Mum tells me the doll was German, and checking in my copy of The Ultimate Doll Book, I see that dolls from German makers were very popular from the 1890’s to 1930’s. This picture would have been about 1925, and the book has a picture of a doll by one of the lesser known makers, from that very year, which is quite similar. With a height of 70 cms (28 ins) the size looks about right too. However, Mum tells me her doll was not bisque but celluloid, another popular material until the 1950s. Rosie was much loved, and you can see why; shaped and sized like a real baby, with expressive hands and pretty face. Her clothes would all have been made by the family, my Grandmother and possibly Great-grandmother, both talented craftswomen. At some point Mum was deemed too old for Rosie and she was given to a neighbour’s children, along with mum’s treasured doll’s pram. Imagine her heartbreak on finding both Rosie and the pram abused by the pair, to the point of destruction. She has often recalled this story over the years, so I am sure it was an upsetting incident. Even more galling, when the family, much later, realised that Rosie would have been worth a tidy sum had she stayed with her original owners, who knew how to care for her.
Back in September I used my favourite picture of a girl with a doll when I posted about little Miss Mary Carter, In Her Sunday Best, where I ended the post with a picture of me, aged two, clutching my dolly and being as cute as I possibly could. Less familiar will be the picture of me aged ten, with Topsy, my much loved black dolly (yes she was; there’s no other way to describe her), who later would spend many happy hours with my daughter, and now awaits love and kisses from my grandaughter (and possibly her brother). So, if one picture of me being angelic isn’t enough, here’s another, in a local park, with a different doll.
And, striking a similar pose, my daughter, checking that her new dolly has both eyes!
If you visited my other blog, 'Picking Up The Threads’ last week, it will not have escaped your attention that, like my mother and grandmother before me, I like to make things, especially dolls and soft toys. Because I get nostalgic for the old days (hence my participation in Sepia Saturday), I have recently re-created for my grandchildren, toys, originally made for my children, as I did last week in A Makeover For Blue Bunny. If you pop over there and click on If You Knew Susie Like My New Susie, and the links on that page, you can see another dolly being re-incarnated. One Sepia Saturday follower did just that and now she’s going to make the same doll!
Here’s another one I made for my daughter, again, now passed on to my grandaughter. This one is a ‘Cinderella Upside-down doll’. My daughter is holding the doll in her ragged state, but when she is tipped over, and the skirt brought down over the raggedy Cinders, the beautiful Cinderella is revealed, dressed in all her finery. However, Cinderella appears to have fallen asleep, worn out no doubt by the exertions of the ball and the attentions of the handsome prince.
And here is my daughter in her squaw costume cradling her papoose and, on a chilly day, taking two of her favourites out for a breath of fresh air. The papoose was a Sasha doll, made in England by Trendon, and now highy collectable. She was called Little Flower (though my daughter called hers Rosie) and can be seen at the bottom of this collectors’ page, where I just frightened myself when I looked through it and saw how much my own collection of six, and all their clothes and accessories, are worth. If we fall on hard times I know what to do. Little Flower, is of course black, and you can see how much my daughter loved her, in this photo below, where Rosie and my daughter are both wearing that other icon of the seventies a Clothkits dress. The second photo is of my grandaughter with her own first black dolly.
My twin grandchildren have dolls and other toys here to play with when they visit, and another ‘vintage’ item is then pressed into service. My daughter had a Tiny Tears doll, for which I renovated an old pram, painting it white and making a new canopy and bedding with Laura Ashley fabric. Here is the original Tiny Tears with her pram and bedding.
And here is the quilt, thirty years later, still proving useful, whilst my grandson also takes a turn with the baby chair, and learns some valuable life lessons......
....such as how to cope with twins!
Perhaps a little soothing lullaby would help. This is Berceuse from The Dolly Suite by Gabriel Fauré, and it was the theme tune for ‘Listen With Mother' a 1950s radio programme on the BBC, which I would listen to every day, no doubt whilst cuddling upto one of my own favourite dollies.
It all started with this photo prompt from Sepia Saturday, so if any of the above seemed familiar why not join us.