Arranbee Dolls, Beautiful Faces With Large Eyes...
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(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.
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 doll-makers 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.
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.
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 necessary to the fashion of that
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 '40s, brides were famous 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 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 plain 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 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."
doll in floral taffeta is identified as one of the Southern Series in
a beautiful new book on Arranbee
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 the 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 select "Active Items" to see the "Arranbee dolls and accessories" presently up for auction.
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 an excellent website for "value" information about dolls, or most anything else for that matter--however, to see what something has sold for, registration is required, so if you are looking for past sales of any particular doll, please register.
We all love to share. If you have photos and information pertaining to these lovely early Arranbee dolls, please fill in the form below to
"Show and Tell" your favorite R&B Doll. We all have interest in how they were located, the use of materials in their clothing and anything else you would like to share with other avid collectors.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
My Mother's Keepsakes
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 …
In 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 …
My Childhood Arranbee Bride Not rated yet
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 …
My Grandmother's favorite doll Not rated yet
I don't know much about these lovely dolls but would like to learn more.