Storybook doll Keepsake from Childhood

Uploaded 23 Feb 2011 — 15 favorites
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© Andrea Petersen
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

While ye have light. believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light...St. John 13:36


The picture of the little girl is myself when I was five years old, that I scanned from a small print. The school photographer could not get me to smile:) I was very sober faced and a serious little girl at that age. I can still remember the photographer of that time had dark hair with a noticeable birthmark on his face. I am not sure why that would stick in my memory but it must have made a deep impression....My husband told me that the same photographer came to his school when he was in the earlier grades also.

The storybook doll on the other side was given to me around 1951 or 52 from one of my mother's best friends, Elvira, a minster's wife who died from cancer when she was in her 80's...Elvira claimed the little doll looked like me...The storybook dolls were a fad back then and they are considered collectibles now. This one has the sleep eyes that close. The earlier dolls had hand-painted eyes and were made of bisque. Those like this that were made in the 1950's were manufactured from hard plastic and not as valuable, but to me it is treasured because I so highly respected, Elvira who gave it to me.

This doll is not wearing the original dress that it came with. It is from the Snow White series, if I am not mistaken. The creator, Nancy Ann who started her business in 1936 designed her dolls from Nursery Rhymes and stories.

18 responses

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (23 Feb 2011):

    Great memory and great shot. Susan still has a couple of dolls that were from her grandmother.

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster gave props (23 Feb 2011):

    wonderful story and do look like Elvira, or vice versa - standing in as much light as you can. Thank you for putting so much into your postings Andrea@!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen said (23 Feb 2011):

    Thank you both...Elvira was my mother's friend's name but I think if I can remember correctly Maura, Elvira said that this little doll was from the
    Snow White series..Nancy Ann the creator of these dolls made them from
    stories and she started her business in 1936.

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (23 Feb 2011):

    Well done, very apt for the theme!

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (23 Feb 2011):

    This is so nice Andrea!!! Do you have one in the Momentos theme?

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen said (23 Feb 2011):

    Thanks for the comments...Yes, Betty I do have one in the Mementos theme
    of my father's quails, but I just happened to be going through some old pictures and decided to put this together of the old doll and myself...I had a hard time trying to remember when this doll was given to me and I believe it would have been sometime after our house burned down in January 1951
    when I was 7 years old because all of our childhood toys were burned in the fire at that time including many pictures of my childhood...Some of my mother's friends who had copies gave her some pictures back such as the little school print here.

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (23 Feb 2011):

    A wonderful keepsake! It does look like you! Great mementos.

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (24 Feb 2011):

    I can see why your mom's friend said the doll looked like you!! Wonderful memories in this delightful capture!

  • sameer khanore

    sameer khanore gave props (24 Feb 2011):

    Lovely !!!

  • Debrah Leonard

    Debrah Leonard (Deleted) gave props (24 Feb 2011):

    I love the surreal quality. Great work, Andrea.

  • Debbie Smartt

    Debbie Smartt gave props (24 Feb 2011):

    I love your story and wonderful keepsake!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (25 Feb 2011):

    You were such a pretty little girl even with the serious little face and the doll is such a treasure.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (26 Feb 2011):

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Andrea. That you weren't smiling and looking at the camera really adds interest to the portrait. You were such a pretty little girl. No surprise, considering how lovely you are now. Love the doll. I'm sure she's quite valuable, as well as a wonderful keepsake. I'm wondering what her original dress looked like.

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen said (26 Feb 2011):

    Thank you all...Deborah, I really wish I could remember what the original dress looked like and what happened to it...It's been so many years ago...

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon gave props (26 Feb 2011):

    This is such a beautiful and interesting image, and narrative. There is a definite resemblance between you and the doll.. and both are beautiful! I love reading about the history of dolls.. it is really quite a fascinating category of collectibles, too.. thanks for sharing!!

  • Michael Ball

    Michael Ball gave props (26 Feb 2011):

    You looked so cute in the photograph!

  • Joy B

    Joy B gave props (27 Feb 2011):

    I love the back story! You do kind of look alike!!

  • Shirley Valencia

    Shirley Valencia   said (2 Mar 2011):

    Super shot....

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