Monday, August 30, 2010

You Can't Judge a 'Box' By Its Cover...

That was the clever comment that I got back from Stacey of Flotsam & Jetsam a few weeks ago when I shared the story of how I found these 1919 Movy-Dols...

...inside this much newer 1960's Christmas cards box at recent estate sale.

I really didn't mean to keep this whole box of treasures to myself!  So I thought it was about time that I showed you a few more of the paper dolls that were inside.

Isn't this quartet sweet?
They aren't tiny paper dolls - they're ten adorable inches tall.

Flip them over and you can see that the dolls (and their clothes) were cut from what appears to be a movie magazine - perhaps an issue of Photoplay, as was the case with the Movy-Dols that I shared with you in my post a couple of weeks ago.

What I love about these paper dolls, and many of the others in the box, is that the previous owner gave a name to each of the dolls and wrote them out on the backs.  From left to right we have: Erleen Hodger, Marian Dahltop, John Marsh, and Sally Bingham.  But in previous lives, Erleen was both a Lorraine and a Donald...and Marian was a Margaret...John was a Eugene...and Sally was a Betty!

Here they are again - with some clothes on!

It was fairly easy to date these dolls. This little blurb about Gloria Swanson was on the back of the Sally Bingham doll: "La Marquise de la Falaise de la Coudraye, better known as Gloria Swanson, whose latest Paramount picture, Stage Struck, is acclaimed by many as her greatest work."

So...I googled Stage Struck and learned that Gloria's film came out in 1925.  Voila! - these are 1925 paper dolls.

Have you ever seen such soulful eyes? No question, Little Johnny Marsh broke a lot of hearts when he grew up. :-)

Lots more paper dolls to share! But I'm lazy about taking photos these days - so you'll have to be patient. 

Patience.  That reminds me of my fifth grade teacher, Sister Leann (yes, a Catholic nun), and the punishment she doled out to restless and misbehaving students.  It was a trip to the blackboard to write out 100 times...

Patience is a virtue I must practice. Patience is a virtue I must practice. Patience is a virtue I must practice...

Sister Leann would be happy to know that to this day those words pop into my head sometimes when life is crazy and my mind is going a mile a minute, and it causes me to pause... 

But thank God I didn't pause too long when I spotted the Christmas Cards box at that sale, or someone else would be blogging about my paper dolls instead of me!  Patience is definitely not a virtue when it comes to finding bargains at estate sales.  :-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Frigidaire presents the "Vintage Queen for a Day" Award to...

...Linda of The Paper Collector!


Linda correctly guessed that the little girl in the top half of this July 1946 Good Housekeeping advertisement ... part of a cigarette ad!

Here's what's on the bottom half...

And both halves together in the full ad...

So...what's the (shaky) 1940's logic here?

A. Your doctor and thousands like him are toiling ceaselessly to ensure that you have a longer, better, healthier life.

B. More doctors prefer to smoke Camels than any other brand of cigarette.

C. Doctor knows best! (assumed)

D. Therefore, smoking Camels will ensure that you have a longer, better, healthier life - and live to be 100!

If you too would like a chance at becoming Vintage Queen for a Day...keep your eyes open for future vintage quizzes.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

1946 Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval?

It's Saturday morning, and I'm trying to stir up a little fun.  Fun for me, anyway... :-)

A big stack of 1940's Good Housekeeping magazines that I purchased on eBay arrived in the mail earlier this week, and as I was paging through a 1946 issue I stumbled across an ad that made me do a double take:

This is the top half of a full-page ad.  "I'm going to grow a hundred years old......Thank your doctor and thousands like him...that you and yours may enjoy a longer better life."

Can you guess what's on the bottom half - and what they're advertising here?

A logical guess might be...

...Life Insurance?

Or maybe something healthy like...

...Campbell's vegetable soup.

...or Welch's Grape Jelly?

Nope! about something a doctor might recommend to encourage good digestion, at every age...

Phillips' Milk of Magnesia?

Nope, not even close.

Well, this is a stretch.  Kodak pictures last a lifetime - could that be it?


Well, how about an ad with "Lovely Sally Carleson and How She Grew"...using doctors' advised Ivory Soap?

No again.

Anyone want to take a stab at guessing what advertisement the little girl who is going to live to be 100 - thanks to her doctor - belongs in?

Believe me, no guess will be a stupid one.  Only a 1940's "Mad Men" advertising mind could come up with this connection.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pajama Games and Pillow Talk: Doris Day Inspired Lingerie

Doris Day was the quintessential "Girl Next Door" movie star - sweet and spunky, sexy but wholesome - and absolutely adorable...

Photo from squallyshowers

I've always loved Doris Day, so I didn't hesitate to nab this album when I spotted it for $1.00 at Half Price Books a few months back.  The record is a bit scratched, but I bought it mainly for the record jacket which features Miss Day in a little heart print night shirt from her 1957 film, The Pajama Game.

What is it about Doris and pajama-themed movies?  Here she is again in the 1959 film Pillow Talk with co-star Rock Hudson.

Photo from Hooked on Houses, a blog that features movie and television homes.
Doris in a sweet little baby blue peignoir set.  Is that a Bloody Mary next to the phone on her pink countertop?  See what I mean - sweet but spunky!

Contributed by YouTube's FloridaFilmFestival

This Pillow Talk trailer captures some of the fun from the movie.
Best line from a favorite scene: "Are you getting out of that bed, or am I coming in after you!"

Like Doris Day, I've also been stuck on a pajama theme lately.   During the past several months, I can't seem to get my hands on any quality vintage dresses, suits or blouses at reasonable prices. But I've hit the jackpot with lingerie! 

 For a single girl who currently only shares her bed with musty stacks of vintage magazines and catalogs - I've certainly got quite the stash of sheer and sexy vintage nighties and robes hanging in my closet.

And if I looked as sexy in them as Doris Day, I'd be happy to model them for you! But I think it's best if I pass off the modeling to my faithful dress form, Donna...

Short pink nylon peignoir set.  This could have come right out of the 1959 Pillow Talk movie!


A mid- 1950's nylon slip
It has a gorgeous bodice of lacy embroidered netting.

And a pretty blue bow and nylon tricot pleating at the bottom, with a sheer lacy overlay.  Gorgeous!

Here's one of my favorites, a sheer nylon robe, probably from the mid 1950's.  Label: "Dressmaker Designed by Radcliffe" 

I love the big bow at the neck...

All that lace!  So pretty and feminine...

I love bed jackets!  This sweet little lilac number has a "Van Roalte" label.

Look at this 5-inch wide band of lace on the sleeves.  
There's no such thing as too much lace on vintage lingerie!

The sun washed out the soft pink color in this photo.  But isn't it pretty? This very sheer 1950's nylon gown is by "Colura."

Here's a view from the back, showing off the pretty pink bow.

We move from soft pink to baby blue, and from the 50's to (I think) the 60's with this vintage Olga gown.
This is from their "Sleeping Pretty" line of lingerie.  The label: "Behind every Olga, there really is an Olga."

It has a softly padded built-in bra, and fits like a dream!

And now we're suddenly in the Mod world of the mid-1960's with this colorful pastel sleeveless nightie.
Underneath the sheer diagonal panels of pink, green and blue is another layer of pink nylon. This gown has a "Deena" label.

Here's a view from the back.  Simple design, perfect for the 60's.

And finally, let's move back in time about 20 years, to the mid 1940's.
"Gay printed Rayon Crepe Ensemble in floral print. Gown has soft flattering fullness over bust and pointed midriff. Bias cut skirt follows body contours to hip line, then flows out into graceful folds."
Montgomery Ward catalog - Spring and Summer 1943.

And here's my very own rayon crepe floral gown, purchased from an estate sale a few weeks ago.

I've never had a bias cut gown before. Even I look glamorous in it. :-)

Aren't these shoulder straps interesting?

Can you see why this one's my favorite?

So, as you can see, I've got quite the movie star wardrobe for a girl-next-door type like me.  Now my next step is to find something a bit cozier than magazines to curl up next to at night. 

Oh least I'm sleeping pretty.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

1919 Movy-Dols of the Silent Screen: Mary Pickford, Norma Talmadge, Charlie Chaplin, Geraldine Farrar

After lots of practice with estate sale treasure hunting, I have learned that it can pay huge dividends to take the extra bit of time to unzip suitcases, unsnap purses, and open up boxes - no matter how nondescript the packaging is. 

Imagine my surprise when I found these old paper dolls dating from the end of World War I to the 1930's...

...hiding inside this 1960's Christmas Card box!

The box was filled with an assortment of Dolly Dingles and other adorable 1920's boy and girl paper dolls with tons of clothes...and long-legged scantily dressed flapper girls with Betty Boop hair styles cut from the comics section of the newspaper.

But my favorites are the movie star paper dolls from the silent era.

Thankfully, the previous owner - her name was Bonnie - had written on the backs of the clothes which belonged to each star.

Here's Norma Talmadge and some of her clothes - presumably costumes from her films:

It's a little hard to see in this photo, but each paper doll is labeled with the star's name and "Herself" or "Himself"

A photograph of Norma Talmadge, Herself...from a post on Norma in the Silent Film Festival blog

Here's the Charlie Chaplin doll with his wardrobe:

And a photo of Mr. Chaplin pulled from an article in Flicks and Bits on The Top 10 Moustaches in Film.

Here are a few stars you may not be familiar with...

Paper doll of Geraldine Farrar (above) and photograph (below) from Faery Tales,  a Russian blog.

And this is actress Marguerite Clark as a paper doll (above) and in a photograph (below) from  "Glamorous Ghost [Marguerite Clark] Haunts Louisiana Library" article in the Book Patrol blog.

You're probably far more familiar with these last two paper doll stars.  Here's Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films like the Thief of Baghdad and Mark of Zorro.

Photograph of Douglas, Sr. courtesy of Dr. Macro's Movie Scans.

When he married "America's Sweetheart" Mary Pickford in 1920, the two became "royalty."

Photo courtesy of The Sunrise Silents

Unfortunately, although Mary Pickford's clothes were in the box - the paper doll was missing.  However there was another version of a Pickford doll there, colored with crayons.

Mary Pickford wasn't the only crayon colored doll in the lot.  I also found two of Marguerite Clark, two of Charlie Chaplin and one of Elsie Ferguson.  A mystery that needed to be solved!

In my research, I learned that these paper dolls were called "Movy-Dols" and were illustrated by Percy Reeves.  The Movy-Dols were included in issues of Photoplay magazine in 1919.

Stevemcg recently sold this September 1919 issue of Photoplay on eBay... 

...and look what was uncut page of Charlie Chaplin Movy-Dols!

Next I found an example of the Douglas Fairbanks Movy-Dol in the Paper Collector, a wonderful blog that often features articles on old paper dolls. 

But I was still stumped by the mysterious  hand-colored paper dolls.  Where did those come from?

Finally I stumbled across this auction item listed in a 2003 Skinner's Auction of the Maurine Popp Collection of Dolls -
Lot 580: Movy-Dols Paper Dolls and Painting Book, eight stars include Norma Talmadge, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, May Allison, Geraldine Farrar, Maugureite Clark, and Elsie Ferguson; paper dolls present, (the ones to color are missing).

Mystery solved!  Apparently all of the paper dolls from the Photoplay series were gathered into one book, which also included blank paper dolls to paint or color.

Auction estimate: $300-$400
Sold for: $275.

I thought I'd take you back for one final look at 1919 and the world of the silent film stars, with this original footage of Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith signing the contract to form their own film company, United Artists - in May 1919. 

Be sure to watch it to the end.  After the signing, the four celebrities — with Chaplin in his Tramp garb and makeup — pose and clown around for the press cameras.

Courtesy of YouTube's TokyoDinosaur

And now, on this lovely, windy Sunday afternoon, I will leave silence.
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