Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vogue's Toodles 3

 Toodles is an 8" compo little doll  by the Vogue Doll Company that is sometimes referred to as the Pre-Ginny. compo Ginny, or #1 Ginny.  Toodles was never called Ginny.  Early in the production of Toodles, the Vogue Doll Company purchased bodies from Arranbee Doll Company and many of the early Toodles are marked R&B.  Facial features are always painted on with Toodles having eyes always glancing to the right that were almost always blue, except the ethnic dolls that had brown eyes.  The bodies are jointed at the neck, arms and legs.  Beneath the mohair wig is painted on hair.  There are variations in the size and shape of the eyes, and the quality of the painted features varies in quality.  Toodles is most often found in played with condition with the mohair wig being matted and the compo crazed and chipped.  Toodles was manufactured between the years of 1937 - 1948.  Vogue dressed Toodles in well made nicely made clothing of the same quality that they dressed Ginny in.  There are many variations in these pretty little dolls.  The early Toodles were marked R&B instead of Vogue.  When Vogue began to manufacture doll bodies Toodles was marked vogue. Some Toodles bodies were umarked except on the bottom of their shoes.  There are some variation in Toodles that can help identify them. The earlier Toodles had a bulkier body than the later Toodles that had a thinner body.  A few dolls had a thinner arm and a slight bend in the arms.  The Toodles dolls were made of hard plastic in the last years of their manufacture, but still had painted features and a mohair wig.
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Vogue's Ginette

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Vogue's Ginnette

Ginnette. Vogue dolls introduced an 8-inch hard plastic doll in
1948. That doll became Ginny and was an instant success. Ginny is
still in 2012 a very popular doll both to little girls and most
especially to collectors. Very few other dolls have attained such
success and so loved by collectors.
To capitalize on the success of Ginny, Vogue began to design and sell
other dolls that were friends and family members. In 1956, some
eight years after Ginny's introduction the first family member was
introduced. This doll was Ginnette, Ginny's baby sister. While
Ginny is all hard plastic, Ginnette is all vinyl and also came with
clothes, furniture and accessories.
In 1957, Jill, Ginny's big sister was added. In 1958 baby brother
Jimmy joined the family. Also that year Jan, girlfriend of Jill, and
Jeff, Jill's boyfriend joined the family with clothing, furniture and
Ginnette is made of soft flexible vinyl making her soft and cuddly.
They are marked on the lower back: "Vogue Dolls Inc.". The body and
heads are not marked.
Ginnette was a very well dressed baby having some 20 different
outfits and was featured in gift sets with many accessories. There
were seven pieces of furniture issued. The early furniture is
marked: Ginnette" and has pink, blue and yellow bears, elephants and
turtles in the design. There is a baby bath, a drop side crib, a
baby totter and wardrobe. They were made of wood and plastic and
would fold for easy storage.
Ginnette was issued in three basic dolls with different features.
They all had a small baby bottle and could drink and wet. One doll
had painted eyes while two of the dolls had movable eyes and could by
using the bottle even cry real tears. Another had a feature that by
pressing on the stomach, Ginnette would "coo.
Ginnette was quietly discontinued in the early 1960's. These dolls
are highly sought by collectors today.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baby Snooks - A Real Character

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Josef Kallus & Baby Snooks.

Joseph Kallus began the Cameo Doll Company in New York City in 1922.
He was one of the most prolific doll entrepreneurs in the era of the
composition doll. He worked with George Borgfelt & Company and
helped with the development of Rose O'Neils Kewpies. Their
association would last a lifetime.
Cameo Company was the maker of the compo kewpies. Kallus also
produced the Bye-lo for Borgfelt. He designed the following for the
Ideal Doll Company. Baby Snooks, Mortimer Snerd, Sunny Sue, Sunny
Sam, King Little and Gabby.
The Cameo Doll Company was moved to Portallegany, PA and sold to
Strombecker Corp in 1970.
The Baby Snooks doll by Ideal is patterned after the character from a
late 1930's and 1940's radio show with the character
"Baby Snooks".
The actress Fanny Brice portrayed baby Snooks on the radio show.
Fanny Brice was born October 29, 1891. She was an early Jewish
actress. She found early fame starring in the Ziegfield Follies. It
was on the Zeigfield Follies radio show that the character of Baby
Snooks began. Baby Snooks finally in 1944 became a radio show. The
series of shows dealt with childish innocence and constant
questioning of the long suffering Father and Mother. The show lasted
until Fanny Brice's untimely death at age 50, in 1951.
The Baby Snooks doll has the expression on its face that Fanny Brice
had when she posed for publicity pictures for the Baby Snooks Radio

Baby Snooks is an example of the early character dolls much like we have today
in the Simpsons, Rock Star  dolls and the other dolls based on popular movies or TV
shows. I can remember as a child listening to this radio show.  It was a very funny show
 and had a large audience. I love the character dolls for their unique looks and the interesting
facts behind them.  Another interesting facet of doll collecting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pictures Of My Berenguer Babies

Some of my Berenguer Babies.

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Berenguer Dolls

Berenguer babies, those cute babies you see in stores and at garage sales and thrift stores with the adorable feet and hands and expressions on their faces that make you smile and want to hug them.  They usually have all vinyl bodies and are almost bald with a shadow of hair painted on.  The sculpting of the little baby feet is adorable, and the hands are just as cute as can be.  The cutest thing about a newborn is their feet and hands and the Sculptor of the Berenguer babies has captured the look.. The new ones you can find on the toy aisles in Wal-mart, Target, k-mart and many other stores.   There are copies of these dolls by other companies, but somehow they seem to just miss that look. Cititoy is one maker that makes dolls similar to the Barenguer's, but are just not as cute.   They are so cute they usually come with minimal clothing as they do not need the extra pop that darling outfits can give a doll.
Jose' Berenguer began a lifelong passion of designing dolls and since the 1950's, the Berenguer Family of Castalla Spain have been sculpting, making and selling dolls.  These dolls are known for their excellent craftmanship..
The most popular dolls in the early days of manufacture were the Chelita and Pepin dolls,  Jose's passion and talent for doll making was passed to his son Salvador in the 1960's.  Salvador Berenguer has personally sculpted many Berenguer dolls that capture the inner beauty and look of innocence of a baby. He is the creative genius behind the designs of today's Berenguer dolls.
Berenguer Dolls is now owned by J. C. Toys.  Salvador Berenguer is the head sculptor at J.C. Toys with offices in Florida, Hong Kong, and Spain. J. C. Toys  first entered into the American Market under the brand name of Berjusa.  Today the company is an international company manufacturing speciality and collectible dolls.  Many of the Berenguer dolls are used by the artists that make the re-born dolls.  All of the dolls are known for  their craftsmanship and quality even though most are inexpensive and have that unique expression created by the Berenguers..  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Getting A Halloween Doll Display Together

 Since Halloween is near, I thought a doll display would be cute.  In looking around I found these items and put this small display together.  The skeletons came from Dollar Tree as did the box that looks like a Halloween house.  The dolls came from McDonald's as a happy meal toy several years ago and the small pumpkins came from the thrift store near my house.  The black tubs were in a pack of 3/1.00, but I don't remember where I bought them.  This is the beginning of my Halloween doll display, but is cute enough to be used as is.  I am in the process of making it larger.  I will post pictures as it progresses.  Are you making a Halloween doll display?  They are easy to do and make doll collecting so much more fun.
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Elaborate Child's Tea Set

Tea Set History

Tea Set History

The history of the tea set, teapots, tea customs, and tea drinking.

Nothing could be more commonplace, or seemingly unmysterious, than the tea,set found in the modern American kitchen. Though popular imagination regarding its origins may stretch back as far as thoughts of European nobles sipping from Royal Albert china at their afternoon tea parties, it seldom reaches farther. This brief, yet noteworthy, history of the tea set presents the true and glorious story of this fabulous, yet homely, article.As with so many facets of Asian culture, the Chinese claim that tea drinking has mythical origins rooted in the golden, glorious past of the people. It is said that tea was discovered by Shen Nong, one of the three great Emperors of the San Huang period (3000-2700 B.C.). Shen Nong is also known as the father of agriculture and the inventor of Chinese herbal medicine. It must be added that Indian mythology credits the custom of tea drinking to a monk named Bodhidharma, who was the founder of Zen Buddhism. Legend has it that he plucked leaves from a wild tea bush to keep him awake during the fifth year of his seven years of sleepless contemplation. Bodhidharma was born near Madras, India, and he made a voyage to China in 520 A.D.
The official history of tea does, indeed, begin in China during the Han Dynasty (206-220 B.C.). At this time, tea ware was made of porcelain and consisted of two styles: a northern white porcelain and a southern light blue porcelain. It is important to understand that these ancient tea sets were not the creamer/sugar bowl companions we know today. Rather, as is stated in a third century A.D. written document from China, tea leaves were pressed into cakes or bricks. These patties were then crushed and mixed with a variety of spices, including orange, ginger, onions, and flower petals. Hot water was poured over the mixture, which was both heated and served in bowls, not teapots. The bowls were multi-purpose, and used for a variety of cooking needs. In this period, evidence suggests that tea was mainly used as a medicinal elixir, not as a daily drink for pleasure's sake.
It is in the Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) that historians believe the world saw the birth of the teapot. An archaeological dig turned up an ancient kiln which contained the remnants of a Yixing teapot. Yixing teapots, called Zi Sha Hu in China and Purple Sand teapots in the U.S., are perhaps the most famous teapots the world has ever known. They are named for a tiny city located in the Jiangsu Provence, where a specific compound of iron ore results in the unique coloration of these teapots. Exquisite ceramic teapots and tea bowls date to the Song Dynasty in glazes of brown, black, and blue. A bamboo whisk was employed to beat the tea into a frothy confection highly prized by the Chinese.
It was the nobility of the Tang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.) who seemed to have latched on to tea drinking most steadfastly and they are credited with causing tea to become China's national drink. In 780 A.D., an orphan named Lu Yu, who was raised by Buddhist monks, wrote the world's first definitive book on tea: the Ch'a Ching (Ch'a meaning tea). As a youth, Lu Yu was of a rebellious nature, and seems to have had difficulty with the vital Buddhist teachings of obedience and discipline. He went into seclusion for five years, and spent the time reflecting on his broad experience gained from traveling, most particularly his observation of the various methods of cultivating and preparing tea. By compiling this extensive body of information into a single written work, Lu Yu rose to the heights of fame and came to be called the "tea saint".
It was Lu Yu's book that made its way to Japan via Zen Buddhist missionaries who created the stately Chanoyu, the tea ceremony, which was adopted by the Imperial Japanese court. It is, in fact, greatly owing to Buddhist priests that tea cultivation spread throughout China and Japan with such rapidity.
Tea has long been associated with intellectualism, so much so that the great Emperor Hui Tsung did not think it beneath his dignity to write a sort of monograph on the best methods of preparing whisked tea in the early 12th century. He was something of a patron saint of the tea industry, and held tea tasting events which were something akin to the rather snobby wine tasting affairs held today in the world's great wine growing regions. The Emperor's guests were challenged to identify various types of tea by taste. During this period, charming tea houses were built on the grounds of many upper class Chinese. It may be myth or fact, but it has been said that Hui Tsung was so preoccupied with drinking tea, he took little notice of the fact that the Mongolians had arrived to destroy his empire.
When Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan arrived in China, conquering much of its territory, they were quick to adopt the tea habit. History suggests that it was during the century-long Mongolian dynasty that tea made its way into the homes of the common Chinese people.
The popularity of tea during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) is attested to by the vast number of tea sets which survive from this period. In fact, it was erroneously believed for some time that Yixing teapots date to this time, because of the large quantity of artifacts discovered. What is known is that important changes in the preparation of tea took place during the Ming Dynasty. Rather than crushing tea cakes, Ming Dynasty Chinese began steeping whole tea leaves in water. This brewed a paler beverage which was much admired and tea ware of that time was stylized to contrast effectively with the light tea color. Korea, in particular, has some excellent examples of beautiful tea cups from this era with white inlaid designs of clouds, cranes, and other popular motifs.

Tea sets come to Europe, America and the history of tea culture evolves to the present.

It is believed that the first European to drink tea with the Chinese was a Portuguese Jesuit missionary named Father Jasper de Cruz. Portugal boasted some of the finest ships of the 16th century, and had opened ocean routes to China. Father de Cruz encountered tea in 1560 and documented the fact in writing. Prior to this, only the merest of oral rumor had reached Europe via land going caravans, but the members of these expeditions appear to have been confused as to the uses of tea leaves. Documents suggest some thought them to be served like vegetables, with salt and butter. What we do know is that the first tea sets found their way to Europe via the Portuguese trade routes, as did the first exotic taste of tea in the 1600's. Because of the political alliance between Portugal and Holland in that age, some of these curious items reached the Netherlands and sparked a tea frenzy.If you, as a modern tea drinker, are accustomed to purchasing a nice box of tea for somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 to $6, imagine living in the 17th century Dutch capitol and having to come up with $100 to purchase a pound of tea. Prices like these made tea the drink of the wealthy, and the first European tea sets consisted of tiny teapots and tea cups. The great houses of Holland featured fashionable tea rooms and the Dutch are thought to be the first to have added milk to tea. It helps to put things into perspective to understand that, in this age, commodities such as sugar and ginger were seen as rare wonders brought as if by magic from foreign lands. The Dutch were the first to serve tea in public restaurants and taverns where guests were supplied with portable tea sets. They took these out into the inn's garden, where they prepared the tea for their friends, al fresco.
Simultaneously, Russia was having its own tea craze. In 1618, Czar Alexis was presented with chests of tea by the Chinese embassy in Moscow. The trade treaty of New Chinsk in 1689 established a border between Russia and China, enabling camel caravans to cross from one country to the other. Russian tea service centered on the samovar, an adaptation of the Tibetan hot-pot. These massive tea vessels were capable of dispensing nearly 50 cups of tea at a time, and no fine home was without its samovar.
In the west, trade techniques continued to improve, and by 1675, tea had become widely available in Holland and much of Europe. Prices fell and controversy rose as doctors and scholars waged verbal wars with one another over the benefits and drawbacks of tea consumption. All of western Europe was experiencing a new and ecstatic interest in the 'Orient', and Asian goods and customs became the height of fashion. In 1680, the Marquise de Seven, a leading social critic of her time, first advocated the addition of a creamer to the tea service and the sugar basket was soon to follow. It was during the reign of Queen Anne (early 18th century) that silver sugar baskets were first offered to guests. The first silver sugar bowls featured rounded bases, disk-like covers, and three little feet. Silver creamers also date to this period, and by the mid-18th century, something like the tea set that we know today had arrived on the tables of Europe and America.
The earliest known silver teapot was made in 1627, and it is not until the reign of George II (1727-1759) that more generously-sized teapots found their way into the western marketplace. The determining factor in this was, of course, the price of tea. Silver cups and saucers exist from as early as 1648, and due to Chinese influence, they are without handles. The first mention of silver tea kettles comes from a documentation of a kettle created in 1687 by royal warrant. Our earliest examples of children's tea sets come from this time. They were crafted of copper and pewter in Germany.
The Dutchman, Peter Stuyvesant, brought the first taste of tea to the colonists of New Amsterdam (New York) in the mid-1600s. In the New World, a scarcity of skilled artisans and materials resulted in early American pottery being of the crudest and most functional nature. Like tea itself, most fine wares had to be imported at excessive costs and every American knows about the Boston Tea Party affair of 1773. For a time, tea fell out of favor in the colonies. It was, however, to regain its prestige over time.
Though the first complete silver tea service with sugar bowl and creamer was presented to the public in 1790, it was not until Queen Victoria's reign that the modern six piece tea service arrived. The Queen certainly loved tea, and her tea service included teapot, creamer, sugar bowl, tea kettle, coffee pot, and waste bowl. From this point on, the only major innovations in tea drinking have been the invention of the tea bag and, less gloriously, of instant tea powder.
In conclusion, the next time you get out your trusty tea set, why not spend a moment reflecting on the distant people and lands whose efforts have brought this wonderful beverage to you. Surely there is great wonder and wisdom in this drink of the ages.

This article taken from the Emerson Creek Pottery Company web site.

Children's Tea Sets

Tea sets. Vary in size and quality.  A typical tea set contains:
teacup(s) and saucer(s)
sugar bowl
milk pitcher
The history of the tea set is believed to have begun in China during the Hun Dynasty (206 - 220 BC).  The concept of the tea set of the tea set as we know it today was begun during the Song dynasty (960 - 1279 AD)
In the history of American culture; by the 1770's a variety of toys were offered for children, among them were:  marbles,, tops, dolls with glass eyes, toy  fiddles, watches and puzzles.  By the tine of the American revolution (1775), dolls were the most popular toy for little girls and tea sets a close second to dolls.  The tiny tea sets enabled the little girls to imitate the adults by playing the most popular adult past time, the tea ceremony.  The tea ceremony was practiced by all households, both rich and poor, and all household's had the essentials for the tea ceremony as did the little girls.  One of the most popular adjuncts to dolls is the tea set.    Every doll collector has at least one, and many doll collectors also collect tea sets.
Following is a history of tea sets taken from the internet.  I hope you enjoy reading it.
A History Of Children's Tea Sets

Here is an article by Emile Decker on an exhibit that gives an interesting background to toy tea sets. Please note the term Faience or faïence is the conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed earthenware on a delicate pale buff body.

About Toy Tea-Sets
When faience and porcelain became widespread in the nineteenth century thanks to scientific and technical progress, their use was no longer restricted to making tableware and decorative vases. Faience and porcelain were also used certain types of toys, and European faience factories started to produce toy tea-sets and doll's accessories, in addition to their usual production.

A toy tea-set is made on a small scale for children to play with their dolls. This toy fascinates even adults for many hidden reasons. When such sets were made in porcelain or painted by hand, these objects were given to little girls as precious gifts. Because of their fragility, they were sometimes only used on special occasions under the supervision of parents. In our emotional memories of childhood, they belong to the world of games with, perhaps, a hint of the forbidden.These toy tea-sets, now collectors' items and a topic of research, are still surrounded by an aura of mystery. It is rather difficult to trace their origin due to a lack of documentation. Some of these pieces are so small that there is no space for identification marks.

Tableware or toys?
There lies the ambiguity of the doll's tea-set. It belongs to the world of toys but the art of making it is irrevocably linked to the skills required in handling its material, whether it is copper, pewter, tin, silver, faience, or porcelain. In the nineteenth century, France, together with England, was one of the leading producers of faience in Europe. While porcelain was for a long time the prerogative of Germany, as England was in the case of faience, the situation in the eighteenth century changed, and the French revival raised national production to a peak.

The toy tea-set has now become a pretext for a journey back into time, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the Second World War, when plastic replaced the fine faience and porcelain of these marvellous children's toys. Admittedly, contemporary toy tea-sets continue to be made in ceramic, but the quality is not equal to the former production. Aware of this difficulty, certain toy manufacturers have reproduced the toy tea-sets of our grandmothers to suit modern tastes, but these seem to be intended more as decorative objects than useable.

A brief history
The ancient Greeks had dolls, balls and rattles. Dolls were also very widespread in Rome. Potters have always thought of the pleasure of children by making miniature ceramic objects for them. The first records of tea-sets as toys for children appeared in the sixteenth century. They were made in pewter and copper, and came from Germany, a country known for producing toys in wood and metal. Until the end of the first half of the nineteenth century, France turned to Germany for many of its sales of toys. This trend was subsequently reversed and for a while the quality and attractive appearance of French toys superseded German supremacy in the industry of knick-knacks. Before the era of the toy tea-sets that came out of the kilns of faience and porcelain manufacturers, there was a period when they were made in gold and silver, in pottery and pewter, in metal and copper. Silversmiths placed all their savoir-faire at the service of the young princesses of Europe.

Although the fashion for doll's tea-sets in faience and porcelain goes back to the eighteenth century, it was not yet an established phenomenon. First of all, because ceramic objects of a high quality for children were made only for wealthy customers, and secondly because these toys did not reach the height of their popularity until one century later, with the industrial revolution. Reports on the Exhibitions which were held throughout the nineteenth century indicate that the vogue for these toys goes back to the 1850's.The Universal Exhibition of 1855 seems to have been the starting point of their expansion. The toy industry went through an extraordinary growth in less than twenty years and became an economic activity in its own right.

The Arrival of Plastic
In 1865, the appearance of celluloid and bakelite on the market announced the arrival of plastic.During the period between the two world wars, new, ambitious materials emerged, for example, rhodoid invented by Rhône Poulenc, which was similar to celluloid but not inflammable. The advantages of plastic is that it is strong, safe, inexpensive, comes in many colours, and is easy to machine and mould. Dolls were the first toys to be made in this material. The first celluloid dolls made in the late nineteenth century announced the end of the baby dolls with porcelain faces. The famous Bluette doll (1905-1960) is a fine example. The same applies to toy tea -sets.After having fought against iron, the fight against plastic was finally lost by the ceramic industry in the early 1960's. This exhibition of toy tea-sets in faience and porcelain is therefore all the more rare and interesting.

Emile Decker
Curator of the Museum of Sarreguemines.  

Christmas Tea Sets

This Christmas Tea Set was purchased recently at a yard sale. It is a newer set as it is made of resin.  The older tea sets were made of pottery and porcelain. The porcelain are mare delicate and beautiful, but the resin allows for more detail.  The is a cute ginger bread village with the cups as snowmen. 
With Christmas fast approaching I thought I would show pictures of some of my Holiday
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More Christmas Tea Sets

The cute tea set is a Christmas train.  The engine is the teapot and the sugar and creamer are train cars with small Christmas Mice on the roof.  The tray is a train track.

This is a cute Santa Resin tea set.
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