Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Miss Carey by Tina Lee

Jack and Jill magazine, April 1941. Even with a limited palette, the artist Tina Lee creates interest with detail and variety in costume.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Joy, Good Fortune and Love

Who could ask for anything more? A vintage card from Carol Carey. The style reminds me of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Paper Girl with Six Changes, 1900

From the book, "What Shall We Do Now?: A book of suggestions for children's games and employments." Elizabeth Lucas and Edward Verrall Lucas, 1900. For more pictures, look here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Fun with Paper Dolls

Hallmark Cards. Artist: Shara. Date: I'm guessing within the last couple of years. My scanner does not do the colors justice. The reds and blues are deeper and brighter on the card--and that bottom hat is actually cherry red, not brown! Actually found this card today at a convenience store, a Christmas bonus on a day filled with many nice surprises. 

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Wishes, 1923

A greeting for the Wilburs of Medina, Ohio, from Mabel and Royal.

Mary Hamilton of Hallmark Cards

I enjoyed reading this article about Mary Hamilton, longtime artist for Hallmark. A tour of Hallmark was by all accounts one of the highlights of the Kansas City paper doll convention this year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Coming home for Christmas

This pretty card is sprinkled with sparkly sequins. No date, never mailed. Vintage sticker on the back.

"A Merry Xmas from Aunt Martha."  Sent to Miss Rosella Erdma in Mankato, Minn.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brenda Starr, 1945

Brenda Starr will no longer run in the newspapers as of Jan. 2, 2011. Click here for an article about the end of the strip.

The Washington Post says we haven't seen the last of Brenda, however:
Tribune Media Services says Brenda Starr won't retire entirely. Working with Hermes Press, the syndicate says that it will publish a series of books titled "Brenda Starr, Reporter by Dale Messick: The Collected Daily and Sunday Newspaper Strips" and that the first volume will appear in June.
Let's hope they include the paper dolls! Below, Dale Messick's classic Brenda, Jan. 7, 1945, click on image for larger view:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Brenda Starr Christmas, 1941

Brenda Starr and friends, Dec. 21, 1941. Just two weeks after Pearl Harbor. A comforting tableau for a difficult time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Munsingwear paper dolls, c 1920

Incomplete; each adult had a costume and hat, each child had two costumes and hats. These were affixed to card stock that shows foxing, so it might have been done by the original owner.  And yes, the bottom lady is missing her bottom half! But for $2.25 plus shipping, not a bad deal.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Toy Theaters

An excellent article in today's Times about toy theaters, with links to exhibit information in Connecticut, New Jersey and an annual convention in Germany.

Two years ago, I visited a toy theater festival in Brooklyn and wrote about it on my old blog.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mrs. Micawber

Another card playing off the popularity of a Dickens novel, this time the better known David Copperfield.
And once again, the David Perdue Dickens page explains the inside joke about Mrs. Micawber that might puzzle us today, but was well-known back when everyone read Dickens. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dolly Varden

Dolly Varden was a character in Barnaby Rudge, a popular Dickens novel, published in 1841 in weekly installments that was set during the anti-Catholic riots in London of 1780. This and more information can be found at David Perdue's Charles Dickens Page, which also has a link to the entire novel online.

 The Christmas card has no date. The inside greeting looks more like a rubber stamp than a fine printing.

Here's a tidbit about the Dolly Varden character from David Perdue:
Victorian readers were quite taken by the spoiled, coquettish daughter of the honest locksmith, Gabriel Varden. According to Vanda Foster and Richard Dunn in the Dickensian, Dolly inspired songs, dances, paintings, 'the Dolly Varden look' in ladies' fashion in the 1870's, and lending her name to a hat style, a spotted calico material, a species of trout, a variety of horse and the buffer on a railway tender.
William P. Frith's famous painting of Dolly Varden, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, was taken from the description given in chapter 19 of Barnaby Rudge:

"As to Dolly, there she was again, the very pink and pattern of good looks, in a smart little cherry-coloured mantle, with a hood of the same drawn over her head, and upon the top of that hood, a little straw hat trimmed with cherry-coloured ribbons, and worn the merest trifle on one side-just enough in short to make it the wickedest and most provoking head-dress that ever malicious milliner devised."
Here's the Frith painting of Dolly Varden posted on Perdue's website:

Goodness, just when I think I'm done, I come across some more information that I can't bear to leave out. Here's a blog that describes the Dolly Varden fashion craze: ZipZip's Vintage Sewing.  I do recall seeing a Dolly Varden paper doll in an auction catalog somewhere...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paper Playmates: Patricia, 1937

Another from the Dudley T. Fisher Jr. newspaper series, "For Junior Readers." Oct. 10, 1937. Check out the other Paper Playmates I have.  I seem to recall having a hand muff as a child. But maybe I've seen too many Shirley Temple movies.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Streetcars, 34th St., N.Y.C., c. 1890s

Here's the second sepia photo of a New York City street scene with streetcars (click to view larger image). Last Sunday it was 23rd St.

Today's photo is an older and darker print; the main purpose as you can see from the drawing in the top right corner was to sell billboard advertising. The photo looks north from Broadway, and off in the distance you can see the old New York Times building (with flag hand-drawn on a mast) and beyond that the distinctive roof of the Hotel Astor can be discerned, although the picture fades out even more at that point.   

Check out The Daily Postcard's Streetcar Sunday post today for a beautiful black and white shot of streetcars in Brisbane Australia.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

David's Convention Tidbits #3

The latest news from David Wolfe on the 2011 Paper Doll Convention:

Silent Auction for Connoisseur Collectors
For paper doll enthusiasts who are also serious collectors of original artwork and vintage treasures, the 2011 Convention will offer an exciting opportunity to add to their collections.  A new feature, a “Silent Auction” will be held.  Included in the exclusive array of items will be a few highly coveted vintage paper doll books and very special original artwork donated by some of the most popular artists creating paper dolls today.  Such works of art are truly priceless but they will be sold to the highest bidder.  Headed by Karl Beason, the Silent Auction items will be on display for a limited time during the Convention.  Each item will be accompanied by a “bidding sheet” and each bidder will be assigned a secret number assuring anonymity.  The bidder may then write his or her bid (identified only by the number, not their name).  Bidders can top up/raise their bids as often as they like.

Protecting Your Paper Doll Treasures
Paper dolls are fragile treasures and the care of a valuable collection is a vital concern.  How to keep the ravages of time from gradually destroying irreplaceable paper dolls?  Expert conservator Sarah Perlot knows how and she will be sharing her wealth of knowledge at the 2011 Convention. She will present a seminar explaining how the proper care and concern can keep paper dolls in prime condition over the years. 

And the winner of this year’s Fanny Gray Award is…..?
It’s a secret.  Every year the coveted Fanny Gray Award is bestowed upon a member (or several members) of the paper doll community.  It is named after the venerable antique paper doll and presented to someone whose contribution to the perpetuation of paper doll passion and service to the community is deemed worthy of recognition.  The Award itself will be created by Kwei-Lin Lum, the talented artist whose originality and creativity assure that the Award will be quite unique. This year’s winner (or winners) will be announced and celebrated at the banquet to be held on Saturday evening, August 20th during the 2011 Paper Doll Convention in Philadelphia at the Embassy Suites Airport Hotel.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dialect post card, 1913

A little Dutch girl and a funny dialect message. Dialect humor was all the rage in vaudeville, which was in its heyday in 1913. I love the card's bright colors and border.

Message to Miss Ruth Corcoran: "Some class to this town alright. If it is pleasant don't forget to come down on the 2."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

World War II posters

This is so far from the Norman Rockwell images I associate with the WWII era: dark and brooding, but fearless and determined, too. 

I love this FDR quote, new to me. Back when everyone shared in the sacrifice of war, and no one expected an easy victory. It was a grown-up world back then.

These two look like they walked over from the cover of a paper doll book. Sweet as can be.

All of these images are from Northwestern University's excellent digital library of World War II posters; click here to see more.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dolly Dingle cleans up c. 1923

These are cardboard cut-outs, part of a special portfolio published by the John H. Eggers Co. in the 1920s, which reproduced selected Dolly Dingle paper dolls from Pictorial Review magazine. Read more about the paper dolls and artist Grace Drayton at Tattered & Lost.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Streetcars on 23rd St., N.Y.C, 1913

I found this photo more than 20 years ago in an old book store. Could have been Ruby's downtown, near City Hall. The first thing I ever collected was old New York City scenes, mostly postcards. I found two of these prints, measuring roughly 7 x 10.5 inches. The Metropolitan Tower is still there, and the building on the left looks like the old Toy Building, but I'm not sure. Streets and landmarks are labeled at the bottom, perhaps as part of a survey for a new building in the area.

When I first purchased this photo, I assumed the Rice Leaders of the World Assn. were rice importers. Wrong! Turns out it was a good business group. I found this item from a Google search, what else:

A Tribute to Business Character, by Elwood E. Rice. Published by Rice Leaders of the World Association, 1930. This small, very beautifully printed book commemorates an award given to Fred and George Gruen at the Cincinnati Club, to honor them for their "business character." To belong to the Rice Leaders of the World, a business had to be financially secure and must have conducted all of its affairs in an ethical manner. Among the companies certified by Rice, Gruen was singled out for this special award (the first of its kind) on the 10th anniversary of their acceptance into the organization. The book contains speeches by Dr. Rice, Fred Gruen and George Gruen. Fred's comments elsewhere in the site, about his philosophy behind the guild theme, are from his speech here. This volume is in the Rare Books department of the Cincinnati Public Library.
That's the Gruen watch company.

And to read further about the Rice philosophy, click here. Here's a quote from the Rice creed: "A moral obligation is never denied by those who practice integrity in business." Hmm, would that mean a world with no hostile takeovers, no leveraged buyouts? No foreclosures? No layoffs, no furloughs, no pay cuts...? Certainly no Bernie Madoff.

We should all live so long.

Thanks to The Daily Postcard for her inspiration, Streetcar Sunday.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Miniatures at the Whitney

The artwork of Charles LeDray is in exquisite miniature fabrications. Here's a link to the Times review and the Whitney Museum, which has more pictures from the exhibition, recently opened and running through Feb. 13, 2011.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kellogg's Krumbles Greece Cut-Out Dolls

c. late 1940s-1950s.

Kellogg's Krumbles Mexico Cut-Out Dolls

The taste of Kellogg's Krumbles is long gone, but the paper dolls on the cereal box live on. I found the France dolls two years ago, but the Kellogg's logo was cut off (see here). Guessing late 1940s or 1950s.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Geraldine Farrar Movy Doll, 1919

This is a copy of the original that I bought several months ago. A Sip of Sarsaparilla wrote about her excellent find of Movy Dolls in August, including Farrar with a costume missing from this copy. I thought it was interesting how Movy Dolls added separate heads for different costumes. Totally confused me when I bought this bag of pieces (some original, some not) of Movy Dolls.

The complete, uncut portfolio of these beautiful dolls went for $296 on eBay this week. It's part of an impressive paper doll collection listed on eBay. See the listing and all the Movy dolls in the set here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jumbo the Elephant

Jumbomania is a nifty little 8-page fold-out booklet (about 4.5 x 6 inches when folded), with a history of Jumbo's star turn in the U.S., 1882-1885 (courtesy of P.T. Barnum, of course). Jumbo came to a sad end in an accident. (I'm beginning to think perhaps only Jenny Lind survived the Barnum hoopla, but I'd have to look up Tom Thumb's fate and many others to say for sure.) Beautifully illustrated with the "circus paper" that helped build the Jumbo legend: posters, tickets, trade cards, programs, lithographs, drawn from the archives of Ringling Bros. and other collections.  I bought this at the NY Art Book Fair earlier this month.  $10, a great stocking stuffer for the paper collector in your life (and no, I don't know the publisher, distributor or author of this little gem). Order from RAM Publications.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Paper Doll Convention Update: Registration Discount Deadline

Dec. 1 is right around the corner! Register today  to make sure you get the special rate of $275--it will go up to $295 after Dec. 1. Snail mail today will work, but why not go to Paper Studio Press for easy online registration: click here to go there.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Anita Stewart, 1916

"Our Fourth 'Movie' Paper Doll," The Ladies' World magazine, Dec. 1916. It's interesting how everyone was still settling on whether it would be "movie" or "movy" in the early days of cinema.

This was published in tones of sepia, gray and white, perhaps to cut costs during the war. The doll is wearing the costume she wore in The Wood Violet (1912). Bottom right: The Girl Philippa (1916) and center, bottom The Combat (1916). The other outfits are from her personal wardrobe, including the opera cloak, top center; a gown she wore for a photo session (see color image below), top right; and a beach cover-up, bottom left. You can read more about Anita Stewart's career at The Silent Collection.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dover Publications Secret Sale

 Well, not THAT secret. $20 off orders of $40 or more, if you use the coupon code. That's the best book deal I've heard of in a long while. The sale ends Nov. 30.

I love Dover's enormous selection of paper doll books, copyright free vintage graphics (like the one above), stickers, stationery and wrapping paper. And of course classics of world literature. 

Here's a sample of what I ordered tonight:

A beautiful alternative to traditional Christmas wrapping.

Here's Halle Berry in Bruce P. Jones' excellent Action Stars. Bruce is a regular at paper doll conventions, and his souvenirs are highly coveted. 

Kwei-lin's paper dolls, now on postcards! Kwei-lin is also a regular at conventions, and it's always exciting to see her perspective on a familiar topic, whether fortune cookies, West Side Story or the Day of the Dead. Her work is prized among collectors.

The Glitter Snow Princess by Eileen Rudisil Miller, new to me. I think her work is absolutely lovely.

Darcy May's enchanting artwork, another artist I'd love to meet at convention.