Saturday, January 31, 2015

322. When The World Went Mod: TWIGGY DOLL

The first Mattel doll made after a real person was "Twiggy", first created in 1967, based on the looks of the top British model, the skinny-reed-thin Twiggy, Lesley Lawson in real life. Twiggy shared the same body size as Francie and Casey, so they could swap clothes. Twiggy's trademark big wide eyes were captured in the doll made from the same head mold as Casey. She was blonde, had heavier eye make up, rooted lashes, a Twist 'n Turn waist and bendable legs. She lasted a year in production, but the real Twiggy's career was much longer--she dabbled in theater, TV, film, singing and hosting--but never losing in touch with the fashion world in which she remains an icon.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

321. Nurse, I Need To Go!: PORCELAIN BEDPAN

One of the oddest things I found in my scrounging expeditions was this porcelain bedpan, in pristine condition. It is clearly an old piece, and a quick online search yielded a bit of info about this vintage hospital collectible that has the potential to become a "conversation piece". 
The slipper bed pan is passed under the patient in front, between the legs, and comes with a handle for easy retrieval. 
The British maker, S. Maw Son & Sons, was active from 1860s-75 as a medical instrument manufacturer in London England. The firm was renamed S. Maw, Son and Sons after 1918, which dates this bedpan from 1918-1920s. By 1940, the company evolved into Maws Pharmacy Supplies Ltd., based in Barnet, England. Hospital collectibles are not exactly hot items purused by private collectors--but I'll make an exception this case--as I may someday make use of it!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

320. Cheap but Charming: CELLULOID DOLLS

The invention of "celluloid" -- a kind of plastic created from wood prpducts in 1863--put an end to breakable dolls of china, bisque and porcelain.It was a popular material for a wide range of manufactured items---such as jewelry, fashion accessories, and of course, dolls. Beginning in the 1930s cheap dolls were moulded from this new plastic, and these small examples--no more than 3 inches in height--attest to the versatility of the material. These souvenir dolls representing natives of countries around teh world, date from the 50s/60s, and they were all old store stock. They are strung with elastic, and many come complete with moving, googlie eyes.
Dolls such as these were also given away as party favors, or as prizes in fiesta events. Some made great cake toppers. They made great collectibles for kids who aimed to complete their "nations of the world costume collection" with every purchase. Some of these dolls that you see here, are dressed also as harlequins and carnival waifs.  Celluloid, however, was not the perfect plastic, since it is flammable and deteriorates easily if exposed to moisture, also prone to cracking and yellowing. Nevertheless, toymakers capitalized on the new material, by mass-producing charming items that never fail to delight kids--just like these mid-century dollies, who ontinue to find favor among toy collectors!