Monday, July 7, 2008

Storybook dolls

In 1936 Nancy Ann Abbott started her company of dolls with $125.00 in her pocket. She worked in her studio 16 to 18 hours a day.

In 1937 her dolls were incorporated and by 1942 the company claimed a million dollar gross yearly. Nancy is also well known for "Muffie" a very popular doll of her time and who commands high prices today.

By 1950 the production of dolls reached 12,000 per day. Nancy Ann was re known for her portrayal of nursery rhyme and jingle dolls. The first series were bisque at a height of 3 and a quarter inches to 5'' and were produced in late 1936. During the war the company also made bisque cups, platters and dishes for the Navy hospitals.

In 1950 production reached 12,000 dolls per day, and 125 different characters, later reduced to 77 personalities.



"Little Miss Blue," which is my name for her, was purchased at a flea market in late 1997, she is marked Storybook Dolls on her back and is a classic Nancy Ann doll. When I bought her she was bald and naked! She was my first experiment in doing any recovery with any doll. Poor little thing.

In 1964 Nancy Ann passed away, she had been in declining health for sometime.

In 1965 her company filed for bankruptcy, and was purchased by Albert Bourla in 1967. He presented a plastic version at the New York toy Fair where newest playthings are unveiled each year. By 1970 inventory of the company was auctioned off. Shortly thereafter Jesso began making a imitation, packaging it in pink with white polka dots, they continued until Mr. Bourla reminded them he held the rights.



"Little Miss Pink" is my second Storybook Doll and she is all original. Not to far from mine, don't you think? I also bought her at a flea market. Both are 5'' and date to 1949 because of the sleep eyes that began in the production of that year.


I also have a Jesso version but I'll be talking about Nancy Ann in the future because I have a restore able Muffie. I want to do alot of research on her before I begin, Muffie has many different dates and features.

Claudette Budhler and Diane Budd acquired the company in 2003, they began a commemorative issue of dolls out in 2005. #1 is Alice through the Looking glass, #2 being Little Bo Peep, and finally # 3, Forget me Knot. They want to re-introduce Muffie. Mrs. Budler and Mrs. Budd met with Albert Bourla who interviewed the two ladies. He wanted to sell the company to someone who really cared about the dolls.

The two sisters made the purchase off EBay. C & G Design

14 comments:

tina said...

Dolls are something that will never go out of fashion don't you think?

Dawn said...

No, I don't think they will, you know....Blythe has been bringing $800.00 and up. Remember the changing eyes when you pulled the string? I believe you had the redhead with the groovey green dress. That brings the most. I had the brunette and J had the blond.

tina said...

I don't remember much about dolls from my childhood. I kept a few barbie things for the girls, who don't want them. But not from when we were kids.

Jean said...

Great job on Little Miss Blue!! They are so cute.

Tina, I would like to think dolls will never go out of fashion but not so sure many kids play with them for very long now days.

Dawn you get your talet and love for crafts from Nana but I must say, you have far exceeded her and the same is true of Tina with gardens.

Your knowledge of dolls is very remarkable.

Dawn said...

Tina, I'll do a post on Blythe sometime, I think when you see her you'll remember. Mom, do you remember her, big head, 3 different eyes? ONE of those moments, "Never toss it away", such a packrat I am.

Skeeter said...

My mom has a collection of Story Book dolls! She was never allowed to play with them as they were collectors’ dolls to her mother, my grandmother. Funny thing, my grandmother kept them at her house and I WAS allowed to play with them! Mom would get so mad at her mother for not allowing her to play with them but it was okay for me to play with them. Too funny. My Grandmother gave them to me and I use to keep them in my bedroom on a wicker shelf. When I got married and move out of the house, my mom took them back. She put their dresses back on whom they belong! I am not sure how many she has but at least 6 if not more to my memory. She has them displayed in a curio cabinet and one day, I will get them back. They are all in excellent condition! I recall one if not more having a set of beads around her neck. My mom was born in 1942 so they must all be dated from then on…

Jean said...

Nope, do not remember her. With 4 girls the dolls came and went too fast but wish you girls still had em!! LOL

Dawn said...

Darn it! Lost my message to a duplicate page error?!
That's a cute story Skeeter, I'll bet mom was mad! Her dolls and she couldn't play with them! And watch you! LOL. Everyone who collects NancyAnn really like the lady behind the cute little faces. And the little cuties too!

Skeeter said...

I sent your Posting to my mom today for her to read. She loved the info. She thought I had the dolls and I reminded her how she told me to stay away from them a long time ago so I never asked about them again. I told her I thought they were in the curio cabinet in her bedroom. She said, nope then she remembered buying some more collectables for the curio and putting the dolls in a hard sided suitcase and under the bed. She said for me to get them the next time I am home for a visit! Too funny.... We were talking on the phone tonight and she said that some are Storybook doll and some are not. So will be interesting to find out what the other dolls are….

We were also talking about the quilt and she told me to not keep it hanging in the same position for long periods of time. She said to ask you about proper hanging of a quilt.... She also told me a funny on that. My grandmother begged her to help us make the quilt and my mom decline because it did not interest her at all. She said it made my grandmother so mad that she told my mom that the quilt was mine and that she would never have it. When my grandmother passed away, my mom is an only child so she got everything but she knew the quilt was mine. My mom used the quilt for a long time then guilt set in and she was afraid that my grandmother would haunt her one day so she went ahead and gave the quilt to me before she was ready to give it up! I had to laugh as I knew the quilt was mine but I figured my mom was keeping it until I got older so I would take better care of it. That it soooo funny. I had to laugh at her tonight when telling me that story...

tina said...

Skeeter, what was the pattern of the quilt? And your mom should definitely have given it to you right away as grandmother might be lurking around...

Dawn said...

Skeeter, I believe the proper way to hang a quilt is to have a continous hanger across the top of it, that it, evenly amounts of weight spread on the hanger itself. Your Mom is right, moving it to different positions will help it, a good deal. It may mean on the back of a chair, or folded in a closet, etc. But you have a prize, not many catherdal windows around, fabric protector will also help with aging and discoloring.
Yes, it is interesting to find out about the dolls, many older people remember them for sentiment and do not realize what they are on todays market. Even just a few of Nancy Ann is spectular.

tina said...

I guess I missed the pattern type. Now I got it.

DP Nguyen said...

They are the cutest little dolls!!! What an expression on their face!

Skeeter said...

I snapped some pictures last night so once I get them loaded, I will email you some....