Saturday 8 June 2019

The Manikins

I mentioned in my previous post that the lovely little Toddler, Iona, was not alone in the parcel that came from my special dolly friend in the US.  Iona was actually accompanied by two very unusual (to me) dolls, and as soon as I saw them I thought they were worth researching a little. 

The dolls are actually called 'manikins' and from what I can find on the Internet, they were made by a company called Latexture of New York City, who produced these figures alongside Simplicity, (the pattern company who were also based in NYC) who produced the patterns specifically for this size of 'doll'.  The original 'dolls' would have come in a box which included a pattern, a wooden stand, a tape measure, some thread, a little pair of rounded end scissors, and possibly other sewing paraphernalia for the budding seamstress.

The box, as far as I can see, was made of hard cardboard.  I found the following couple of photos of what the complete sets probably looked like:

The two manikins that I received are without their boxes, they are from the 1940s I believe and that was apparent as soon as I saw them, the style of their hair is very 1940s.  When I say 'hair', they have molded on hair and it is painted a glossy deep brown.  The bodies are only jointed at the shoulders and apparently the arms pop in and out on 'pegs'....I think these pegs might have been prone to breaking as a lot of the dolls I've seen for sale, are missing one or both of their arms.  Both mine have their arms and are in quite good condition, although one has some pin pricks to her torso as well as a bit of damage to her face paint.   I'm guessing she was the one who was used by a seamstress to make outfits.  

Both girls are approx 13 inches tall and they have slim bodies with small bust and hips and not a considerable difference between their top and bottom halves in measurements.  This must have made it a lot easier for young seamstresses to work with, no need for masses of darts....I'm just guessing here as unfortunately I don't have the patterns.

Here are their basic measurements:

Height: Approx 13 inches

Bust: 13.5cm
Waist: 10.75cm
Hips: 14cm
Inside leg: 16.75cm

Although both of these 'dolls' appear to be the same sculpt, there are some subtle differences between them.  As you can below, one of the dolls has a slither of paint missing from the end of her nose so I will refer to her as 'girl A' (shown on the left above) and the other as 'girl B'.   In the photo above and below, you might be mistaken into thinking that the girl on the left, 'girl A' has a smaller head than her companion, I thought the same at first, but it is actually that her 'posture' is better and you will see this more clearly in my photos of them from the side.  Both girls faces are exactly 3cm long from the edge of their molded hair to the bottom of their chins. 

Also, it looks as if 'girl B' has a thicker neck, again this is because of her posture, both girls necks measure exactly 6cm round.
Both girls' faces are quite simply painted; their eyelashes, as you can see below, are all painted to one side of both eyes, so although one eye has lashes on the outside edge of the eye and nothing towards the inner eye, so the other eye has them painted so that her inner eyelid has the lashes, whilst her outer eyelid has nothing but blue eyeliner!    They both have blue eyes to match the eyeliner and red 'rosebud' painted lips which I think  probably reflect the fashions of the day.

'Girl A'

'Girl B'

Here, from the side, you can see that 'girl B' has a more pronounced 'slouch' than her companion.  I suspect that this was caused by age or maybe even warmth as at the base of her neck I can just about make out some very fine wrinkles in the plastic, but these were so fine that I couldn't really get them to show up properly in photos....

Seeing the girls full length from the side is interesting as you would think that the girl on the right, 'girl B' is slightly shorter than the other.  This is just an illusion though as they are exactly the same height.  I have measured both girls all over and there is only one difference that I can see in their measurements, and that is 'girl B' has slightly shorter arms!  Both of her arms are each 13cm long, whereas the other girl's arms measure 14cm.  Also 'girl B' has a bit of a 'problem' with her left leg in that the ankle is slightly curved, so causing her not to be able to stand up as straight as the other girl.

In the rear view you can see the damage to 'girl A', probably caused by sewing needles or pins.  

You can also see the makers mark.  Both girls are marked with the words 'Fashiondol' (yes just the one 'L' in doll...and the copyright ©️ across the small of their backs, nothing more. 

Also as you'll see above, both girls are 'wearing' painted on high wedged shoes.  I believe that these shoes would have originally had 'pegs' attached to them, so that they could be pushed into the wooden stands that the girls would have originally come with.

Apart from their posture, there are a couple of other differences that I want to mention.  Firstly and most obviously to me, are the differences in the definition of the molding on the girls.  'Girl A' has much more definition to her mold than the other girl.  Her hair is more detailed, her company name on her back is slightly easier to read as it's imprinted better and her ears in particular are far more detailed than 'girl B'. 

This difference in the two dolls is really easy to see on their hair, for example.....

Girl A

And 'Girl B'

And here you can see the differences in their ears.....with 'girl B's ears, on the right, being almost flat compared to the girl on the left.....

As well as those differences, their skin tones are also different, with 'girl A' having a more beige toned skin colour compared to the other girl's skin which has a more rosy tone to it.  Their hair colour though is exactly the same, from this angle the colour reminds me of lovely shiny conkers!! πŸ˜„

Apart from that, both girls more or less feel the same, their bodies are completely hollow so they are 'squidgy' and slightly pliable, although because of their age I've not squashed their bodies in too much as I don't want their surface paint, if that is indeed what it is, to get any further damage to it.

Well I hope you have enjoyed seeing these two 'manikin' dolls, I know that I have enjoyed receiving them and trying to find out all I can about them, which sadly hasn't been much.  I don't know if they'll stay as I am supposed to be downsizing further, (and my friend sent them to me with a note to sell if I wanted to) but we shall see....I mean they really don't take up too much room, do they? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š

Have a great weekend and thank you for visiting!

Big hugs, Sharon in Spain xxx