Name: Famlee Doll Set
Made by and When: Yesterday’s Treasures by Collectible Concepts Corp., 1999
Material: Resin heads, breastplate, lower arms and legs; cloth body
Marks: Replica ©1999 / Collectible Concepts Corp. / Limited to 100 days of production (on the head); Berwick Doll Company / The Famlee Doll (on the back of breastplate)
Hair, Eyes, Mouths: Molded black hair (Black boy and clown), molded blonde (baby), blonde wig (girl and boy); painted brown eyes (Black boy); all others have painted blue eyes; closed painted lips
Clothes: Include a removable one-piece off-white undergarment; light green and tan one-piece pants, tan with black-trimmed tam (worn by the Black doll). Extra clothes include a yellow and black clown suit; pink dress and hat; dark green overalls, yellow shirt, dark green and yellow cap; tan and gray dress with mock apron; off-white socks and shoes
Other: Limited to 100 days of production with a certificate of authenticity, this set is a reproduction of the 1920s Famlee Doll. According to the Collectible Concepts, Inc. insert, “Famlee Doll sets were a toy sensation of the 1920s. Advertised as ‘A whole family of dolls in one,’ they featured a main cloth body with interchangeable heads that screwed on. [The white cloth body of the reproduced doll has white resin arms, hands, legs, and feet.] Each set came with several outfits and accessories. The basic set included five different heads. Additional heads and costumes were available separately. There were 16 characters in all, including Pierette, the Clown; Chinese Boy, African American Boy, Indian Girl, Dutch Boy, French Girl, Sailor Boy, Dutch Girl, Susie Bumps, Soldier Boy, Baby, Sailor Girl, Crying Baby, Nurse and Commander. They were beautifully packed in a flip-top box with special compartments for each head and for the clothing. Because they were created as play dolls, very few complete sets are in existence today, and they are very valuable and highly sought after.”
The text inside the box panel reads, “Copyright 1923 Berwick Doll Company / Famlee Doll / Reg. U.S. Patent Office Patented Apr. 12, 1921 / A WHOLE FAMILY OF DOLLS IN ONE / A WONDERFUL DOLL GAME / One body but several heads / each head makes a different doll / The heads of the Famlee Dolls screw on and off. Take one head off, screw another on and immediately the doll is changed into a different character… FAMLEE DOLL IS A JOY—AN AMUSEMENT—AN EDUCATION / BERWICK DOLL COMPANY / NEWYORK, N.Y.”
Your comments are valued. Donations aid the initiative to preserve Black-doll history.
If you subscribe to DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ by email, be sure to click the post title in the email, which links to the website to view all text and associated media. Please “like” and share this installation with your social media doll contacts. To subscribe, add your email address to the subscribe or sign-up field in the footer or right sidebar.