Thursday, November 19, 2020

Doll Gifts

This handwritten "thank you" note was attached to the outside of the shipping box used for my doll gifts.

Molly H. found two dolls in her garage and wanted to give them away. Molly and I have never met, but she found and chose me as their recipient after finding my blog and contact information. In her email, she asked if I would like to have them. Of course, I did.

Doll Gift #1

This Topsy-Turvy (two dolls that share the same body) is shown with the doll that has the deepest complexion. There is another doll underneath the skirt. There are no legs.

The first doll is a circa 1950s-1960s 12-inch two-in-one doll (two dolls that share one body) known as Topsy-Turvy. This well-made doll, according to one of my blog readers, Susan F., was a souvenir doll from Brazil, possibly a souvenir from Rio de Janeiro. The head and arms of the doll on one side (shown above) are made of black felt. The doll underneath has a medium brown face and arms made of felt. Both dolls have a mature bosom. 

By comparison, the clothes and accessories worn by the doll with the medium-brown complexion are more elaborate. The Black doll has coarse bangs with the rest of the head covered with a headscarf. The brown doll's bangs are silky. Historically, Topsy-Turvy dolls were a combination of a Black doll dressed as a servant on one side with a white doll dressed as a child or as a "mistress" on the other. While not Black and white, this Topsy-Turvy maintains the light versus dark theme and emphasizes the superior status stereotype of the brown doll.

In addition to using felt for the head and arms, felt was also used for the Black doll's side-glancing eyes and mouth. Her lips are parted exposing white felt that represents teeth. She wears gold-tone hoop earrings, a plastic multicolored beaded necklace, and carries a basket that has a white cloth inside. Perhaps the basket once contained bread or other wares to sell on the street.

This Black doll wears a white satin headscarf, a madras plaid shawl, a white satin blouse with lace trim, and cotton floral-print skirt with a ruffled hem.  

On the flip side, underneath the skirt of the Black doll is a doll with a medium-brown complexion. This doll wears a white lace blouse with a madras plaid shawl and a pink satin skirt accented at the hem with felt flowers. 

The brown doll has a basket of felt flowers and fruit attached to a blue satin headscarf. Black silky bangs are underneath the scarf.

The brown-complexioned doll wears gold dangle hoop earrings and a gold necklace that has a gold hand-shaped pendant which is "known as a figa and it is a symbol of good luck but also is related to the African culture of Brazil." (Blog-reader Susan F.)

Other accessories include gold bracelets and a multicolored plastic beaded necklace. Felt was used for her side-glancing eyes and red mouth, which is closed.

In this close-up, the brown doll's basket of felt fruit and flowers, and her silky black bangs are seen.

Doll Gift #2

Rosemary Rock Flowers

Rosemary Rock Flowers, a 6-1/2-inch vinyl doll with bendable arms and legs made by Mattel in 1971, was the second doll in the box from Molly. Rosemary Rock Flowers is part of a four-girl-doll set that included one male doll. She wears her original paisley-print dress that has a handkerchief hemline and her original pink aviator shades (a.k.a. nodders in the 1970s). Her shoes were missing.
Rosemary has an Afro.

The low-cut back of Rosemary's dress and the handkerchief hemline are seen in this full-length photo.

Using my memory of a sandal tutorial by former blogger Limbe Dolls, I made Rosemary a pair of sandals using purple ribbon and cut-outs of the shape of her feet onto a purple foam square. After tracing both feet onto the foam and cutting out the tracing, the ribbon strap was sandwiched between the two foam cutouts and glued in place to create sandals. A piece of double-sided tape on the insole helps secure them to her feet.

Rosemary Rock Flowers models her new sandals.

Thank you again, Molly, for your thoughtful doll gifts.

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There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.

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