My parents have brought me several family keepsakes over the years from my grandmother’s house. One of these was a large doll which no one could identify. I could tell the doll was composition, had weighted eyes and talked, but beyond that I didn’t have any idea. There were no markings on the back of the neck (the typical place). I was afraid the children would hurt her so I kept her in the garage. Not in a box. I still feel guilty every time I picture her perched up on top of a stack of boxes. Oh well.
When we moved the rest of the things from the old house, the girls wanted to bring the doll inside instead of putting her in storage. Flopsy took a liking to her so I said she could keep her in her room as long as she were careful.
This morning they brought her to me. The doll had fallen and the “skull cap” part of the head with the wig attached had been knocked off. I noted that the head wasn’t exactly broken, but had separated on an old join line. They pestered me again to find out the name of the doll. I got online.
It took a while but we’ve finally figured out who she is. She’s a 1922 (approx) Madame Hendren doll called Dolly Reckord
(or link here
). This is a talking doll
but I had long known that she no longer “spoke”. After a bit of research I realized it’s because she doesn’t have one of the many “records” that was manufactured for her. I think the mechanism itself would need a little repair (new spring?) but all of the parts are intact and movable. The most amazing thing is the paucity of crazing (the little cracks in the finish). She doesn’t look 90 years old (I
should look so good at 90). She has some minimal damage to the tips of some fingers and that’s it. Her wig is original and is real hair, although frizzled. I can’t really find any pictures of this doll in original clothing so I don’t know if she’s wearing it. The jumper’s back construction is rather odd and seems to be deliberate so as to fit around the talking mechanism. Certainly it’s a perfect fit.
The girls all want to send her to a “doll hospital” but I think I’d rather have her appraised first. Repairs can actually decrease the value. Of course, I think she might like to have the top of her head back.