Monday, March 26, 2018

Queen Mother Before, After, and After

Queen Mother was made by Carolynne White, circa 1998. She is a 37-inch paper clay with cloth body woman dressed in Afrocentric attire, matching scarf, and coordinating beaded earrings, necklace, and bracelet. Her synthetic black hair is styled in multiple braids.  Queen Mother is permanently attached to a wooden base made by the artist.

I am not sure if Carolynne named her, but when I took some recent photos of this doll, I decided to name her Queen Mother (and this was before enjoying the box office hit, Black Panther, wherein Angela Bassett plays the role of Queen Mother of Wakanda.)

A notation made in my Excel spreadsheet regarding this 2014 purchase reads:

"Purchased from [BF] of Michigan, who had the doll for sale at the 2014 Detroit Doll Show, where it did not sell. I saw a picture of [BF] at the show with this doll and others. I inquired about the doll after the show ended and purchased it. The doll arrived damaged (head separated from the body, and earrings which had been glued onto the scarf and face were peeled away from the face, which also peeled off some of the paper clay on the sides of the face. I repaired the doll's flaws on December 31st, a few weeks after FedEx reimbursed the doll's full cost due to the damage sustained during shipping."

First Photos

The earring, side-of-face, and neck damage are illustrated above.  (That black smudge area near her hairline is not on the doll.  Toward the end of its use, the camera used in 2014 to take these first photos would randomly place smudges on some of my photos.)

Queen Mother's head had been permanently attached to her neck.  Shipping caused the head to peel away from the neck, which removed the paint in this area as well.

This full-length photo of Queen Mother, taken after she arrived in November 2014, shows the neck damage was quite apparent.

I was devastated by Queen Mother's damage.  After sharing these first photos as proof of damage to the seller, who forwarded them to FedEx, FedEx provided reimbursement for the total cost of the doll.

1st Repair

Recent photo #1 illustrates how far off my original painting was during the initial 2014 repair  (To allow head movement, after painting the damaged areas in the opening of the head and the neck area, I decided not to reglue the head to the neck.)

Recent photo #2 further illustrates the mismatch in paint colors.  The brown I used was too light.

The earring repair was a success.

The three recent photos above show my repainting of the neck area did not quite match the original paint.  A few days after those photos, which brought the mismatch to my attention, I did a redo of the repair by mixing acrylic paints to achieve a better color match.

Repair Redo

Neck area was repainted.  The paint was extended down to the décolleté area with a makeup sponge. 

The area immediately around the head opening was repainted with the new mixture of brown paints.

The final repair illustrates a better blend of colors.
As noted, my initial repair was not quite cosmetically accurate, but the second repair is more aesthetically pleasing.

Queen Mother can now reign gracefully as the almost tallest doll here.

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  1. Thank You for sharing. Queen Mother looks wonderful. You did a Great job with her repair. I am happy to know that FedEx paid for damage and it made me smile �� to know that you saw Queen Mother at the 2014 Detroit Doll Show.

    1. You're welcome and thank you for commenting, Sandy! I'm so glad I was able to purchase her through the show and that FedEx reimbursed for the damage.


  2. She's beautiful. I love seeing the work of doll artists I'm not familiar with.


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