Here's a doll mystery for you: did Horsman make a full-composition version of Baby Precious? The large head is the Horsman Baby Precious. I have only ever seen documentation of Baby Precious as a cloth body doll with composition limbs and head. Precious came in several sizes but all were supposedly cloth body.
Well, the other day I got this smaller doll, a full compo baby similar to Baby Patsy. Look at the face though ~ doesn't that look just like Baby Precious? Now, Horsman sold their molds like all doll companies did back then, so this could just be a different doll made from the mold. It's not cheaper doll like they often were; it's every bit as high-quality as the Horsman doll, so it might have been produced for a department store. Montgomery Ward and FAO Schwartz and pretty much all the regional department stores had their own private label branded dolls made by the big doll companies. But if you happen to know who produced this smaller Baby Precious please let us know in the comments!
Besides Baby Precious I am working on a bunch of different Patsy family and similar dolls. I have Effanbee Rosemary just about ready to go. Supposedly Rosemary was the precursor to Patsy and her friends. That's according to Effanbee so I guess they'd know, but she's so different from Patsy ad Patsy Ann; I feel like Dainty Baby is a much more similar doll. Dainty Baby came out in 1912 and is a cloth body doll with molded hair. She looks more like a child or toddler than a baby but maybe Effanbee still considered her a "baby doll".
Rosemary (sometimes sold as Rose Marie) came out in 1926 and looked much more Victorian than Patsy. She has teeth and originally had long dark curls and a cloth body with compo limbs and head. Patsy came out in 1928 and was followed by Patsy-Ann. Both those dolls are composition dolls with molded hair and painted eyes.
They were popular enough that Effanbee made a whole line: Patsy Joan, Patsyette, Baby Patsy... and then Patsy's friends, like Mary Lee (who was also sold as Marilee by a department store). Mary Lee reverts to the Rosemary type, with sleep eyes, teeth, and a wig. It's very confusing because Effanbee recycled different bodies for these dolls, so I have a Mary Lee I'm working on right now who is marked "Patsy-Ann" on her back and uses the bent arm Patsy-Ann full composition body.
At any rate, these were apparently ubiquitous. Patsy and her friends are all around 20 inches tall or even larger, but they eventually released all different sizes, even a miniature 6 inch version. These were fashion dolls as well as play dolls and there were many different styles of clothes you could buy, even equestrian sets! Just like the American Girl dolls of today. I made some videos showing these dolls and you can watch them on Insta (and if you recognize any of the unmarked ones please let us know in the comments who they are).
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.