Arranbee Dolls, Beautiful Faces With Large Eyes...
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ARRANBEE (R&B) COMPOSITION DOLLS
Founded sometime in the early 20th century by Rothstein and Berman, the Arranbee Doll Company produced a myriad of different dolls in various mediums ranging from bisque to hard plastic and vinyl.
Circa 1938, the R&B composition dolls that went into production were comparable to those of Madame Alexander and were perhaps the only dolls that could challenge the Queen of dollmakers for the crown. Beautiful faces with large eyes and slender chins, the introduction of Debuteen and Nancy Lee were and still are a challenge to the title.
This Debuteen doll, is a very sturdy cloth doll with composition head on a shoulder plate, arms and legs. The face of the Debuteen is more slender than the Nannette or Nancy Lee and has a wistful expression. This face is often mistaken for an Alexander.
Her original teen clothing is often a soft flannel. Her co-ordinated attire is sometimes accessorized by floppy hats such as the one worn by Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. Coats, suits, dresses, skirts and blouses...simple in construction but basic to the fashion of that era.
Nancy Lee is an all composition doll with a wide eyed innocence that captivates you immediately. Whether her eyes are blue or rust brown, they display a hint of mischief in her otherwise calm soothing features.
As with all doll manufacturers in the 30's and 40's, brides were popular and vied for the season spotlight. My favorite is what I consider a "Summer Bride" as she is dressed in lightweight cotton with short sleeves. Even her veil is of a sheer cotton instead of the tulle frequently used on brides of this era.
Other bridal gowns were fashioned of sheer flocked nylon over lightweight taffeta or a familiar soft satin. Bouquets with ribbons and cloth or silk flowers are attached to the brides wrists. Matching panties, socks and shoes complete their attire.
Beautiful evening gowns of tulle and even a soft cotton or rayon are found on Arranbee girls who still hold their fashion after 60 years.
eBay has a rather large set of listings of vintage Arranbee dolls for sale, if you are interested in a purchase, or to find values, it is necessary to register with eBay
The soft floral taffeta gown of a "Southern Girl"...Arranbee Dolls in Civil War era attire had become very popular with the debut of "Gone With the Wind". This particular doll has a tag which states "Nancy Lee".
The doll in floral taffeta is identified as one of the Southern Series in a beautiful new book on Arranbee Arranbee Dolls: The Dolls That Sell on Sight...Identification & Value by Suzanne L. DeMillar and Dennis F. Brevik. In the past she has often been referred to as Cinderella, probably due to the lace-up bodice of her dress.
Probably the best place to look for present "doll and accessories" value is on the Internet, primarily the auction sites--my favorite is eBay...in the completed Arranbee Dolls section of eBay is where you can browse the past 30 days of completed auctions of dolls and accessories. On the left side, in the box named "Display", you can selsect "Active Items" to see the "Arranbee dolls and accessories" presently up for auction.
Also, if you have a doll or doll accessories you would like to find out about...eBay is the place to start...in the Dolls and Bears Category just type in what you have in the search window just under "Dolls & Bears" on the left, and "Shazam", there appears a list of present, up for auction items--in the "Display" box on the left select "Completed Items", a new list will appear, displaying completed items going back for 30 days.
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eBay is a great wedsite for "value" information about dolls, or most anything else for that matter--however, in order to see what something has sold for, registration is required, so if you are looking for past sales of any particular doll, please register
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This doll was found in my Mother's keepsakes. There was a note in the box written by my mother stating the doll belonged to her father. She was born …
my Grandmother's closet
I acquired this box from Grandmother. I have no idea how long she has had it. I thought I would share a few pictures. The Nancy Lee doll inside the …
Childhood Arranbee Bride Not
This doll was given to me by my aunt and uncle for my 9th birthday, over 50 years ago. My cousin was given the same doll, only with darker hair, since …
Grandmother's favorite doll Not
I don't know much about these lovely dolls but would like to learn more.