The Three Graces and a Muse
The Arranbee doll company is known among collectors for creating dolls with beautiful faces. One of these dolls, aimed towards the pre-teen market, was called Debu'teen. As her name implies, this teen doll was intended to be a debutante - or the age at which a girl entered society and was considered to be grown-up.
Debu'teen was made only for two or three years, from what I can tell, between 1938 and 1940. She came in various sizes, from 11" to 22" tall. The larger dolls had cloth bodies, one that was designed so that the doll could be seated more easily. Debu'teen came with beautiful clothes designed to appeal to older girls.
I have four Debu'teen dolls. All are unmarked (not uncommon for these dolls) but are distinguishable by their facial molds, which strongly resemble a larger version of the Mary Hoyer face mold. There is a second face mold doll that I unfortunately don't own, that has wider set eyes and a wider mouth. Three of my dolls have mohair wigs and one has a synthetic wig which may not be original to the doll, although it is certainly very old. It feels like a very early version of saran.
I nicknamed my dolls the Three Graces and a Muse since they are so beautiful and delicate. They all have composition bodies. The larger dolls are 18 inches tall, and the smaller one (which may be a Vogue doll that used the Debu'teen face mold) is 14 inches tall. They all wear their original clothing, with the exception of the blue dress, which is a replica of an original costume. They are truly stunning, dressed in heavy satins, netting, and lace!
Nancy Lee (also made by Arranbee) often gets confused with Debu'teen, but when seen side by side, it's obvious that their faces are quite different. To see more Debu'teen dolls, you can visit DollyHeaven.com.au. Carol Pope restores these dolls to their original beauty and does a great job!