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!

What an interesting toy!  This “Trinity Chimes” piano toy was manufactured by the German Schoenhut company in the late 1800s or early 1900s.  I don’t know much about this piece and would like to learn more! 

I like that this Schoenhut instrument has detailed lithograph and a cherub on the top.

Does anyone know which European chapel is pictured on the bottom of the instrument?  Any other details about this would be appreciated!

If you’d like to buy this piece, click here!  It is listed in my Ruby Lane shop!

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!

If you grew up in the 1950’s, you certainly remember the Lennon Sisters from “The Lawrence Welk Show” The group debuted on the show on Christmas Eve of 1955, after Larry Welk, Lawrence’s son and a classmate of the sisters, brought the group to sing for his father who was sick in bed. Welk immediately signed the girls to be part of his show!

This set of paper dolls is one of the many celebrity sets produced in the 1950s. My mother had this set, along with Marge and Gower Champion.

Young girls must’ve had a lot of fun creating their own “Lennon Sisters” adventures with these dolls in anticipation for the next show!

This set is currently available for sale in my Ruby Lane store! Click here to purchase!

A wonderful doll accessory from the late 1920’s!  This Doll Dressmaker set dates from 1928 and was produced by the J W Spears company! 

I would’ve loved to have seen some of the outfits that girls made with a kit like this!  Little dresses for their all-bisque dolls or Kewpies!

The box is my favorite part, showing two sisters making clothes for their beloved baby.  This image reminds me very much of my younger sister and I when we were young.  We spent hours making outfits for our Sylvanian Family toys.  I, like the older sister in the box image, did most of the work while my sister watched.  We didn’t have a kit like this but used leftover scraps from my mom’s quilting.

J W Spears has quite an interesting history, as stated in Wikipedia:

J. W. Spear and Sons was a significant manufacturer of board games during the 20th century. The company was registered in Fürth, near Nuremberg, Germany in 1879 producing goods such as table mats, photo frames and waste-paper baskets. By the turn of the century games had become the main product and output gradually expanded until the company become one of the best-known international manufacturers of games and children’s activity kits, employing up to 600 people.

In 1932 they set up a factory in Britain and with rise to power of the Nazis and the Spear family being Jewish, production was gradually moved to Britain. The Nuremberg factory survived most of World War II under Nazi control until the Royal Air Force bombed it.

The UK factory switched to military production during the war and then returned to making games. In 1954 the company acquired the rights to produce and market Scrabble for markets outside North America. As well as board games they made the Brickplayer construction toy.

The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1966 and was taken over by Mattel in 1994 after a bidding war with Hasbro. Mattel closed the UK factory and while it still produces Scrabble, most of the traditional Spear’s Games are no longer made.

Good news!  This item is for sale in my shop at Ruby Lane!  Click here to view!

I’m Back!

Posted by: adminin Uncategorized

Hello All!  I have made it safely to the Midwest and am settling into my first weeks of work!  The past month has been a whirlwind with my sister’s wedding and the many changes in my life!

I will be back in a regular blogging pattern soon with lots of treasures to share!  In the meantime, enjoy this photo!  It is circa 1920 and shows two little girls with a doll I believe to be by Armand Marseille.  It seems like they could’ve been living in the Missouri/Kansas area as I am now! 

You will find an image of my sister on her wedding day at the bottom of the post, in the gallery.  What a beautiful bride!