Saturday, November 21, 2009

More Patsy family dolls

With the phenomenal success of Patsy, Effanbee developed several other dolls with the same Patsy type face and right bent arm. These dolls were manufactured in the period from 1929 to 1946

First there was Patsy Ann, essentially a larger version of Patsy; Patsy Lou, Patsy Joan, Patsyette, Patsy Jr, and many others. All of the dolls have a typical Patsy-type face: chubby cheeks, puckered lips, short bobbed hair (some with molded headbands), painted side-glancing eyes or sleep eyes in all different colors with lashes, and a toddler proportioned body. Dolls are all composition. Some dolls came with mohair or caracul wigs.  There were also black versions of these dolls.

The dolls started to wane in popularity and in the last year of their manufacture, 1946, they were unmarked, otherwise, dolls are marked Effanbee and have the doll's name.

I have a Patsy Ann from the early 1930's and a Patsy Jr, from 1946. There's a big difference in the quality of the newer dolls versus the older dolls. I am guessing that when materials became scarce during World War 2, shortcuts had to be made. As you can see on my Patsy Jr from 1946, there is a top layer of paint that is peeling, revealing a lighter tint below. I've seen this on a few Patsy Jrs. Patsy Ann, however, looks almost as good as the day she was purchased. Patsy Ann wears an original dress (don't you love the penguins?) and shoes, and Patsy Jr wears a vintage mommy-made onesie and old oilcloth shoes.

Patsy Ann is 19 inches tall, and Patsy Jr is 11 inches tall. There were plenty of imitators during the years of Patsy's popularity, but one good way to identify your doll, if she is unmarked, is to closely check the pattern in the molded hair. It's unique to Patsy dolls. It's generally straight, slightly parted in the middle, and curves on her cheeks. Some dolls have the molded headband. Patsys did not come with bow loops (a loop of composition through which you can thread a ribbon.)

Patsy's face is so endearing - no wonder she had so many imitators!

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