Archive for the "Composition Dolls" Category


School is back in session for children around the country!  This darling image dating from 1928, reminds us that there is fun involved in the learning too!

The photo hails from the well-known Frances Thompson Studio in San Francisco, CA and dates from 1928.  The children are holding some incredible toys – from a number of dolls that resemble Effanbee’s Bubbles, to lithographed books, to a cardboard dog! 

Take a look at the images in the gallery for more detailed shots!

The photo and information are courtesy of “Memories of Things Past” on Ruby Lane.  Click here to check out this great shop!

It is not certain if the Ideal Toy and Novelty Company would’ve survived the Great Depression without the Shirley Temple doll.  Ideal acquired the rights to make dolls in the young star’s image in 1934, and by 1941, the company had sold 45 million dollars worth of Shirley Temple dolls.  The dolls produced by Ideal bear an uncanny likeness to Temple – from the dimpled cheeks to the thick head of blonde curls!

This is an early Shirley Temple doll I have for sale on Ruby Lane.  She is wearing the iconic red and white polka dot dress from “Stand up and Cheer” and is still in her original box!  Her head is not marked with “Shirley Temple” but with an earlier Ideal Marking.  You can read more about how Ideal marked their Shirley Temple dolls below, an excerpt from

The first Shirley Temple dolls were marketed in fall of 1934, at that time, “Stand Up and Cheer” had just come out, and Shirley was just beginning to gain popularity. Because Ideal (the ONLY company licensed to sell the Shirley Temple doll) did not know how successful the dolls would be, the first dolls, the “prototype” doll, were not marked Shirley Temple, and were only marked on the inside of the head “(C) 1934 Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.”(also might be marked just Ideal on the head), by my own observation, these dolls had chubbier cheeks than the Shirleys made later in production, probably because Shirley was so young, and chubby herself. These dolls are slightly more valuable that the later Shirley dolls. CLICK HERE to see a prototype Shirley Temple prototype doll.

Once Christmas of 1934 came, and Ideal saw how successful the Shirley doll would be and so they got a patent on the Shirley Temple doll. For the first year of production, the name SHIRLEY TEMPLE was stamped on the doll along with a COP, which stood for Copyright Pending. Once Ideal got the copyright, the dolls said SHIRLEY TEMPLE on their head and back. The markings came as follows:

    1.SHIRLEY TEMPLE (in the shape of a half circle)
    2.SHIRLEY TEMPLE (in the shape of a half circle) IDEAL N.&T.Co. (inside the half circle, usually written IDEAL, straight across, on one line, and N.&T.Co. on the next), this mark also came with COP (C with the O and P inside it), to stand for Copyright Pending
    3.Shirley Temple
    SHIRLEY TEMPLE (just as written)
    4.Shirley Temple with IDEAL in a diamond below it, I have also seen just the Ideal in the diamond on the back of some Shirley dolls.

The beautiful doll pictured is for sale!  Click here for details!

Antique Toy Chest is now on Facebook! The Facebook Fan page is a great venue for updates on new items, sales, toy shows, and more! Click here to become a fan. Fans get 10% off of any non-sale purchases in my shop on Ruby Lane!

The stunning picture of the double rainbow in the gallery is from my trip to CO (just got back last night!).  Wonderful time with friends!

This toy catalog dates from 1939 features some of the most amazing toys of the period!  It is from Jack Edwards Store, Carbondale, PA and features two children on its cover, “Billy and Ruth.”  There is a letter from Billy and Ruth inside the front cover.  I’m not sure if they were actual children or fictional characters made up by the store.

I have included images of some of the pages in the 40-page catalog.  The selection of toys is so diverse!  From Popeye and Lone Ranger toys, to Deanna Durbin and Betsy Wetsy Dolls! 

It’s amazing that the Popeye Dippy Dumper Auto only cost 49c in 1939!  Can you imagine how much it would be worth in mint condition now?!?

This rare catalog is currently listed for sale on EBay.  Click on the link at the top of the page to view my EBay auctions!

The Ideal Toy Company, founded in New York by Morris and Rose Michtom, may not have survived the Great Depression had it not been for the Shirley Temple doll.  The company gained exclusive rights to produce dolls in the likeness of screen star, Shirley Temple, in 1934.  It is estimated that between October and December of 1934, Ideal sold more that 50,000 Shirley Temple dolls!  WOW!

I was intrigued by the story of how Ideal “discovered” Shirley Temple and began pursuing the license to create dolls in her likeness.  The book Shirley Temple Dolls and Collectibles, by Tonya Bervaldi-Camaratta describes the story as such:

In late 1933, a well-known doll dress designer, Mollye Goldman, employed by the Ideal Toy Company, saw the movie Merrily Yours, a short film costarring Shirley Temple.  She saw something very special in Shirley.  After the movie, Mollye immediately called her boss, Morris Mitchum (who was still on the board of directors at Ideal) to tell him about little Shirley.  The first thing he asked her was, “What is a Shirley Temple?”  He would soon find out.

I am listing this gorgeous Shirley Temple doll and another very rare Shirley Prototype doll in special 3-day auctions on Ebay, starting tonight, Sunday the 27th, at about 10:30 EST.  Check out the link to my auctions at the top of the page!  GREAT BARGAINS!

This beautiful, all original Snow White doll was produced by Madame Alexander in 1937 to coincide with the release of the Walt Disney film. 

The landmark film was the top-grossing box office draw ever until “Gone with the Wind” broke its record in the 1939/40 season.  Not bad, considering Disney’s wife, Lillian, had told him years before that “No one’s ever going to pay a dime to see a dwarf picture.”

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the inspiration for MGM to produce its own fantasy picture, “The Wizard of Oz” and paved the way for countless full-length animated films afterwards.

It’s amazing to ponder the domino effect this one film produced!  And, think of all of the wonderful toys that would’ve never been had it not been made!

This sweet doll is currently for sale on Ebay.  Check out the link to my auctions at the top!