Thursday, September 30, 2010

1905 Dennison Art and Decoration in Crepe and Tissue Paper book

Today I received a 1905 Dennison Art and Decoration in Crepe and Tissue Paper book I won on eBay.  It is missing the front cover and the last few pages but I figured when was I ever going to see another one.  

My hope was to find a bit more information on the Dennison Ballerina and Prima Donna Dolls I have been collecting and this book did have just a few pages with information on them; not much but a little.  Their catalogs originally started showing the Ballerina and Prima Donna paper dolls around 1895 and they stopped around 1907 so with this 1905 version they probably figured the public was very aware of what their adult dolls looked like and unfortunately did not include many pictures of them in this publication.

I have enjoyed reading through this book of Dennison's 1905 paper goods and the old time use of language is a hoot, so I thought I'd share some of it on this blog.  I hope it gives some of you lots of Grins and Giggles.

 Doll Box Set as shown in the 1905 Dennison Book

 An Actual Dennison Doll Kit from 1907-1909

The Girl Dolls came boxed in kits, you could get a set of 4 dolls in an envelope.  
It was also possible to purchase dolls individually.

This page was the doll price list showing the sizes and pricing for each doll if purchased individually.  It also told how many versions of each size and type of doll were available. (This is where I wish it had also shown pictures of the available dolls so I could have it for reference but alas, I was not so fortunate.)

This was the last page about the paper dolls.

 Doll set from the Dennison 1913 line of Dolls

L&B made many of the dolls for Dennison but they also made additional dolls so I'm still trying to figure out which dolls were L&B dolls for Dennison and what dolls L&B sold under their own label that were not sold by Dennison.  It's a good thing I like a mystery, because it's probably going to take me quite a while to figure this one out.

The price list showing doll sizes and how many different versions of each was made.

 Page 22 has this example using on of the Ballerina Dolls
It appears in 1905 that Dennison called Glitter "Flitters" - what fun!

Close up of the Doll Example

Here Are Examples of L&B Dolls I am aware of, some of which were sold by Dennison

L&B Ballerinas

I believe this doll may represent Princess Dagmar of Denmark the younger sister of Alexandra who married Tsar Alexander 2nd.

I think she represents Alexandra Princess of Denmark who later became Queen Alexandra of England after she married Edward VII. She had a scar on her neck due to a childhood accident so she always wore a tall collar of pearls to conceal it. - A few places have this same doll listed as Lillie Langtry so until I know for sure if she is Princess or Actress I'll leave her listed with a ?

I'm still trying to get an original of this doll

This one came up on eBay but I was not the winner

set of 3 attached ballerina heads - these are one of the smaller sized sets

a set of attached legs to go with the ballerinas above

One of my eBay finds - not perfect but at least I have her in my collection

displayed at a paper doll show - I'd love to have an original or a better digital copy

displayed at a paper doll show - I'd love to have an original or a better digital copy

L&B Prima-Donnas
Available for download - HERE
I'm only aware of these three Prima-Donnas.  
I own some of these in the 14" doll size but would love to have 
a complete uncut set of these smaller dolls for my collection.

L&B Indians
I've seen these on auctions sites a few times 
but they seem to go for really big money.

L&B African Baby
There are 3 in this series of the African Baby Doll

L&B Child Dolls
There are 6 pretty girls and then a matching set of hands and legs

These are the matching legs and arms for the girls above

Another set of girl heads but I'm not sure what the arms and legs look like for them.

A sweet set of girl dolls

I may never know the full mystery on the L&B and Dennison Dolls but I sure am having fun on this journey to discover all I can on them.  I've been fortunate to collect some of these original dolls and on some others I have fairly nice working scans but on several of the dolls I only have poor quality or low resolutions scans that I hope to one day either have an original or a nice quality scan to replace them with.  

It's still amazing to me that I'm able to find originals of these paper creations considering many of them are over 100 years old.  Just thinking about the fact that a large ballerina in 1905 was 12 cents and today they go for between $60-$125 shows that some things do keep their value over time.

Grins and Giggles,
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)

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