Thursday, January 26, 2017

Composition and Leather Doll

     Here I go, again!  Restoring a sweet old doll.  This one was rather unusual.  Her head and 3/4 arms are made from composition material.  A rather dark and dense type.  Because of the composition color and make, I think she dates from the early 1900's.    She also has a leather body, that is jointed.

    The leather is in very good condition, considering how old she is. I have done some research, and found out that the leather bodies were imports from Germany.  The doll manufactures, here in the states, would add their own head and arms.  The feet are always tiny, and out of proportion to the body, it seems.


      The upper photo of the doll  shows her with the outer surface removed from her head and arms.  She has a well formed hair line, and doesn't need a wig.   She is 16" tall.
      The surface on her face was rather rough, and I needed to do some repair work.  I always use a paper clay product.  It dries light weight, and is easy to sand.

    This is the primer coat of acrylic paint, over the repaired areas.  I also primed her arms, and now she's ready to be transformed into a real beauty!

    She is a beautiful dark skinned young lady.  The dress is a vintage doll dress, restored and altered to fit her.  The black leggings are made from a sock, I raided from my drawer.  The jacket is a crocheted piece, I made specifically for her.   I decided to call her, "Floretta".  
    It was a delightful process, and I am pleased with the end result!  Now, onto the next restoration job! : )

                                    I hope you have a delightful day!    Smile On!    Audrey

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A German Porcelain Doll

      Last summer, in the heat of August, this little doll arrived as a birthday gift.    She is an 18" tall porcelain    Her head and arms were in relatively good condition. Her chest plate had a broken piece, but the piece was taped on.  And, the right arm was detached from her full leather body.

     This dear lady was originally from Germany.  She was made by Heinrich Handwerck between 1876-1932.  Her wig was missing, and her glass eyes were in need of some cleaning.

    I made her wig, from a mohair product, and she is wearing a vintage doll dress.  With a few alterations the dress fit her very nicely.

    I added pink ribbon and black lace to extend the sleeves.  With some new black buttons to replace the missing ones, she is truly, "all dolled up!"   With black stockings and new bloomers, she was ready for her name.   I decided to call her "Colleen".  

    Although, I was concerned about taking on a porcelain doll, she wasn't so badly broken that she was beyond repair.   Colleen is standing in front of the Queen Anne dolls house.  It is one of her favorite places to visit, as she likes peering into the fancy rooms.

                      Thanks for stopping in today!        Smile On!         Audrey

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mechanical Crawling Doll Restoration 1915?

    Sometimes the years can be really rough.   This little mechanical doll, probably dating from the early 1900's, had a long and busy life.  It's a crawling mechanical doll.  I found a similar one in my research, dated 1915.

    Someone had taken a baby sleeper, and restyled it to fit this little sad doll.  Adding a crocheted bonnet to cover up the badly distressed head.  It's an awkward doll; however,the legs and hands still move in tandem.  Looking rough and very dirty, I decided it would be a challenge to make the doll cute once again.

    I removed the sleeper, and evaluated the damage.  The hands and legs were in good condition, but the surface was badly pitted.  The head was in very tough shape, and needed to be mended, in some areas re-sculpted with paper clay.

    After removing the hard paint surface, I found the face intact, it was the rest of the head that really needed the work.   I wonder where this little guy lived?   And, how he came to be in the condition he was in?
                                                  I am just grateful I found this little treasure.


Samuel is a happy little darling, now.  He is 11" tall and 13" long.

Working on this doll was truly a challenge, and I took my time deciding how best to bring him back .

Now, I have a crawling mechanical doll added to the collection of "restores".

Smile On!      Audrey  

Thank you for stopping in today, may the new year bring you joy!