Friday, January 8, 2021

17-inch Flirty-Eyed Doll by Samco of Italy

A 1950s 17-inch hard plastic doll by Samco of Italy has a black mohair wig.

This doll (redressed as shown above) is like the doll that I missed buying on eBay a couple of years ago. The regret over the missed opportunity to buy the later-desired doll led to a dedicated search for it. During the search, I found four other 1950s hard plastic dolls made in Italy, which have been written about in separate posts.

The eBay doll that prompted my search, seen here, is 14 inches tall and dressed in original clothes. The one in this post is 17-inches tall. Before finding it, I did not know this size existed. 

In December 2020, in my doll group, I posted a picture of the 14-inch version along with my desire to own it. One of the members responded that she was willing to sell hers, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The doll was redressed upon arrival in a cute red corduroy dress as shown in the first picture. She arrived also wearing red shoes that the seller added, but I wanted to redress her in something that would be close to the style she wore originally. 

A vintage folded cloth napkin

Initially, I was going to try to hand-sew a Caribbean-style midriff top and matching skirt using a cloth napkin that I purchased several years ago from Pier 1 Imports. I chose the napkin because the colors match the peach fabric flowers in the doll's hair. I opted instead to use a 9 x 12-inch blue floral piece of felt to make the dress she is shown wearing below. 

This lovely doll models the dress and sandals I made for her.

The dress color complements her eye color. The dress is hot-glued onto the doll's body. I used a thin piece of cardboard under each area that was hot glued to prevent body damage from the hot glue. The cardboard was removed after the glue set.

She has flirty blue eyes that move from left to right when she is moved. I removed her loose eyelashes, which had been replaced by a former owner. She still has remnants of the original eyelashes that are very short and stuck underneath the eyelid. I will remove these later with tweezers and try to add individual lashes.


These are the sandals I made.

The sandals have cardstock soles. (I had recently discarded the package of a Fresh Doll fashion and used the colorful print of the package cardstock as the insole because the colors match the colors of the dress.)


Here is a look at the dress from the back.

I wish I had the patience and the skill set to sew. I will eventually have someone make a replica of the doll's original dress. In the meantime, I will enjoy her in the dress and shoes I made. 

In the next two photos, this doll, whose name is unknown, poses with other dolls that I purchased in my pursuit of her.

L-R (all are hard plastic and made in Italy during the 1950s): The Samco doll, another 17-inch blue-eyed unmarked doll, a 13-inch unmarked doll with blue eyes, and Furga's 16-inch Hula Doll from 1957. 

These lovely dolls are seen in a close-up pose.


There is a fifth 1950s hard plastic doll made in Italy* that I did not include in this post because that doll's original clothes are not islander style. A link to her blog post is included under Related Links.

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To utilize the too-cute dress and the separate blouse the Samco doll arrived wearing, I tried it on several different dolls until I found a doll that can wear it. 

The dress looks almost like it was made for Saralee's Sister...

...but it is an even better fit on this 17-inch doll that I named Milan Marie. The shoes, sent by the Samco doll's seller, which did not fit Saralee's Sister, fit Milan Marie. She needs socks, which I will make and add later using a white stretch headband. (I believe the socks Saralee's sis wears were originally Milan Marie's.)


Take a closer look at the red shoes which were formerly slip-ons that someone converted to ankle straps by sewing a tan strap to the back of each.

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I am very pleased that I own the Samco doll. I am not actively searching for the 14-inch version (the one that first caught my attention), but should it happen to find me, I will welcome it with open arms.

Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Related Links

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