December 3, 2010


Raggedy Ann was created in 1915 by American writer Johnny Gruelle for his daughter Marcella when she brought him an old hand-made rag doll and he drew a face on it.  The doll was first marketed in 1918  to accompany the publication of Gruelle’s Raggedy Ann Stories, a name he devised from combining two poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphant [sic] Annie.” 

A sequel, Raggedy Andy Stories in 1920 introduced the character of her brother, Raggedy Andy, dressed in sailor suit and hat.

Raggedy Ann & miniatures on loan from Ellen Beville. Raggedy Andy on loan from Matthew Compton. Boy doll, ca. 1905, on loan from Patricia Maurakis. Clown doll on loan from Christina Scearce

“Nettie Rice” doll made in 1965 for Dr. J. J. Neal, Sr., on the birth of his granddaughter, “little” Caroline Neal, by his patient Nettie Rice. ~ Doll and antique rocker on loan from Mrs. J. J.  Neal, Jr. (Caroline)

Patti Playpal was issued by the Ideal Toy Corporation, beginning in 1959.  Standing 35”, she is large enough for a small child to hold by the hand, making her the perfect playmate.


Flossie and Freddie Bobbsey are one of two sets of fraternal twins featured in a series of children’s novels, published under the penname Laura Lee Hope.

The first of 72 books was published in 1904, the last in 1979. The books related the adventures of the children of the Bobbsey family, which included two sets of twins: twelve year old Bert and Nan, and six year old Flossie and Freddie. ~ On loan from Ellen Beville.

Thank you to the collectors who have shared their dolls with us this
holiday season.

Dot Bennett Liz Goodman Caroline Neal
Ellen Beville Jo Greenberg Laura Phillips
Kenneth Bond Jayne Inman Christina Scearce
Matthew Compton C. B. Maddox Gerry Scearce
Michael & Patsi Compton Patricia Maurakis Bill Wellbank

thumb_madame_alexander   Madame Alexander dolls have been manufactured by the Alexander Doll Company since 1923.  Its founders, Beatrice Alexander Behrman (1895-1990) and her sister Rose, began their career by mending countless broken dolls at their father’s doll hospital in New York City, the first of its kind.

During the lean years of World War I, Beatrice and her sisters made inexpensive cloth dolls.  By the 1930s, Beatrice’s factory was manufacturing composition dolls based on characters from popular books and movies, such as the March sisters from Little Women, and Scarlett O-Hara from Gone with the Wind.

Scarlett O’Hara in “Twelve Oaks Picnic” dress on loan from Ellen Beville   Scarlett O’Hara in Calico dress, ca. 1939, on loan from Patricia Maurakis

Dolls from Around the World


Swedish Tomte by Elinor Krabbe of Sagofolket
Tomte, mythical creatures of Scandinavian folklore, will protect the household from accidents and disasters.  But they will play tricks on you if you annoy him.  In the past it was the custom at Christmastime to leave a bowl of porridge under the front door stairs for the Tomte.  If the bowl was empty the next morning, all was well for another year. ~ On loan from Christina & Gerry Scearce 

Madame Alexander Miniature Showcase Dolls
Laurie from Little Women, Africa, Brazil, Holland, Holland, Japan, Vietnam, Switzerland, Austria ~ On loan from Ellen Beville

Swiss doll on loan from Dot Bennett

Dolls  from Europe and Central America on loan from Laura Phillips and Patsi Compton

Japanese cloth doll & Hummel dolls on loan from Ellen Beville

“Eek, a mouse!”  ~ On loan from Laura Phillips and Patsi Compton

Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple is best known for her movie career, which she began at the age of three.  During the 1930s, she appeared in big screen hits specifically designed to display her singing and dancing abilities, notably Bright Eyes, Curly Top and Heidi.

Licensed merchandise that capitalized on her wholesome image included dolls, paper dolls, dishes and clothing.

Shirley Temple & paper dolls on loan from Ellen Beville 
Shirley Temple on chair & with basket on loan from Dot Bennett
Shirley Temple, “mock” Shirley & piano on loan from Liz Goodman 
Shirley Temple atop piano, ca. 1937, on loan from Patricia Maurakis

Baby Dolls

Two baby dolls on loan from Dot Bennett.
“Dionne Quintuplet” doll in highchair on loan from Liz Goodman.
Reclining doll on loan from Jo Greenberg.

Tiny Tears, a popular doll in the 1950s,  had two tiny holes at the inside corner of her eyes that allowed her to cry real tears when her mommy squeezed her stomach after she had been fed.  
This Tiny Tears features rock-a-bye eyes.  Unlike most sleep-eye dolls that immediately close their eyes as soon as they are laid down, Tiny Tears with the rock-a-bye eyes keeps her eyes open when laid down.  Her eyes slowly close as she is gently moved back and forth. ~ On loan from Ellen Beville.

Julia Gilbert baby doll on loan from Liz Goodman
“Cute as a Button”, tiny baby, & “Anna Plush” dolls on loan from Dot Bennett.

Cabbage Patch Kids


Originally the concept of art student Xavier Roberts, Cabbage Patch dolls are created by “needle molding,” a German technique for fabric sculpture from the early 1800s.  Each doll is “adopted” and comes complete with a birth certificate and adoption papers. ~ Dolls and bed on loan from Gerry Scearce & Christina Scearce.

Bride doll on loan from Ellen Beville.

Holiday doll & Rebecca doll on loan from Bill Wellbank

Green furniture on loan from Michael & Patsi Compton

Dark wood furniture on loan from Ellen Beville

Dolls by Jane Appleton Bond

Jane Appleton was born in Newton, Massachusetts. She studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York City and in Florence, Italy. In New York, Jane became a member of The Abingdon Square Painter’s Guild founded by Danville native, Harriet Fitzgerald. In the '60s, Jane and her husband, Paul Bond, were introduced to Danville by Fitzgerald. The two took positions at Stratford College to teach art. Jane taught at Stratford for more than 20 years. She and Paul founded ArtWorks in Danville and were beloved members of the community. Jane’s art was exhibited in numerous solo, joint, and group exhibitions throughout the east coast in New York, Connecticut, Alabama, North Carolina and all over Virginia. Jane also exhibited her pottery barns internationally. Jane was primarily a painter but excelled in any medium she approached.

Each doll is individually designed…sculpted and dressed.  They are bisque fired clay.  The smaller doll is the first one Jane made and is titled “Rachel # 1 – 1977.” ~ On loan from Kenneth Bond

Superstars & Superheroes

John Wayne (1907-1979) dolls were manufactured by Effanbee in 1981 and 1982 as part of their Legend Series.  “John Wayne, American, Symbol of the West” carries a lever- action Winchester rifle like the one The Duke used in many of his films and is dressed in the costume he wore for Red River.  “John Wayne, American, Guardian of the West” wears his U.S. Cavalry uniform from She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. ~ On loan from Ellen Beville

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) is costumed in the white halter-top dress from Seven Year Itch.  
On loan from Ellen Beville

Batman, Superman, Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk, Dr. Bruce Banner’s alter-ego, are the incarnations of various comic book crime fighters.  Tights and capes are optional. ~ On loan from Matthew Compton

Glamorous Dolls


Two fancy dressed dolls on loan from Christina Scearce

Ca. 1905 doll on loan from Patricia Maurakis

Victorian dolls on loan from Gerry Scearce

Simon & Halbig (1869-1920) doll from Germany & furniture on loan from Liz Goodman
Ca. 1895 doll on loan from Patricia Maurakis.

Antique dolls and doll shoes on loan from C.B. Maddox

Ca. 1940 “Mary Jane” doll, wearing the owner’s baby clothes, on loan from Pat Maurakis

Wicker chair on loan from Liz Goodman


On loan from Ellen Beville Crystal Haley, Little Miss Danville 1984
Look-a-like doll by Juliet Gilbert, local artist and doll maker 
On loan from her daughter, Jayne G. Inman

The Royals

The Royal Doll Company was started by Morris Bonet around 1914, and it has changed hands many times since then.  Exquisite doll costumes are a hallmark of the brand. On loan from Ellen Beville


IMG_7921   IMG_7933

Caring for Dolls
To care for your treasure, it is best to encase your doll upright on a stand whenever possible. Laying the doll for extended periods of time affects the blinking ability of the eyes.

Do not store your doll in a damp area and avoid direct sunlight and severe heat. 

A bit of Ivory soap and a soft cloth can be used to wash/clean hard plastic and vinyl body parts. The same soap, but with a toothbrush, can be used to brush away the dirt gathered on a cloth body.  An old toothbrush also works well for cleaning between fingers & toes, and cotton swabs for ears and eyes.  Flat head toothpicks (slightly frayed) become like tiny brushes.  Hair pick helps detangle hair.  Drinking straws, cut into sections, make great curlers for tiny curls.   Small baby scissors are best for trimming loose hairs or threads from clothing.

Clothing must be washed by hand in a basin of tepid water, using Woolite and a bit of Era. Never scrub the clothes; instead, squeeze or knead until the soil comes out.  Rinse in tepid water.

After washing, do not wring, but squeeze excess water out. To dry, attach the outfit to a hanger with safety pins at the shoulder seams. Press with warm iron, using a pressing cloth.

Keep clothes and hair dust free with a damp cloth.

Do not submerge dolls in water.

For Doll Hospital, contact or 212 283-5900