My first china head doll was sold undressed. My mother brought it back from a visit to Provincetown, MA in the 1940s. To my surprise, she made a calico dress that perfectly fit the 7 in. doll, and she did it without a pattern. This was a big favor for me because she preferred sewing for people, not dolls. Years later I crocheted the blue accessories.
I wonder where my mother bought this 7 x 4 in. Noah’s ark. Was it at a gift shop at Rocky Neck, Gloucester, MA? She and my Aunt Sue would often walk there at the end of a summer’s day. I used to take out all the animals and make them stand in line. The monkey was my favorite. These popular arks of the 1930’s were made in Germany, probably in the Grodner Tal region, home of many skilled wood carvers.
Occasionally my Mother and Aunt Sue would visit relatives in Nova Scotia. After one trip in the late 1940’s, Mother brought back this 7 in. couple from New Brunswick. These hand made dolls were dressed in hand woven and hand knitted garments. They were called Friendship dolls. I gave them a home safe from moths in a box frame and consider them a work of art. The little 1939 dog with them came from Mrs. Parker’s shop in East Gloucester, MA. I recently learned that four of these dolls are in a collection at the Tides Institute and Museum in Eastport, ME. They described them as follows.
“JOHN PASSA! MARIE QUODDY! Two of these hand made dolls (man and woman) just came into our collections to join the two already here. In the process, we learned more about their origins. The man was called John Passa and the woman Marie Quoddy. They were made in St. Andrews, New Brunswick solely for the St. Andrews based business, Cottage Craft, by two women (Mary Bryant made the bodies and she and a friend Phoebe Lowrey made the woven and knitted outfits). One of the owners of Cottage Craft painted the faces.”
Some 1960s dolls were described as Go-Go’s. This 19 in. doll, 1966 from P and M Sales, was dressed like one, wearing a short tunic and black leggings. Her clumsy body didn’t match her face so I put her head on a fashion doll body and made a dress. Changing heads on dolls can be a bad idea. The doll has lost its identity as a collectible if that is important to you. Save the original parts and all can be restored.