What a Doll: 1940s Arranbee Southern Girl

By Special Guest Blogger

January 18th, 2011

Blogger Lynda Abbott of Appraise Your Junk collects dolls, toys, and vintage advertisements, among other things. She’s known as Vestaswind on Show & Tell.


I started to collect dolls around the age of 12, when I found this doll in a dresser drawer at my grandmother’s. She was in a pretty box wrapped up in tissue paper, and I would go up just to look at her. One day, my grandma presented her to me, and I was hooked. This 1940s Arranbee Southern Girl, made of composition, was all the rage after the release of  “Gone With the Wind.”  This doll originally belonged to my Aunt Wilma and will always be the prize of my collection.

I continued to pick up dolls, and believed I had a good collection until I hit the doll forums on eBay over 10 years ago. What I found out is that I was clueless and didn’t know a darned thing. There is more to know about dolls than I could even imagine, which books just don’t help you with.

When I first started posting on the doll forums I found myself buying dolls just to say I had one. I went from clueless to ridiculous. I have now come full circle, back to just buying what I love unless I plan to sell it. What I have learned in the last 37 years of collecting is I will never know everything about all dolls.

There is something about a toy that has been long forgotten that is very appealing to me.  I prefer to have dolls that had been loved to the mint dolls many collectors are drawn to, although I do have those as well.  I have a bad habit of picking up dolls that need lots of love, and sometimes repair.

Hundreds of dolls later I have narrowed down my collecting to Terri Lees, Ritas from Paris Doll Corporation, character and advertising dolls, as well as trolls and puppets. The biggest passion I now have is the metal head baby dolls.

If you plan on starting a doll collection do your homework, older is not always better. It’s all about supply and demand, and above all condition. There are hundreds of doll makers, and thousands of different kinds of dolls. Lucky for us, there are many people out there who can help you along the way.

4 comments so far

  1. Marty Says:

    Your comment on dolls is so right on ! It is acquring endless knowledge then starting over as prices change like the stock market and more knowledge comes along to change what we thought was :-) . I wish people that had dolls they were selling would read your comment . Older is Not better . Lots of things factor into value of a doll . I have collected and done work at Doll museum and Hospital 30 plus yrs and still am amazed at what I don’t know . But I do know to many people are lead down wrong path by general antique dealers . Do your own research before you buy . Or go to a respected Antique doll source . So many people are taken by believing who seems to know what they are talking about but have no clue . Repro’s don’t always take a trained eye . Study an antique doll and you will be able to see by painting ect a repro . Keep up the knowledge flowing and one more thing Don’t think because it was Grandmothers doll it is old . Grandmother also bought newer dolls before she passed away . Love these pieces of history and collect all types of dolls but have a passion for rare china’s , mannequin dolls , and the unusual .

  2. Claudie Swakow Says:

    Hi…..I purchased a very cute doll from Ebay…..it was advertized as a Madame Alexander Ana McGuffey Princess Elizabeth 13″ doll…..The only mark she has is “13” on her back…..there are no “circles w/an “X” or Madame Alexander’s name…..I sure would like to be sure that she is a Madame Alexander doll…..Can you help? Thank you….Claudie

  3. Marty Says:

    Ana McGuffey by MA Co. always had braids and long hair and yes they did mark some just 13 . The X maybe to faint to see. If you posted a photo she is easy to recognize . They came in may sizes including 13″ Is she in original clothes ? If you upload a photo would be of great help . Hope this has given you some info without seeing doll

  4. Jean Mahlum Says:

    I am SO glad there is another doll collector out there with exactly the same sentiments I have! It would be great to communicate! Blessings!

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