CLOTH AND LENCI II

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Larger ( 23”, 58cm ) American Rollinson doll made in Massachusetts circa 1920 has the typical molded and painted oilcloth construction with wonderfully detail facial painting highlighting pale blue eyes with white highlight accent dots, multistroke fine upper lashes , thick arched eyebrows, wonderfully modeled protruding ears, and the customary cloth covered body with painted oilcloth lower limbs with individual formed fingers and detailed toes with red outlined nails. This child wears a period off -white cotton and lace trimmed knee length dress with white cotton undergarments, long black knit stockings and antique brown leather boots ( fragile condition). The doll’s overall condition is still very good with the minor exception of some flaking to the hair, especially that closer to the area just above the individually painted forelocks. There also is an old minor repair to upper cloth arm where it joins the torso. Nevertheless, a very nice doll indeed and although very “ Chase-like “ in appearance, somewhat harder to find, and thereby less generally recognized by the majority of collectors…….US$ 1,295. 

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When one is involved in a specialized field for many years, what tends to excite and amaze is a new revelation of an object never noticed previously, or at least a variation of a known entity not commonly exposed or acknowledged. Such is the case when we found this 14” ( 35cm ) German cloth doll with molded and painted cloth swivel head on a five piece cloth body with articulation at shoulders and diagonal joints at hips, simply dressed in a white linen shirt, short black felt knee length pants with floral design suspenders, green socks and black shoes. There is head seam that stretches from the bottom neck socket upward behind one ear and extending across and back down the other side terminating equally, and another starting at neck in back center moving upward, crossing the other seam and stopping at about point of forehead at edge of painted hair. The head is heavily painted but in overall very good condition with no sign of repaint or repair. Upon first sight one’s first impression is “ Kather Kruse ?” but based on one’s knowledge and instinct an assumption quickly abandoned but then what? It turns out that about mid 1920s the German doll/toy manufacturer BING was sued by the K Kruse company for alleged copyright infringement and thereby forced to cease production of a doll Kruse thought too similar to their own registered and protected doll designs. This lovely boy appears to be one of those disputed examples and after closely observing one can understand why a lawsuit ensued. Accordingly, we are thrilled to now have the opportunity to offer this rare doll for sale. In doing research online we have only come across one other example previously sold via an online format years ago- exactly the same type doll but dressed as a girl in German regional attire. She too had similarly painted hair but wore a hat that was integral to the realistic regional clothing. Clothes are very tight to the body no not removed for photography. For full disclosure , the shoes have been replaced. He came with only one original black felt shoe that matches the trousers but it is so uniquely constructed and “SO WIDE“ it would be nearly impossible to find a mate. That lone original shoe will be provided to the buyer of course. An accomplished seamstress/tailor might be able to make one but at least the replacement shoes are old! For context, to explain how big his feet are, the shoes now on him were previously on a 29” German bisque girl doll and still they just barely fit this 14” rare cloth boy!………………………….US$ 975. 

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Hard to find and most appealing 20” ( 51cm ) American painted cloth doll by Gertrude Rollinson of Holyoke, Massachusetts from earliest decades of the Twentieth Century whose overall construction technique somewhat mirrors that of those made by Martha Chase of Rhode Island at a similar time frame. The sweet- faced pensive brown eyed young boy is typical of Rollinson dolls as he has a molded and painted oilcloth one piece head and shoulder with similarly constructed and painted lower arms and lower legs. The upper limbs are cloth covered at tops with a smaller painted oilcloth partial piece at the bottom half of each upper limb and a sewn joint at actual elbow and knee levels. The torso and upper limbs have a loose cloth covering. The hair is painted in a three -dimensional method for additional realistic portrayal. The one -piece striped cotton boys dress is of the period, if indeed not original, and wears well color coordinated long red stockings and red felt beret-style cap. The facial painting is in excellent original condition although there is some flaking of the hair paint on front top of head and near forehead. The red socks are gripping the legs very tightly so not removed for a photo fearing possible risk to fragile sewn joints at the knees. …………………………….SOLD.

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Ever popular Martha Chase oil painted stockinet “ Bobbed Hair Girl “ model in a slightly smaller ( 16”, 41cm ) and harder to find size wearing simple but all period white cotton and cutwork outer clothing with matching cotton and lace undergarments as well as white cloth shoes and white knit socks. The head and shoulder, lower arms, and lower legs are all painted in similar manner with remainder of body having a cloth sateen covering with loose sewn joints at shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. The head has long thick yellow bangs with hair totally covering the ears and cropped short in back to mid neckline, and the upper eye lashes are remarkably long and wispy. The hair modeling is multidimensional to recreate a realistic effect with comb marks. The overall condition of the paint is mostly very good with some age crazing on hair, a tiny flake on left cheek, and a slight indentation on nose tip to which someone has added just a speck of repaint to disguise. Facial coloring is strong and bright without any addition repaint or repair other than already noted. A most appealing example and realistically priced at only……………………………………………US$ 950. 

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 Interesting 6” ( 15cm ) cloth doll portraying an elder lady with facial features achieved by hand-stitching thin silky cloth to crate the nose, eyes, mouth wrinkle and jowls to create this effect. Wig is intricately created using white mohair and gathering into a huge bun in back, hands are also rendered realistically by stitches, and all clothing and undergarments hand made as well as leather shoes. Exact maker unknown but to draw reference as to style there are similarities to those created by the French doll artists and producers RAVCA but my mentioning this name we do not mean to infer this doll was made by them, only to denote a style technique….US$ 85. 

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Interesting 6 ½” ( 16cm ) cloth doll portraying a young black lady or older child with facial features stitches to provide realistic and well defined facial features. She wears ad printed cotton dress with long sleeves, a half slip tied around her waist a cloth bandana covering her head and has arms that deel that they are constructed of nothing other than very tightly wrapped cloth. Technically this doll is a “ half -doll” as her head and torso are of one solid piece of stuffed and painted cloth but she has no lower torso nor legs- not missing, simply NEVER HAD. Perhaps he was made for a dols house, OR, has the characteristics of a “ pen- wiper “doll whereas one used a flat surface ( in this case the skirt ) or wipe excess ink off a quill or metal tipped pen used in days of the making of this item. Nonetheless is is charming, interesting, and indeed even unique!……………………….US$75. 

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