Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

Another fabulous articulated doll by artist Sandy Vanderpool, who had a few for sale at convention. Love the dark expression!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Frolic

A paper doll I've never seen before, found on the web, when I searched for images on Google of paper dolls and recortables (cut-outs in Spanish). Wish I had saved the web location. Looks like a 1930s comic strip paper doll.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Betty Bonnet's Halloween Party, 1917

Remember to click for a larger image.

On the reverse, expert nutrition advice, 1917. "How does the stomach treat the banana?"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Metta Wooster, 1926

This is the back of the Cousin Carrie page. Don't recognize any of these 1926 theatrical stars.

Metta Wooster looks like she might have had the wise-cracking Eve Arden role of early Broadway. Her barely disguised sneer stands out from the rest of the romantics and vamps on the page.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sylvia Field, 1926

From the back of the Peter Pryde page.
Sylvia Field is the freshest face here, and talented enough to be in a play by George S. Kaufman, who is even today highly regarded in Broadway history.
I recognize the names Fay Bainter (from crossword puzzles!) and Nancy Carroll (isn't she a paper doll, too?).

UPDATE: Sylvia Field had a long career, from Broadway to TV. She was Mrs. Wilson on the old Dennis The Menace TV show. From the internet (where else?):
Sylvia Field's several-decades-long career encompassed performances on stage, screen, and television, where she was best known for playing the kindhearted Mrs. Wilson opposite crotchety Joseph Kearns and mischievous towhead Jay North on Dennis the Menace between 1959 and 1962. Born and raised in Boston, Field was 17 when she launched her professional career in a Broadway production of The Bluebird. She entered films in The Exalted Flapper (1929) and would appear in eight more features before retiring from movies in 1958 after appearing in Annette. Married to comedian Ernest Truex since the 1940s, she made her television debut along with him in Mr. Peepers. The show was produced in New York and ran three years before Field and her family decided to quit the show and move to Southern California. Following her departure from Dennis the Menace (which was precipitated by the death of Kearns), Field continued to appear as a television guest star on series such as Perry Mason and Father Knows Best. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Peter Pryde, 1926 uncut

Another convention find: the uncut sheets of two Pryde paper dolls that I had cut and incomplete versions of (and posted here back in July). Pictorial Review, Feb. 1926.

2nd Annual Texas Paper Doll Party

Yes, that's Tom Tierney, and your chance to see the artist in his lair. I heard some wonderful stories about the first party, held earlier this year.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lauren Bacall by Marilyn Henry

Found my first night at the convention, when I was browsing the boxes in a seller's room -- if you've never been to a convention that will sound strange. Many paper doll vendors sell out of their rooms before the opening of the official salesroom.

This beauty was published by Marilyn Henry in 1990, and has two dolls and six pages of clothing. It measures roughly 10-1/2 by 12-1/2 inches.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Valkyrie! by Trina Robbins

This ran on the back page of the Airboy comic book, 1987, Eclipse Comics.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Benji by Evelyn Gathings

1987. Another fun find from the convention freebie table. I was wondering why the pup had a copy of Variety, then I took a closer look at his dogtag--Benji, of course!

Check out Gathings' Flower Girl and Forest Boy on Marge Schaffer's blog:

By the way, I've added Mary Bolster's updated website to the links on the left. Mary keeps an excellent clearinghouse of information about paper doll collecting, including reference books, websites, newsletters and events.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Winnie Winkle Paper Doll c. 1930s

I was filing away some paper dolls and found this one, which I thought I had posted before but apparently didn't. Love the Style Story hook, with the paper dolls illustrating a little tale. Early version Winnie is always interesting--quite the vamp. By the time I read Winnie Winkle in the 1960s, she looked like TV mom Donna Reed. Prim.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Marie Laveau, Voodoo Priestess Paper Doll

Think you've seen everything Tom can do? Think again.

I've long been fascinated by the blending of religions in the Caribbean, such as santeria in Puerto Rico and Cuba, which incorporates Catholicism with ancient Yoruba beliefs in spirits and gods. In this book, Tom explains how that process occurred in New Orleans with voodoo and Catholicism.

This is a beautiful, extraordinary work. I loved finding the similarities between santeria and voodoo, in costumes and certain beliefs, names given to "orishas" like Elegua. This is a 48 page all-color book with 24 dolls and costumes. Tom's research and writing-- and his rendering of Laveau and the various voodoo spirits -- are outstanding.

You can order directly from Schiffer at

From the Schiffer website:
Paper dolls and accurate costume details help take you inside the world of Marie Laveau (1794 -1881) New Orleans' powerful "voodoo queen." Laveau was both widely respected as a healer to all who sought her help and feared as a woman capable of putting a powerful hex on any enemy. She bartered information, liaisons, and love potions to black and white alike, and was believed capable of solving everything from unrequited love to the desire to win elections. Join the fascinated onlookers who once paid admission to watch her lead the famous Voodoo rituals in Congo Square. Marie Laveau left a legacy on the spiritual life of New Orleans, melding Voodoo traditions from Africa and Haiti with Catholic symbols and customs. This book includes dolls of Laveau at various stages of her life, along with the important people in her life, including lovers, mentors, and all-important Voodoo deities.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Changes by John Axe

A very clever layout--one of my favorites--by our beloved John Axe, Contemporary Doll Magazine, 1992.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Curly Top by John Axe

A 1996 doll magazine insert, I think. Or a long ago convention souvenir?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

British bear scrap

The kind of quirky salesroom find that I never look for, but once found, can't resist...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Columbine and Harlequin

Another freebie: the 2006 L.A. Spring Fling menu, featuring jointed paper dolls by Kwei-lin Lum.

UPDATE: In her comments below, Kwei-lin mentions the Turnabout Theatre. Here's a link to a website with more information about that whimsical theatre of marionettes:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dress Me Doggie

Another freebie found in Las Vegas: repro of an old paper doll. Deanna has a knack for using vintage images to produce souvenir menus at her events. This might have been a menu cover from the L.A. convention in 2005, or one of the luncheons.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Bunny Bungalow, 1925

Another fun convention find: a page from Child Life magazine, April 1925.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Movy Dolls, 1920

A reproduction of a well-known series, Movy Dolls. The illustrations by Percy Reeves are a cut above the usual for this kind of celebrity series (compare to the previous Douglas Fairbanks I posted).

Reeves' Jumbo Movy Dolls are larger, and just as gorgeous (I want to guess and say about 12 to 16 inches tall, but not sure--I have seen these at conventions in the past). Here's an image of actress Lila Lee, captured from the internet a couple of years ago:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Two gentlemen of the paper doll world

Norma Lu Meehan's lovely tribute to Gene Maiden and John Axe. It's only right that they're shown with their convention name-tags!

The original watercolor was in the raffle (can't remember who won); these prints, on sale in the salesroom, were numbered (the one I bought is 36 of 44), so I assume this is a limited edition.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Freebie table scraps

The highlight of every convention is the Freebie table. Deanna and crew had several tables to spread the goodies out. There were souvenirs from past conventions, repro of vintage paper dolls, old magazines, and these adorable vintage scraps. Lots of fun, and plenty for everyone to pick through.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Douglas Fairbanks

No date or publisher on this sheet, and no info in the reference books I have. But who can resist a star of the silent era?

Update: I had this incorrectly as Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; he came later.

Anne Donze's blog

Anne K. Donze has posted convention pictures at

Here she is with the King of the Paper Dolls, Tom Tierney.

Hey Anne, when you have the time, scan in some of your convention finds, too. I was late to the $1 sale table of Gene Maiden items, did you score any?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Miss Florence, c. 1860s

My thrilling find for this convention: Miss Florence by Clark, Austin & Smith, c. 1860s.

I have the Tattered and Lost ephemera blog to thank for the story behind this series of dolls, "The Girls' Delight." Check out this link to see Miss Hattie, another doll in the series, and for more information about Miss Florence:

And thanks to T and L for allowing me to reprint here the anonymous comment that appeared on her blog back in February, when she posted Miss Hattie:

I can tell you a bit more about Miss Hattie. She was the daughter of Cornelius Smith, who was the Smith of Clark, Austin and Smith (and also the brother of Winthrop B Smith who published the McGuffey readers). Clark was Lucius Ebeneezer Clark and he and Cornelius Smith were brothers in law. Miss Hattie was the 2nd paper doll CAS brought out, the first being Miss Florence, daughter of Lucius Ebeneer Clark and Miss Hattie's cousin. It was Lucius' (Miss Florence's father) idea (they were book publishers in New York City on Broadway) to bring out a series of paperdolls, based on a book called Paper Dolls and How to Make them by Anson Randolph (another contemporary NY Publishers). They sold very well, with minimal profit (According to the family geneology), but the idea quickly caught on and other publishers got into the business too. Eventually they sold the paperdoll plates to McLoughlin Brothers who eventually became Milton Bradley. I know all this because Lucius is my great-great-grandfather. Thank you for rescuing Hattie from obscurity. These dolls are beautiful, hand water colored by anonymous women artists of the day. It amazes me how well kids could cut with scissors in the 1850's (the dresses came on one sheet of paper in an envelope with the doll on cardstock and needed to be cut out).

The writer, a descendant of the Clark family, has reached out again to the blogger at Tattered and Lost, and is willing to talk more about the company.

My question would be: Does Milton Bradley still have the plates for these dolls after all of these years? Did you yourself have these dolls, or collect other paper dolls?

And wouldn't it be great if the Clark relative could make it to next year's convention in Kansas City, MO, July 1-4?

West Berlin paper doll, c. 1950s

There is a larger version of this paper doll page; the one shown here is a squarish 6-1/2 by 6-1/4 inches.
West Berlin was created in 1949 in the post-World War 2 era, of course, and was firmly established with the wall or Iron Curtain that went up in 1961 and lasted until 1990.
Given the style of the clothing and the age of the paper, I would place this version closer to the 1950s. The original, larger page might have been the 1930s, but I'm not sure.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recortables Bruguera, 1959

I love finding paper doll sheets from Spain, a country dear to my heart. This is signed "Mary Mely" with the name "Bombou" and the adorable logo for Recortables Bruguera with the little girl's face.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Collage dolls by Sandy Vanderpool

I love the places Sandy Vanderpool is going with her art and paper dolls. She had several of these articulated paper dolls for sale at the convention, but not many--I snapped up two. They went fast.

Sandy also led an altered book class with Beverly Micucci. Sandy brought the books--covers and pages already prepped with acrylic paint-- and loads of supplies for us to use, including ribbons, rubber stamps, stickers and copies of vintage ephemera. We created pockets and decorated tags that told the story of Daphne, a young woman who traveled to Paris c. 1928 (her postcard was the inspiration for Sandy's original project) Sandy's original altered book was our road map, a great way to help us learn a technique and create a model for future projects at the same time.

Of course, there was a paper doll with wardrobe to slip into a pocket in the book. I'll scan in sample pages soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Good Housekeeping, 1945

Now that I'm back from the convention, I have a lot of good housekeeping to take care of -- including scanning in pictures of my salesroom finds.

Meanwhile, here's a great vintage cover from the blog called Thanks to Tattered and Lost for sharing this link. If you love illustration, and the artists who once reigned in popular magazines, check it out.

This cover is the work of Alex Ross, April 1945.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The NYC Paper Doll Group

The paper doll group that meets in Manhattan once a month is comprised of Carol Carey and Pat Whalen from Brooklyn, Joan Burke from Suffern, NY, myself (I take the bus in from NJ) and occasionally Karen Hamm, a music teacher in Manhattan who incorporates paper doll pieces in her original scrapbooks.

We take turns bringing in a paper doll to dress--here's one from Carol's collection--with Carol's own imaginative designs: part scrap paper, doily and store-bought doodads, part elements of an old set (the rabbit tucked under the arm of the pajamas). I've learned a lot from Carol's subtle and restrained use of watercolor- type markers to suggest folds, pleats, and other contours.