Sweet Ann / Sweet Gail Dolls by Deluxe Reading

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May 232016
 
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Sweet Ann doll by Deluxe Reading has a sweet face. Her box has an illustration of her against a blue background. Photos courtesy of Francie Owens.

Sweet Ann and Sweet Gail are the same doll, only the color of their gown differentiates them. They were sold in grocery stores in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Body Construction
Sweet Ann and Sweet Gail are among Deluxe Reading’s larger glamour dolls at 30″ tall. They are made of rigid vinyl or hard plastic, with a softer vinyl head, jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips.

Markings
She is marked “AE251/3” or “AE251/4G” on the back of her neck.

Clothing
Sweet Ann wears her fabulous red gown with silver and white underskirt, with red mitts. The bright red satin fabric fades to a duller red or orange over time. Around her neck is a pearl choker, and she wears drop pearl earrings and a tiara of silver sequins. Sweet Gail wears the same style gown, except that it is royal blue instead of red. This blue has often faded to purple over time.

Packaging
Sweet Ann’s original box is pictured above. Sweet Gail’s is the same basic design, but the dress is blue and the background is red.

This doll has lost her jewelry, but her dress retains its vibrant red color.



Copyright 1998-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Sweet Rosemary Doll by Deluxe Reading

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Apr 212016
 
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Sweet Rosemary is one of the big glamour dolls Deluxe Reading made in the late 1950s, which were sold in grocery stores. Although she is a lady doll, she was made with a variety of head molds that are very childlike.

Body Construction
This doll is approximately 30″ tall, jointed at the neck only. She is all vinyl and her body is stuffed. She has short, curly blonde rooted hair and blue sleep eyes with brush lashes, with painted lashes below her eyes. She has pierced ears with drop pearl earrings. Her finger and toenails are unpainted. The same dolls were dressed in different outfits and sold as Darling Debbie, Beautiful Gail, Betty the Beautiful Bride, and Cinderella.

Clothing
Sweet Rosemary wears a pink taffeta gown with rows and rows of pink and silver lace ruffles decorating the skirt. The same lace also frames the neckline and she wears matching detached sleeves. A deep pink velveteen cummerbund accents her waist, and a pearl choker encircles her throat. She also wears white cotton panties. The doll was also packaged with a pink plastic purse with goldtone chain strap. The bases of her high heeled shoes are gray plastic with white elastic straps across the instep, accented with a circle of rhinestones.

Markings
The large stuffed vinyl dolls have various markings.

Packaging
Her original box is pictured below.



Copyright 2000-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Ballerina / Skater Doll by Deluxe Reading (1959-60)

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Mar 312016
 
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Deluxe Reading made several different high heeled dolls in the late fifties and early sixties. The Ballerina / Skater came with outfits for both activities to provide hours of fun for a little girl.

Body Construction
This doll is 20″ tall, with a soft vinyl head, rigid vinyl arms and torso, hard plastic legs and feet. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, waist, hips, knees and ankles. Her lower legs and ankles are strung, the rest of her joints are flanged. She is a walker. Her blue sleep eyes are framed by brush lashes, with three painted lashes at the outer corner of each eye. She has the typical “chipmunk-cheeked” face seen in many of Deluxe Reading’s dolls. Dolls with this body type came with either a bubblecut or ponytail hairstyle, in dark blonde and possibly other colors. She has no earring holes.

A similar doll, with the addition of jointed wrists, was also made by Deluxe Reading.

Deluxe Reading’s Ballerina / Skater doll has jointed ankles.

Markings
She is marked “21 HH” on the back of her head below the hairline.

Clothing
This doll was sold in the Sears catalog of 1959 as a Ballerina/Skater, wearing a long-sleeved ice skating costume with tights, skates and a scarf. She also came with a complete ballet outfit. In 1960, the ponytailed version was available as a Ballerina with Wardrobe. Her extra clothing included a leotard, rayon party dress, and cotton dress with jacket. The Ballerina/Skater was also described, but not pictured.

Scan from 1959 Sears Christmas Catalog, courtesy of Wishbook Web.

The doll in the photo at top wears a strapless dress with cotton bodice trimmed in gold braid and a taffeta print skirt. A flocked flower corsage is pinned to the bodice. This is very similar to another Deluxe Reading outfit also pictured in the 1960 Sears catalog. This may have been the party dress that came with the Ballerina doll, or perhaps this particular doll was sold as simply a fashion doll wearing this outfit. Her petticoat, hose and shoes may not be original.



Copyright 1999-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Dee an Cee Doll in Black Cocktail Dress

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Mar 242016
 
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This doll has not been identified, but she is most likely Cindy made by Dee and Cee in the early sixties, as she closely resembles their other Cindy dolls. She is also virtually identical to Royal’s Lilo doll.

Body Construction
This pretty lady is 17″ tall, all vinyl and jointed at the neck, shoulders, waist and hips. She has sleep eyes with brush lashes, pierced ears and red painted finger- and toenails. Her rooted blonde hair is styled in a short bubblecut.

Markings
She is marked “D & C” on the back of her head below the hairline.

Clothing
This doll wears a black satin cocktail dress with a black knit and silver lurex bodice and a black net overskirt. The dress is fastened with two black buttons in the back. Pinned to her head is a small circle hat of the same material as the bodice trimmed in the black net. She’s also wearing black satin panties, sheer beige nylon hose and black plastic ankle strap shoes.



Copyright 2000-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard.

Sweet Sue Teenage Doll by Dee an Cee

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Mar 222016
 
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When I bought the doll pictured above, I thought she was a very unusual Sweet Sue Sophisticate by American Character. Her pale strawberry blonde hair and arched eyebrows were different than any other I had seen. Her outfit didn’t look original – the quality certainly isn’t up to American Character’s usual standards. It wasn’t until I saw one mint in box on eBay that I found out who she really is – the Sweet Sue Teen Age Doll by Dee an Cee, and her outfit is her original one.



Body Construction
This doll is identical to the 20″ Sweet Sue Sophisticate in every way. It is my belief that she was in fact made by American Character, with slight differences in hair color and eyebrow paint to differentiate her from their own dolls, and sold nude to Dee and Cee. It is also possible that she was made by Dee and Cee from A.C. molds, but the quality and color of the vinyl, the way the lips are painted, the texture of the hair and her very presence say American Character to me.

She is jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips, and has a strung waist joint. Her finger- and toenails are painted red to match her lips. She has pierced ears with pearl drop earrings. Her blue sleep eyes have painted lashes underneath, and gray eyeshadow above.



Markings
This doll is unmarked, although there is a circle on her lower back where the American Character logo would have been.

Clothing
Sweet Sue Teen Age Doll’s clothing was certainly not made by American Character. Her original dress is black velveteen with silver braid trim, with a pink satin underskirt topped with silver-threaded nylon. She has a pink fabric flower attached at the waist and her shoes are trimmed with flowers also. She also wears black taffeta panties. She may have had a ribbon around her waist originally. The dress closes in the back with two large white buttons.



Copyright 2000-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard