Sunday, April 26, 2015

Meet Alice & Dorothy, Miss Dolly Schoenhuts

Hi Doll Friends,

I am so excited to introduce you to Alice and Dorothy, two sweet little girls recently added to our little family.


Now, I guess you must think I have lost my mind and gone completely Schoenhut crazy. Well, that may be partly true, but I still love other dolls as well. In my defense, one of our sweet readers did comment when I got my first Schoenhut, that they were like potato chips and you couldn't have just one. :)

If you haven't already heard the story, you can click here read My Secret Is Out, about how I searched for six months before I found my first Schoenhut. Once my first doll, Martha, arrived, I knew she would not be the only one as I had originally intended. Next came Otto, a tiny 11' toddler. Then I ran across the most amazing deal, so you see I had no choice but to add sweet little Alice to my growing family.


Miss Dolly History 

Miss Dolly was made from 1915-1928. The company named her Miss Dolly, but like all of the other dolls, she was also given a model number, and hers was #316. Other Schoenhut dolls were modeled to look like real children, and they didn't have the typical "doll face." Miss Dolly was different however, because she was actually modeled to look like the German "dolly face" dolls.

At the time, these German bisque dolly face dolls were very popular in America. Trade embargoes meant that German goods could not be imported though, so supply ran out. Many little girls wanted the "pretty doll" with the lace, ruffles, and a dolly face, like the German dolls. Schoenhut filled that demand with their new Miss Dolly model.

When Schoenhut released Miss Dolly in 1915, her advertisement read, "An Invitation to Meet Miss Dolly Schoenhut Who can Do Almost Everything But Talk. No, Miss Dolly is not a real girl, but you can hardly tell the difference." (quoted from the original ad)

1915 Miss Dolly Ad

Her face is round with big low-set cheeks. She has a short, upturned nose. Her mouth was modeled to appear as if it is open, though it's not actually open. She has four upper teeth. She has large round eyes, painted either brown or blue. Her eyes were varnished to make them shiny to look like the German dolls' glass eyes. After 1920, Miss Dolly's eyes began to be decorated with decals rather than painted though. Alice has the painted eyes of the earlier Miss Dolly models.


Alice

I found Alice on eBay. Since these dolls have been around for the past century, I like to chronicle as much about each doll's history as possible. Her seller so kind to take the time to share with me where she came from. The eBay seller got her from a lady named Louise, a clock and watch collector, who had even written her own book about clock collecting back in 2000. She had many other antiques in her collection including about 45 dolls. She was downsizing her collection because she was moving to Florida to retire. Louise purchased Alice at an Estate Sale about 45 years ago from her original owner who received her for Christmas when she was a child.


Alice is a 17" tall Miss Dolly. She has the earlier impressed mark, which was used from 1911 through around 1918. The green decal mark was used from 1916 on, but either mark might have been used during the transition from impressed to decal.


She has all of the wonderful Schoenhut articulation with metal spring joints, which gives the ability to be posed in and hold just about any position. They are also able to hold on to things better than any other doll I've seen.


To make posing Schoenhuts even more fun, I would highly recommend these wonderful replacement stands made by a very sweet doll collector and her husband from Texas. Click here to see their stands on Etsy. Most Schoenhuts have lost their original stands long ago, but this is a perfect replacement, modeled after the original stands. The innovative Schoenhut stand has a short peg that fits into one of the two holes in the bottom of either foot.


Alice still has her original soft mohair wig. When you lift up the hair, you can see the rows of mohair attached to the wig cap.


There are tiny nails that attach the wig cap to the doll's wooden head.


I gently restyled the soft mohair of Alice's original long curl wig and added a wide 100% silk ribbon bow.


Alice with her favorite teddy bear.


Dorothy

I fell in love with Dorothy's sweet chubby cheeks when I saw her for sale on a Facebook group. She is actually the same face mold as Alice, but she is the larger 19" size. The bigger they are, the bigger their cheeks, I guess. :)


The seller said that she bought her from a dealer at a Doll Show. The dealer had her hidden in the back of her table, because she had arranged to sell her to someone who was meeting her there. Later that day, she noticed that the dealer still had her. At the end of the day, she was able to buy her since the dealer never heard back from the other buyer. The dealer said that she bought her from an elderly woman in her 90's.


Since I had sent the seller a picture of my other Schoenhuts, I guess she noticed that they were all holding a favorite Teddy Bear in the picture. When I opened Dorothy's box and unwrapped her, hugged tightly in her arms was this tiny white Teddy Bear. Her sweet seller had sent her with a traveling companion to keep her company on her journey to her new home.


Like Alice, Dorothy has the impressed mark on her back.


Dorothy has brown decal eyes, whereas Alice has blue painted eyes. Here you can see the difference between the painted eye and the decal eye.


Dorothy has the same metal spring joints and wonderful articulation. I am amazed at how well this 19" tall doll can hold a pose standing on one foot.



The doll can really pose to the fullest potential with these stands from Etsy. Love them!


Dorothy has her original soft mohair wig still nailed in place.


She came to me with her hair brushed down and her curls flipped under, so I gently restyled it to look more like it did originally and added a wide 100% silk ribbon bow. Here is how her hair looked before and after restyling.


This is how it looks now from every angle. I love how the original mohair wigs look with a little styling.


Family Pictures

I just wanted to add a few of my favorite new Schoenhut family photos and do a little side by side size comparison.

Dorothy 19", Alice 17", Martha 16", and Otto 11"

Alice and Dorothy playing patty cake.


The whole gang gathered 'round the piano.


Dorothy takes good care of Otto.


All the girls like to take care of their baby brother.


And they are doing a great job.


Thank you for helping to welcome Alice and Dorothy into our family. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
We'd love to hear from you!


 Hugs 


16 comments:

  1. I just knew once you had one, there would be more! They are addictive aren't they? So individual as well. Just love your newest two, they are in such lovely condition as well, amazing for their age. They certainly look very happy to have joined your family. Beautiful girls indeed.

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    1. Thank you so much Lorraine! Yes, you are so right, they are quite addictive indeed. :)
      Hugs,
      Lisa

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  2. You are getting quite a collection! I love them all but if I had to choose I would go for Martha bacause of her more childlike features. Alice and Dorothy do resemble the German dolls very much. And little Otto is just too cute.
    It's really amazing how well you can pose them and I wonder why this type of doll disappeared.
    Planning on adding a few more Schoenhut dolls? I don't doubt they're addictive. ;)
    Linda

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    1. Hi Linda,
      I have to admit that Martha is my favorite too. I think it's because she was my first. I spent six months searching for her, and she is exactly what I wanted.

      To answer your question about why these dolls disappeared, it was due to the Great Depression. During that time, people couldn't afford to buy dolls or toys. With sales diminished, the company declared bankruptcy. It is such a shame. No other doll can even compare to the level of posing ability of these dolls. It really is amazing.

      I can see the possibility of more Schoenhuts in our future. :)
      Lisa

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  3. Quite a collection in a short period of time! You've made me want a Schoenhut too! They're wonderful.They all look so different, yet identifiably Schoenhut.

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    1. Hi Tam! I am quite enamored with these dolls! They are pretty wonderful, and they can pose like no other with their spring jointing. :)
      Lisa

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  4. All your little family is sweet; I love Alice's dress especially.

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    1. Thanks Barb! Alice's dress was made by Sharon, who makes the most wonderful doll clothes. She has just set up a new shop on Facebook called the Creation Station where you can see all of her creations:
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Schoenhut-Doll-Clothes-Schoey-Couture-from-the-Creation-Station/1582695321948061?fref=ts

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  5. Amazing finds! I love their sweet little faces. Martha is my favorite as well, but I really like the two new girls. Thank you for providing so much interesting history. I love learning about different dolls. How does Otto feel about having all of these lovely ladies around? :)

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    1. Thanks Farrah! I love learning about the history of antique dolls too. Otto loves his sisters, but he'd really like to have a brother to pal around with. :)
      Lisa

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  6. They're lovely - and I'm always stunned by the posing abilities that these dolls have.

    And if you're going to go crazy, I'd think that Schoenhut crazy is the way to go! ;)

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    1. Thanks jSarie! I've been doll crazy for a long time. Now I guess I can add Schoenhut crazy to that list. A whole 'nother kind of crazy! :) I got sucked in by that stunning posing ability and the precious wooden faces that can make so many cute childlike expressions. Am I crazy to be crazy??? :)
      Lisa

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    1. Thank you Shelley! Hope you have a wonderful, blessed day!
      Lisa

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  8. Wow, how wonderful these dolls are - and to keep them around to be loved and shared for maybe another 100 years is a lovely thought. Thanks for sharing their stories - take care ^_^

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Thanks so much for stopping by. I'd love it if you left a comment to let me know you were here. Have a wonderful day!