Archive for Sunday, January 19, 2003

Realism a signature of Patsy dolls

January 19, 2003


The Effanbee (for "F and B") Doll Co. is one of the oldest American doll firms. It was founded in 1910 by Bernard Fleischaker (F) and Hugh Baum (B). Their most famous doll, created in 1927, is Patsy, the doll that looks like a real girl. She was also the first doll to have a wardrobe of dresses and accessories. Patsy and her family were made in many sizes. Patsy was 14 inches tall. Others in the family ranged from 5 1/2 inches to 30 inches tall. The original Patsy was made of composition material with painted eyes and a small, closed mouth. She originally sold for $2.95 and was copied by many other makers. The doll was sold until about 1950. The Patsy face was used on several ethnic dolls, including a black Patsy and a rare Chinese Patsy. Patsy was remembered by many, and in 1976 was reissued in a limited edition. A vinyl Patsy was made in the 1980s, and another reissue of the doll was made in 2000.

I have a small ceramic piece in the shape of a closed upside-down umbrella. It is marked on the bottom with a bumblebee and the letter V. Can you identify the maker?

The mark belongs to the W. Goebel Porcelain Factory, the German company that makes the popular Hummel figurines. The company has made many other ceramic items in addition to Hummels. The "bee over V" mark was first used in 1950. Take a close look at the style of the bee and its placement within the V. That can help date your piece.


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