I scanned this rare copy of the Cincinnati Doll Co. catalog from 1924. They offered several different models of the composition dolls which are often called “carnival Kewpies” by collectors. These are not real Kewpie dolls, and were also sold in stores as well as given as carnival prizes. Their doll lamps are interesting too. I saw one of these at an auction recently, but unfortunately didn’t win it. (Note to self: take pictures of stuff at auctions!) The company offered other items in addition to dolls, I am including those pages too.
This article was published in the December 25, 1956 issue of Look magazine, and shows the brand new (at that time) Poor Pitiful Pearl doll by Brookglad, in her original outfit and the extra dress that she came with. Her creator, William Steig, was very well known at that time as an illustrator and cartoonist, primarily for The New Yorker magazine. What especially interesting here is the illustration showing his original drawing of Pearl. The article states that there would be a Poor Pitiful Pearl book the following spring, but I can’t find any information to confirm that it was ever published. He began a second career illustrating children’s books in the late 1960s, and it’s this work for which he is best remembered today.
This 28″ doll has a hard plastic torso and legs with soft vinyl head and arms. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. She has an unusual construction in that her face and legs, with high heel feet, are obviously adult, while her flat-chested, pot-bellied torso and stubby arms are more like a child. She is a walking doll and her head turns.
She has blonde hair rooted in a short, curly style, vibrant blue sleep eyes with lashes, and painted lashes under each eye. Her lips are red, while her fingernails are more of a rosy peach color. Her toenails are unpainted.
She is marked “EEGEE” on the back of her neck.
Our blushing bride wears a satin, lace and tulle wedding gown which was available in a variety of styles. Her wired hoop petticoat is attached, and she also wears white taffeta panties, nylon hose and American Character style white heels. Her jewelry also varied, but would have included teardrop pearl earrings, a rhinestone engagement ring, and some type of neckace. She carries a small bouquet of white fabric flowers. Her tulle veil may be decorated with rhinestones, flowers, braid, netting or all of the above. The same doll was also sold in a street dress under the name Little Debutante.
Doreena Ballerina was advertised by Valentine in 1957. She has a vinyl head with sleep eyes and rooted hair; vinyl arms; hard plastic torso; and hard plastic legs with jointed knees and ankles, so she can wear flats, high heels or ballet slippers. She was available in a variety of ballet costumes, which are pictured in the brochure that came with her. Her special stand enables her to pose on her toes. An extra outfit was packaged with her, so she could change into street clothes.
Doreena was also sold with a 40 piece “Ballet Tour” gift set which included a stage set.
20″ Concertina was advertised by Valentine in 1958. She could be purchased in her Swan Lake costume, or in a gift set with several extra outfits. She has a hard plastic body with jointed knees and ankles, and a vinyl head with rooted hair and sleep eyes. Her “Swiss musical movement” I think would indicate that it is wind up rather than battery operated. If you have this doll, or any more information, please leave a comment and tell us about her.
Kerr & Hinz was the trade name for a line of small all bisque dolls made by the Santa Clara Tile Co. in the 1930s and ’40s. They originally made dolls for Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls, then began selling the dolls under their own name. A lawsuit followed, and the remaining stock was forgotten in a warehouse until it was discovered in the 1970s.
The company made babies, pudgy toddlers and slim children from 4″ to 7″ tall. They are incised K&H USA on their backs. The girls have mohair wigs. Dolls were sold dressed and undressed. Kerr & Hinz dolls were popular with women’s groups who bought them by the dozen to costume and sell at fundraisers.
A Wedding Party set was made with bride, groom, flower girl, ring bearer, and four bridesmaids. See it here.