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ALICE IN WONDERLAND

A bright red mohair wig covers her head. Comic facial features include a broad pink tipped nose, a wide slash of No words written about Chase dolls would be complete mouth, dimples, double chin and highly rouged cheeks. without mentioning the rarest of the rare, the surreal The Duchess wears a colorful costume consisting of a coat characters of the Alice in Wonderland group. A small Chase with bell shaped sleeves, worn over a dress. Her “V” shaped pamphlet gives a simple explanation of these dolls as the cardboard crown has a net veil. Black oil cloth shoes are tied factory described them. This grouping originated in the early on with twill tape at her ankles. 1900’s and continued to be distributed for many years. The Possibly the most difficult character to execute in the “Alice” group was based on the book by Louis Carroll and created in series is the 12.5” Frog Footman. His molded and painted head the image of the books illustrator, Sir John Tenniel. Who could features bulging eyes, a large snout and small frog like mouth, possibly have known the importance this set of dolls would attesting to his amphibian origin. His face, shoulders and hands assume? are painted green with grey painted swirls, lines and dots Obviously the Alice in Wonderland group was meant for accenting his frog-like skin. His wig extends into a pony tail and mass distribution. Why else were they advertised in the Chase is tied with ribbon at the back. His sateen body, made in human pamphlet? There is a price range for the dolls. It is apparent form, is dressed in pants, they were meant to be a weskit and cut-away sold as individual items jacket all accented by a as well as complete large bow tie at the neck. sets. Perhaps this might On his feet are found be the answer to the cotton socks and German puzzling question made leather shoes. of why only a few Tweedle Dee and complete sets and a Tweedle Dum, two handful of incomplete characters who could sets are known to exist. be called “Ditto and One complete set is Ditto”, since they are held at the Margaret identical in every way. Woodbury Strong Alice meets these fat little Museum and one other fellows in Chapter IV. is held at the Rosalie They are identified by Whyel Museum of Doll their names embroidered Art. The remaining on the collars of their complete/ incomplete shirts. The dolls look sets are in private very much like naughty collections. school boys. They share I will begin with the the same painted facial largest, character in features that include this series, my favorite, grey-blue eyes, a funny the Mad Hatter. He broad, nose and a slash of is 15” with a painted pink to indicate a mouth. cloth head and sateen Their wigs are made of body. His arms and embroidery floss and legs are jointed at poke out from beneath shoulders and hips twin baseball caps. They and stitch jointed at wear the same outfits the elbow. His legs are consisting of white pants striped cotton, meant that button onto blue to simulate stockings. shirts. Very prominent His wig is yarn and his Characters could be ordered individually or as a set. Few complete sets are shirt collars are exaggerated features known to exist. This pamphlet dates to the early 1920’s, although some of emblazoned with their include painted eyes, these dolls were being manufactured as early as 1905. names Tweedle Dee and heavy brows, a very Tweedle Dum. They share the same style cloth bodies that are prominent nose and a mouth that curves upward in a slight jointed at the shoulders, elbows and hips. Their legs re covered smile. He wears a suit, jacket and a huge bow tie at his neck. in striped cotton to simulate stockings. The most outstanding piece of his clothing, however, is his The heroine of this series is of course, Alice who tumbled oversized top hat made of felt. A cardboard sign tucked into down the rabbit hole and into a land of wonder. Of all the the ribbon band advertises the price of the hat. He wears dolls in this group, she is the simplest in design. At some slipper type shoes. point in time her appearance changed. Several examples that The 13.5 inch Duchess, whose muslin body is stuffed and I believe to be the original version of Alice have a round face heavily padded in the front, is meant to give the impression and child-like features. Her hair is brushed back from her face of an amply built woman. Her head and arms are painted in and is styled with short bangs with an area for Alice’s hair a pink-beige tone but her legs are made of striped cotton to band as well. Her hair is painted a dark shade of blond. Her represent stockings. Both arms and legs are jointed at shoulders dress is appropriate for a little girl and can easily be identified and hips and stitch jointed at elbows.

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Profile for Antique Doll Collector Magazine

September 2010  

Special Chase Dolls • All Bisques • Meet the Bumsteads • Dolls’ Houses from the Old Salem Toy Museum • UFDC Salesroom • Antique Blue Ribbon...

September 2010  

Special Chase Dolls • All Bisques • Meet the Bumsteads • Dolls’ Houses from the Old Salem Toy Museum • UFDC Salesroom • Antique Blue Ribbon...