Friday, 25 September 2009

Identifying Susie (and Chrissie)

Posting up photos on Flickr has had some amazing consequences - I've succeeded in tracking down the pattern for Susie's clothes which inspired me to track down her coat pattern, and now another person on the other side of the world has realised that her doll is very similar to my Susie and wants to repaint her doll (Chrissie) using Susie's face as her model (Susie is flattered!) http://www.flickr.com/photos/beezmcs/3952062548/

However this has once again set me on the trail of trying to identify Susie. I suspect she may be a very late Roddy/Bluebell (Roddy Dolls were taken over by Bluebell Dolls in the mid 1960s), but have never been completely convinced because I haven't yet discovered a doll with a similar body shape, none of the Roddys I've seen online are exactly like her, as although some on ebay appear to have very similar length and shape arms, their legs and torsos are different from Susie's. See my post about Susie being restored for a photo of her body shape.

Susie has a vinyl head, a hard thick plastic torso and vinyl arms and legs. The only marking I thought she had on her head was a sort of G symbol near the air hole in the back of her head, but I've now discovered that she has "Made in England 18D" stamped on the back of her neck. She also has "14" stamped on the sole of each foot. Roddy dolls tend to have Roddy stamped on them and apparently Bluebell Roddy's have a distinctive circle around "Made in England" (which Susie doesn't have), but unless this has somehow rubbed off, I can't find such a clear identification mark of her maker.
Made in England 18D (but not in a circle)

The G type symbol (this photo is the right way up,
the G is on its face when Susie stands upright)


The soles of her feet with "14" stamped on them

The top of her feet, showing the detail of her toenails

A close up of one of her hands

I've found a small reference to the Roddy factory (in Tulketh Street, Southport, Lancashire) on a Southport forum http://www.southportforums.com/forums/printthread.php?t=50357618 but there is little else in the way of information about the firm online that I've been able to unearth. So I've sent off for a couple of doll identification books, and hopefully one or both of these will be able to help me identify who made my Susie.

Susie's face and shoulders in profile

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was interesting to read about identifying Susie. I have a doll which I also named Susie, i got her for christmas in 1962, i was 6 years old. she is the only thing i have left from my childhood and i,m trying to find out more about where she was made.
She is a black doll, 24 inches tall, with a vinyl face and arms and hard plastic body and legs, she is a lady doll, with a beautiful face and amber opening and closing eyes, she also has the appearance of lipstick on her lips, she is very elegant with her original dress which is cream and red. she has Roddy stamped at the back of her neck but no other markings that i can see.

DollMum said...

Anonymous - if you look further on my blog you will find that I subsequently did identify Susie - she is a Petalskin Palitoy doll, unmarked, as she would have been boxed for a large department store such as Woolworths. Your doll is marked Roddy so is definitely a Roddy - you'll find some Roddy dolls on eBay to compare and look online for Roddy black dolls or see if your local library has the books I used to help identify Susie.