fascinated to ask and then it got too crowded.I was shy back then.:D

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    1. Hi Maricha,

      The head-turning mechanism would have probably been challenging for me if I had attempted to repair her properly. Whether her neck turned when her legs are moved in a walking motion was the first thing I checked after she completed her clinic visit. She works like a charm.

      I have a a collection of 30- to 35-inch walkers that were made during the 1960s through 1981 (when Ideal made their first AA Patti Playpal). Some of the vintage ones have a metal rod in one leg that enables them to walk with you when one of the doll's hands is held and the doll guided along. I have a Pinterest board that features my walkers and some photos of dolls owned by others. You can view them here. Please let me know if there is one pinned to the board that is like the one you owned as a child.

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      PS I always wanted a walking doll as a child. When I shared this with my mother a few years ago, she said, "You should have asked." I guess she's right because I don't recall asking.

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    2. I just knew you had to have some of those now :-)
      You should have asked for one back then.They're much more fun to play with than one would imagine considering they only walk alongside you. I looooved mine. I got her when I was almost 5 so her size made me feel like I finally had a little sister (unfortunately,I don't have any siblings IRL). My mother bought her real children's clothes, stockings,shoes and hats so a lot of people thought she was my new little sister until they bent over to say hi. Their confusion was pretty funny.
      I'm not ashamed to say I still occasionally went out in public with her until I was 11 or 12. I mostly stopped because I got too tall to walk comfortably with her. My doll's arm had to reach up to you, but not straight up or her legs swung without taking a step. I should have gotten her a stroller :D
      I looked at your Pinterest -so many lovely walkers, thanks- and mine looked most like Toddles. She had the same serene expression and lovely, mink black hair. Obviously, she's one of the childhood dolls I lost so I try not to think of her too often, but I nonetheless enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Thank-you, Debbie :)

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    3. I certainly should have asked for one and a Chatty Cathy, too. I wanted one but didn't ask.

      You enjoyed your walker for several years. For you, she was truly a companion doll. I'm so sorry you lost her.

      Do you recall if you named your doll?

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    5. Do you know I'd never seen or heard of Chatty Cathy until a couple of years ago? It's strange since she seems to have been extremely popular.
      Yes, I named all my dolls and remember all their names, even those of my doll's dolls or children, and my walker was called Solange.

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    6. What a lovely name, Solange.

      You must have had quite a few dolls as a child, enough for the dolls to have dolls.

      🚸🚸🚸
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    7. Yes, I did.:) I used to think I'd had 36 dolls but I recently realized that this was the count when I made a census for my doll town.(The black Barbie clone that I mentioned to you was my favorite of all, was its mayor.) I got three more after that. They were of different sizes and ages but 27 of them were playscale dolls (15 adults,1 teen and 11 children).
      It was really dolls all the way with me. Some kids had beds covered with stuffed animals or liked puzzles and games but once I was old enough to choose, I only got dolls.
      I always enjoy it when you show us a group shot of some of your dolls. There's something so comforting about seeing all those pretty faces at once:D I'm glad you're now getting the dolls you feel you should have had and rescuing so many others along the way as you teach us about them.

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    8. The doll world you created sounds doll-lightful! It was complete with a town mayor. Too cute!

      It's dolls all the way with me, too. Hold the paraphernalia, just give me dolls! I only have room for dolls.


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  3. I've been looking at hard plastic dolls more and more recently as a number of collectors I follow have been introducing their collections to readers/viewers. I've always loved the classic "doll" look of these and yours is no exception. I'm off to the dolls hospital myself in the next couple of weeks so it's so good to see the outcome of a visit. 'Rosebud' looks gorgeous especially with her knew wig!! :)

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    1. I am quite fond of hard plastic dolls as they debuted during the decade of my birth; however, by the time I actually remember the dolls I played with, vinyl had become the popular medium, so I did not get an opportunity that I can recollect to own hard plastic dolls as a child. After a few years of collecting as an adult (artist dolls first), I became interested in vintage dolls. I went on a mission to acquire American-made black hard plastic dolls of the 1950s that I felt I "should" have owned as a child. It was not until about five years ago that I began adding hard plastic dolls from other countries to my collection.

      As soon as time permits, I am going to review the book I am reading on British hard plastic dolls. It contains several black and brown versions that I own. I hope you'll enjoy that post.

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  4. Your Rosebud doll is nice!! That is totally awesome that you have Doc Garrett to do your restringing AND her appointment was expedited! Lol! I love that your husband supports you and your love for doll collecting!!! That is truly phenomenal!

    Did you give her a name?

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    1. Hi G.G. It is a blessing to have a doctor on hand for these things I cannot do with as much precision as he can.

      He does support me, as long as the dolls don't migrate into other areas of the house. (Some have, though.)

      :-)

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!