Digitizing Henry House – Our Shirley Temple Doll

In 2009, as part of a larger donation, we received a Shirley Temple Doll. She dates from the 1930s, when Shirley Temple’s popularity was high.

While Shirley Temple is part of pop-culture vernacular, here is a little background information for those who want it:  born in 1928, she was an American film and television actress, singer, dancer, and former U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. Her film career began at the age of three and, found international fame after the release of Bright Eyes in 1934.  Her box office popularity waned as she reached adolescence; she retired from films in 1950 and from acting altogether by 1961.  Shirley has to her credit 14 short films, 43 feature films and over 25 storybook movies.   She is still alive today. (Information from Wikipedia and http://www.shirleytemple.com/bio)

009.9.3a-j - Shirley Temple Doll, made by Ideal Novelty and Toy Company

009.9.3a-j – Shirley Temple Doll, made by Ideal Novelty and Toy Company

During her height of popularity, the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company negotiated a license for dolls, and several ‘composition’ dolls (made from wood and sawdust) were manufactured.  It is likely that our doll was made c.1935, based on the ‘COP’ marking found on the back of her head; this mark appeared after the Christmas of 1934 and indicated ‘Copyright Pending.’

Detail of the markings on our Shirley Temple doll

Detail of the markings on our Shirley Temple doll

The clothing on our doll does not appear to be original, but was likely hand made for her.  She is on display in the Henry House Parlour.

Inside the Henry House Parlour

Inside the Henry House Parlour

Thanks to http://www.shirleytempledolls.com for the information you have available!

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