Saturday, October 24, 2009

A 1950s Arrow 'Supermarket' Doll

I know all about the doll on the left because she was mine. Once upon a time, I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, but sadly, I was never really a 'doll' person. Teddies - now they're a different matter, and I would never ever sell my lovely old Teddy Tubby and Teddy Robinson. They are two of my most precious possessions. I've added to the collection over the years and will blog about them in future! But although I was very fond of this doll, I didn't love her with the same intensity. And I'm currently selling her on eBay, in an effort to find her a better home. She is interesting though - an 'Arrow' supermarket doll from the late 1950s - and I suspect she may even predate Barbie by a year or so, but she is certainly a similar type. These 'supermarket' dolls were inexpensive, well made dolls which, in the USA, could be purchased in supermarkets. She has a little lozenge shape with an arrow on the back of her neck, and the number 15. I'm not sure how my parents acquired her in Leeds, which was where we were living at the time, because she arrived from Santa one Christmas in the late 1950s when I was a little girl. And I can't now remember what clothes she wore, because they disappeared many years ago, but I do remember that I christened her Rose.
She has a hard plastic body and a soft plastic head. She is very tall indeed and she has rooted blonde hair, blue eyes with black lashes, a very curvy figure with an impossibly slender waist and long long legs, with feet designed to wear high heeled shoes. She has both finger and toenails painted, and even has eyeliner on her big blue eyes. She is articulated at the waist which swivels but not at the knees, so she can only sit down with her legs stretched out in front.
When I rediscovered her, she had been stored away in a tea-chest and - sadly - a mouse had nibbled her little nose. He must have found her unpalatable, because the damage is only small! I also cut her fringe - probably thinking it might grow back. (All little girls do this at some time or another with their dolls!) It would be nice to see her dressed again in appropriate 1950s/early 60s clothing, and I've thought about it over the years, but have never managed to clothe her, mainly because - although I love textiles and vintage clothes, sell them and write about them - I'm not a particularly good seamstress. So, regretfully, I'm looking for a new home for her, and am currently listing her in my eBay store. Where else would you find a doll with full provenance - and one owned by a real life writer, at that!

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