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Doll Gallery: Hard Plastic

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When plastic was invented, it was a doll manufacturer's dream, because now dolls could be dropped and bathed without coming to harm. The first plastic dolls were hard and shiny - and some of these early ones are victims of 'doll disease' which is a breaking-down of the plastic.
Juliet This is Juliet, a small Pedigree doll with distinctive 'starfish' hands. She is 7" tall with blue sleep eyes and a brown mohair wig. She wears a lemon net ballet skirt over white pants and top. Her shoes and socks are painted onto her feet, and she wears flowers in her hair.
Gloria is made by the firm of BND, which stands for British National Dolls, and dates from the early 1950s. She is a walker, with sturdy limbs and an open mouth. Her long fair wig is a replacement. Gloria is dressed in blue gingham, with white knickers, long socks and blue plastic ribbon-tied shoes. BND was a North London company who made dolls from 1930 - 1960. For more information on this company, and other British manufacturers of hard plastic dolls, see Frances Baird's book 'British Hard Plastic Dolls of the 1940s and 1950s', published in 1998 by New Cavendish Books. Gloria
Anita This hard plastic teen doll, Anita, is marked British Empire Hong Kong 6120. Made around 1957, she stands 12" high, and has elegantly shaped hands with red finger-nails. Her short mohair wig is ginger, and she has plastic flower earrings. She wears a circular black skirt, white cotton-lace blouse and scarlet bandana belt over nylon stockings, bra, pants and slip. On her arched feet are dainty white high-heeled sandals.

Click here to see last issue's Hard Plastic Gallery.