Thursday, July 30, 2009

Peter Pryde

Peggy Pryde's Little Brother Peter, Pictorial Review, February 1926.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Peggy Pryde

Pictorial Review, January 1926.

The series of Peggy Pryde and Her Playmates ran in Pictorial Review from January through May, 1926. (This cut set is incomplete.) Margery Schaffer has a few others on her blog, so be sure to check it out:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Virginia Weidler paper doll, 1942

I don't usually collect celebrity dolls, but once in awhile I find a cut set at a good price (usually at conventions, not on eBay). Here's one I bought at Jayne Keller's paper doll party a couple of years ago.

I always loved Weidler in The Women and The Philadelphia Story, and once I found she had a paper doll, I hunted it down. Whitman Pub., 1942. It might have been a wartime economy to have two dolls in the same pose; usually two dolls are posed differently and have different wardrobes.

Virginia Weidler died awfully young, at the age of 41, of a heart attack.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Illustration by Jillian Tamaki

Always a thrill to see a reminder of how effective and evocative a newspaper illustration can be, even in this day of digital imagery.

The Times story, Sudden Finale, is by Daniel J. Wakin, about dancers laid off from the New York City Ballet. The Great Recession indeed.

Illustrator: Jillian Tamaki.

Miss Mindy's Sassy Paper Doll Bonanza

I heard about this book two years ago, when the title was previewed on Amazon--no pictures, just the title. Never saw it promoted or displayed beyond that. Then in May Kwei-lin sends me a copy--wow. Great colors and layout, lovely paper, hilarious illustrations. But then, I am quite fond of old-time burlesque, the raunch of yesteryear.

Go to Amazon and type in Miss Mindy. Better yet, visit her website:

Three cheers for Miss Mindy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Midsummer Reverie, 1917

Harrison Fisher, artist. These and many more images can be found on the New York Public Library website. Libraries and museums around the world have put a trove of vintage photos and illustrations online.

"Sure Good" Ice Cream Bar

An unused ice cream bar wrapper from days gone by, found a few weeks ago in an antique store in Park Slope.

Friday, July 24, 2009

All About Scissors

Cynthia Wuthrich of New Hope, Pa., sent the following:

Saw your blog about the scissors for someone with arthritis... my suggestion is to go to Michaels or maybe AC Moore and look for the Fiskars Softouch scissors with no handles... they are the best scissors ever as far as I'm concerned... you wrap your whole hand around them and you have incredible control... they also have very tiny cutting tips... I can't remember the price, but they weren't too expensive as I have about 4 or 5 pairs of them now... like to have them in various spots (studio, by my chair, on the desk, etc....)

The page of scissors is from Crap Hound No.6, Revised 2nd edition, June 2006.

Growing up dolls, October 1957

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Growing up dolls, April 1957

By Ann Eshner for Jack and Jill, April 1957. I ran this last year, but decided to run it once more because I found more in the series. My set is incomplete, but always fun to search for.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jack Cranford by Tuck

This is a Jack Cranford in much better condition, albeit with only one outfit, that I found years ago on eBay. It also came with a coat that I learned belonged to Jessie Cranford, the little girl who is also part of this Tuck set.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jenny Cranford by Tuck

More from the Cranford Children by Tuck. This is Jenny, missing some limbs; I fooled around with Paint, copying and pasting to make her whole. The Cranfords are my favorites in the Tuck series; these were part of my Morphy auction wins back in May.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jane the Nurse

Jane the Nurse, from the Cranford Children series of Dressing Dolls, published by Raphael Tuck. The patent date on the back says 1894, but this series of paper dolls is listed in the 1910-1936 section of the Blair and Margaret Whitton collector's guide.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Little Man, 1946

Found at the Laughing Cat antique shop in Genoa, Illinois, last weekend. The owner of the shop guessed that it was a page from a calendar salesman's sample book. I love this picture, not only for the humane portrait in an era when caricature of African-Americans was more common (and this no doubt was shown to potential black customers only) but because of the title, "Little Man," a phrase I've heard black families use to describe boy toddlers in the present day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hi Alexandra!

eople of all ages love paper dolls, but I'm especially pleased to know Alexandra, 14, has been checking in on this blog. She recently asked for advice on cutting techniques, especially since she has arthritis in her hands. I'm wondering if people who share Alexandra's affliction have some specific advice. My hunch is that small scissor points with large handles might make it easier to control the cutting, and ease the stress on fingers.

Be sure to check out one of my favorite blogs, Agence Eureka (see link on side of this page, under Lovely Links). In the last few days, Patricia at Agence has posted some more wonderful vintage paper toys.

I hope to see Alexandra join us at a future convention--this year's event in Las Vegas is fast approaching, so be sure to get your registration in!

New York Herald billhead, 1889

A great relic from the early days of the newspaper business: A bill for an ad for Webster's unabridged dictionary. The 28-line ad will run once, for $3.50.

The New York Herald is one of the storied newspapers of the era, publisher James Gordon Bennett one of its legendary figures. Note the newspaper also took on side work, book and job printing and show bills.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Newark billhead, 1903

I work not far from this site, and will have to check to see if 37 Clinton still exists! Sadly, we know the business itself is long gone.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jimmy Olsen paper doll

I think this is Jimmy Olsen from the Superman comic strip because he appears to be clutching a (missing) camera, the old-fashioned bulky kind. Jimmy Olsen was the photographer on the Daily Planet. Or he could be another character from Tillie the Toiler or Jane Arden...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

De Papel in Madrid

Another excellent article in the NY Times regarding art and design. This time, a paper store in Madrid.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The John Axe doll collection II

The one and only Barbie, the original shown here was produced by Mattel in 1959.

Jill by Vogue, with original wood furnishings, 1958.

Muffie by Story Book Dolls, 1955.

American Cissette by Alexander, 1958.

Sabu, by Molly-e, 1940.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The John Axe doll collection

On July 12 in Atlanta, Theriaults will hold the auction "Playful Art, Dolls of American Childhood," featuring dolls from the private collection of John Axe. Check out the catalog at for more wonderful pictures.

John had a wonderful eye as an artist and a collector. How we will miss him and his delightful sense of humor. Here are some samples from his collection, with notes from the Theriault catalog:

Effanbee, from their "American Children" series, designed by Dewees Cochran, circa 1937.

"Sally", designed as a competitor to the popular Patsy doll of Effanbee. American Character, circa 1935.

Effanbee Patsy (head) Effanbee Patricia (torso). A rare original "factory put-together"model with very fine original finish, rarer sleep eyes. Effanbee, circa 1935.

Patsy dolls, 1932, and Patsyette, 1935.

The dolls were designed by Harriet Flanders who also wrote a book "Little Cherubs" featuring her dolls, and they were marketed by Georgene Averill, circa 1937.