Photos courtesy of Cheryl Bruce

Name:  Bubbles

Made by and When:  Effanbee, circa 1924

Material:  Composition head and arms on a stuffed brown-cloth body and brown-cloth legs


Height: 20 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Sculpted and painted black hair with a Widow’s peak, brown tin sleep eyes with brown eyelashes, open/closed smiling mouth with two upper teeth and a sculpted tongue, dimpled cheeks

Clothes: Redressed in a white gown and slip, a child’s pinned-on cloth diaper, and crocheted booties.

Other: Black versions of Effanbee’s Bubbles are extremely rare; fewer were made and even fewer survived child’s play. Several different versions and sizes of Bubbles were produced. A similar 20-inch Black version is described and valued on page 171 of Collector’s Encyclopedia of American Composition Dolls 1900-1950 Volume II Identification and Values by Ursula R. Mertz (Collector Books, 2004). The example in Mertz’s book is described as having “composition shoulder head to under the arms, full composition arms and legs to above the knee [lower legs]. Cloth body and upper legs. Jointed at shoulders with steel springs, stitched hip joints” (Mertz). The doll in this installation has a cloth body and full cloth legs, no shoulder plate.

Gallery (Photos courtesy of Cheryl Bruce)


Mertz, Ursula R. Collector’s Encyclopedia of American Composition Dolls, 1900-1950, Volume
II, Collector Books, Paducah, KY., 2004, p. 171.


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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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