I read somewhere that if you have three of something, you have a collection. Well I guess that makes me a collector of Raggedy Ann and Andy! Let me introduce you to my dolls.
Raggedy Ann and Andy sprang from the imagination of Johnny Gruelle, an artist and illustrator from Connecticut. His young daughter Marcella found an old faceless rag doll in the attic, and he gave it a face, and made up stories about the doll to entertain her. After Marcella died at age 13, he published the stories as a book. She had loved Raggedy Ann so much, he patented a design and had family members make dolls for sale. The first commercially produced Raggedy Ann and Andy were made by P.F. Volland in 1920. They have been continually in production by various companies ever since.
Sewing patterns to make your own Raggedy Ann and Andy have been available since 1940. Two of my Raggedy pairs are homemade. This pair is 18″ tall, with red yarn hair, black button eyes and appliqued noses. You’ll notice they don’t match exactly – Ann has plaid legs and corduroy shoes, while Andy’s legs are black and white striped, and his shoes are a different ribbed material.
My other homemade pair stands 20″ tall, with yellow yarn hair and embroidered features. They don’t quite match either! Ann has a nose and mouth to match her hair, while Andy’s are rose colored. His eyes have pupils and hers don’t. And although they both have striped legs, they are of different fabrics. Originally I had planned to keep just one pair; but I never could decide which pair I liked better.
My newest pair of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls arrived in the mail last week. These are the new dolls being produced by Aurora World, and they were kind enough to send me a sample. I was happy to see these latest versions still have the sweetness and charm that have made Raggedy Ann and Andy the best loved dolls of all time.
I have very few memories of my childhood. But I do remember the very first doll I owned, Raggedy Ann. I’m sure she had been loved to death by the time she left me. So it’s fitting that now the circle is complete, and I have become, albeit accidentally, a collector of these iconic dolls.
What was the first doll you can remember having?
Copyright 2012 by Zendelle Bouchard