Friday, 1 January 2016

A Happy new Year from Patsy Ann.

      A week after her 85th birthday, Patsy Ann wishes you all a happy, peaceful and doll-filled 2016!

Patsy was bought in America and brought back for my mother's 9th birthday in December 1930. She spent at least 25 years in an old suitcase in my grandparents cellar and was unearthed in 1972, when Granny died. Poor Patsy had curls of her 'skin' hanging off her face and torso and none of her paintwork was salvageable. The dustbin seemed to be the most likely place for her, but Mum couldn't bring herself to do that and hid her, just as she was, in her wardrobe.

When Mum moved in with us, Patsy once again came to light and a friend from the US said he knew of someone who might be able to help her. Thinking Patsy couldn't look any worse, I handed her over to him and he took her back with him to the Mid-West. We agreed with the lady who specialised in Patsy doll restoration that we would pay for her work as Mum's 80th birthday gift and she came back to us in November 2001 looking as she does today.

She is the only really old doll that I have taken the risk of having completely repainted and is proof that this work is worthwhile if the doll is a much loved old friend, especially if it is done by a true specialist.

Hilary, the restorer, used pristine, original Patsy dolls in all the varying sizes from her own collection as models, copying the features as exactly as possible on the dolls she worked on. Her desire was not to put her own stamp on the dolls, nor to hide the fact that they had been restored in an attempt to present them as all original, but to give them back to their then aging first owners, or their families, looking as much as possible as they had done on the day they were first unwrapped.

Patsy Ann needs restringing again and can't stand unaided at the moment, but that is well within my capabilities. The unfortunate side of simple, old fashioned stringing is that it needs redoing every few years. The fortunate side is that it is so much easier and requires less strength than restringing a Sasha and far, far less know-how than reassembling  Schoenhut doll!


  1. She looks really sweet. How lovely that she survived through the years until someone knew someone who could save her from the bin! I wonder how many millions of dolls have been binned when a little bit of TLC is all that was needed.
    So nice that your Mum still as her doll :)xxx

  2. Thanks for showing her and telling her interesting story.
    A perfect and carefully restauration.

    And a happy healthy New Year for you, of course!

  3. What a special doll. Her restoration tuned out marvelously. How special that she looks like who she is and was. I'm sure she must hold many special memories.

  4. A very special doll indeed! How wonderful for your mother that she still has her and is now looking 'as good as new!'
    A very happy and healthier 2016 to you and yours.

  5. Patsy Ann is such a sweet doll and your Mum's is especially pretty. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year to you both.


  6. What a sweet little doll and I would say definitely worth having had done, seeing as she's come out like this. There is nothing worse than someone attempting to restore a doll because they think they have the ability and have it turn out horrendously ugly and well...scary too! I think this little doll will last another 80 odd years at this rate!

  7. Hi Jen! Just seen your post...she is a super little girl and how fantastic was her resto work...she looks a picture!
    Much love being sent your way to carry you through 2016!