Calypso Bill and Calypso Jill

Name: Calypso Bill and Calypso Jill

Made by and When: Dee an Cee Company, circa 1960

Material: Soft vinyl heads, rigid vinyl bodies

Marks: DEE CEE (on the heads)

Height: 15 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Calypso Bill has texturized, sculpted, and painted black hair. Calypso Jill’s texturized, painted black sculpted hair is styled in two plaits with bangs. They both have painted black squinty eyes and smiling, open mouths with molded tongues and painted upper teeth area (the teeth are not separate).

Clothes: Both dolls are redressed in period-appropriate clothes. They originally wore a variety of island-inspired fashions as seen here or regular 1960s-style doll clothes. One of Jill’s dresses was made of calico-print patchwork fabric.

Other: Made a few years after Horsman’s Pete and Polly, Calypso Bill and Calypso Jill’s head sculpts and hair styles are almost identical to their predecessors’. Their complexions are deeper than Pete and Polly’s and they are taller. Also, like Pete and Polly, Calypso Bill and Calypso Jill did not share head sculpts with dolls of other ethnicities.

The following text about the Dee an Cee Doll Company that was based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada provides information about the company.

“Dee and Cee operated from 1938 to 1964… Their dolls were manufactured in Toronto. Most of their products were made under license from US companies such as Horsman and American Character” (Antiquers.com). This would explain Calypso Bill and Calypso Jill’s close resemblance to Horsman’s Pete and Polly. “The [Dee an Cee] name ceased to be used after they were sold to Mattel” in 1962. The name comes from the initials of the two founders, Max Diamond and Morris Cone.

“Dolls bearing the Dee and Cee marque were produced by Mattel until 1964. Dee an Cee was the first Canadian Toy Company to advertise on television! Their motto was ‘Quality Above All’. Dee Cee acquired the rights to produce the Canadian versions of American Character Dolls. Dee and Cee marked their dolls in many ways with some marks including ‘Made in Canada’ and some without that designation. However, all marques included the company name in some form or other. Known variations on the name include: Dee and Cee, Dee an Cee, D&C, Dee & Cee, Dee Cee, DC, Deeancee.” (Cited from: https://www.antiquers.com/threads/need-more-info-on-my-items-please.30322/)

Gallery

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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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