Doll Books

Here are doll, toys, and dollhouse books from the 19th and 20th century.

20275 Doll in Dimity Harry Frowde and Hodder & Stoughton ca. 1910

A big story in a tiny book. The no-nonsense Doll in Dimity arrives to cure Mabel May of her dreadful treatment of her dolls. First she wakes Mabel up and makes her clean and mend her many abandoned dolls and stitch their clothes. Then with a firm grip she steers Mabel through the streets, followed by a parade of dolls in search of poor children who will love them more. Needless to say, Mabel May reforms and learns to love. (19th c dolls like wax and wax over composition mentioned).

London: Henry Frowde and Hodder & Stoughton, no date [circa 1910] miniature book in slipcase with dull green boards, pink plate of little doll with a muff in a snowstorm on board and case, endpapers with delicate striped design of green vines and lavender flowers, green print, unsigned coloured frontis with different illustration, bound with signatures inserted and tied with purple pearl cotton with one 3/4" end; case is 2.25x2.25x3/4" thick, and book is slightly smaller; 64 pp.
CONDITION: Near Fine in Very Good Plus box; original bookseller tag from Butterfield, Bookseller and at that time publisher, in historic Boston, book paper is grayer than slipcase paper but does not appear faded, perhaps a different sheet was used; only flaw in the slipcase is one corner tip rubbed to board. Note: what appear to be white spots are identically placed on cover plate and slipcase plate... snow.
21440 Alfred Goes House Hunting text and photos by Bill Binzen
Binzen, Bill
/BB, illustrator

Very cute photos of a little Steiff bear looking for a home, a sequel to Alfred the Little Bear. After investigating quite a few possibilities, including a bird's nest and an abandoned teepee made by the children, he settles on a wooden bird house, too open for birds but just right for him.

SIGNED and INSCRIBED by author with a long note and a DRAWING of Alfred in a plane, . "On the next book Alfred builds an airplane and goes flying over Riga (if all goes well, we'll see!)" This idea later became the third little bear book, Alfred Goes Flying (1976).


Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1974, stated 1st, tp; light green cloth boards, in jacket with Alfred, a little stuffed bear, walking along the shore, 10.5x7.25"; 32 pp.
Near Fine in Very Good jacket; no names or other marks, straight, in jacket with pale foxing visible on white area, 1/4" creased tear on back; unclipped 4.95.
19852 A Doll's Day by Brown.
Brown, Beatrice Bradshaw.
/Barbara Haven Brown, illustrator.

A doll relates the events of her day with "Mother"", hour by hour, in verse with the text and decorated capital on one side and a bold black deco illustration with orange and teal details. Between each verse is a spread with a cuckoo clock on one side and a large drawing of the coming poem on the other. A very charming period piece, designed with care.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1931, 1st sd; deep orange cloth spine pale orange paper boards with little doll on a rocking horse in dark teal; black and white checkered endpapers with little drawings in diagonal rows; in orange, teal, yellow, and black jacket with small child figures busy playing or studying or helping out, on back a book list; oblong 7.5x9; np.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus in Good Minus jacket; no names, but tiny decorative date on title page which, I think , serves as a gift inscription; straight with very clean and bright pale boards and spine, tiny corner tips worn through; in clipped jacket edgeworn all around and with two 5/8" closed tears and one 2.5" flap fold tear, front flap reattached with archival tape.
20413 LifeandAdventuresofGeneralSpooley by Falls.
Falls, D. W. C. (Brigadier General DeWitt Clinton Falls)
/DWCFalls, illustrator.

Already a little tree with a glorious future in mind, our tree witnesses a Great War (Civil War) battle with a victorious Union Army. He decides that he wants to become a general, so he grows straight and tall. He is chosen for toy shop lumber and becomes the leader of 11 wooden soldiers for Tommy's Christmas. His excellent discipline and strategy ensure Tommy's victories, and even when some of his men are worn and lost, he is promoted to General and put in charge of a successful army of spools. Then as Tommy grows up, General Spooley helps him with his studies and accompanies him to his base, meeting the original General as an old man. A happy ending ensues for them both, unlike the fate of Andersen's tree. An odd, original book, by a military expert, with rather primitive but charming and colourful chromos, not in Hunt.

London: Ernest Nister; New York: E. P. Dutton; #3227 (1.1. on top board, 11 on title page) 1911; red and white paper boards with large illustration of a mounted General Spooley commanding his new spool soldiers; plain endpapers, red cloth spine; 12 chromolith plates, including frontis, and many b/w illustrations in text; 8.25x9"; 59 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good; no names, clean bright boards with rubbed edges and extrems, especially bottom corners, edges toned, some neat margin tears (archival tape enclosed). Recently professionally tightened.
Godden, Rumer.
/Pauline Baynes, illustrator.

Impunity Jane, The Fairy Doll, The Story of Holly and Ivy, Candy Floss. Coloured plates and numerous black and white drawings by Baynes. A nice opportunity to have all these books, by a well known illustrator.

London: Macmillan, 1983, 1st printing this collection, (1955-1960); coloured plates, 137 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good with Very Good jacket; gift inscription, erasure front endpaper, paper boards rubbed on bottom edge, in jacket with 1.5" wrinkled tear at top; unclipped 5.95 pounds.
Home is the Sailor.
Godden, Rumer.
/Jean Primrose, illustrator.

Sian's dollhouse had so many lady dolls, but no men dolls, until Curly the sailor arrived on the scene. The last of Godden's doll books gives a boy doll a voice.

Viking, 1964, 1st printing; 129 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus in Fine jacket; a little rub on bottom; unclipped 3.00.
The Dolls' House.
Godden, Rumer.
/Dana Saintsbury, illustrator.

The author's first book for children, now a classic.

New York: Viking, 1948/1947, 1st printing (US), sd; 4 coloured plates; 8vo.;125 pp.
CONDITION: Fine in Very Good jacket; no names, lovely book, darkening jacket with minor edgewear all around and a few tiny chips; unclipped 2.50.
20541 Four Dolls by Godden, ill Pauline Baynes.
Godden, Rumer.
/Pauline Baynes, illustrator.

Impunity Jane, The Fairy Doll, The Story of Holly and Ivy, Candy Floss. Coloured plates and numerous black and white drawings by Baynes.

London: Macmillan, 1983, 1st printing this collection, (1955-1960) First Published; coloured and b/w full page illustrations, 137 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus with Very Good jacket; no names or other marks, straight, tight, clean; top edge of both book and jacket slightly rubbed; unclipped no price (NZ).
3585 The Lost Toys by Irina Hale
Hale, Irina.
/IH, illustrator.

"Accidentally left behind at the train station, a group of toys tries to find their way home, braving a blizzard and a gang of robber cats." A quirky and amusing book..

Atheneum, 1985, 1st printing Am; 9.8x9.5,np.
CONDITION: Fine in Fine jacket; as new in dw.
22528 Ducky Daddle's Party by Bertha Parker Hall.
Hall, Bertha Parker
/BPH, photographer.

Dedicated to "Mary, who owns these dolls and me". The story of a naughty toy duck who leaves his own party to go exploring with his best friend, greeting the pigs and tipping over the baby (doll). Very charming pictures of Ducky and rag doll Sally Ann. Ducky's range of expressions make him seem almost alive.

Hall(1874 - 1936) was a student of Clarence White, who advocated pictorialism, soft focus pictorial photography. As photographs, the ones with few characters are more successful than the ones where the good mother was clearly trying to squeeze in every one of Mary's dolls!

An interesting view of the well-loved doll family of an educated upper middle class child of the time: A Steiff policeman, two jointed wooden English penny dolls, a no nonsense Black cook, dolls from different countries. including "two funny Golliwogs... from Scotland where all the Golliwogs live" (white dolls in kilts),a couple of composition dolls in fairly good condition.

Ducky-Daddles, a 1911 shape book created by Grace Wiederseim.(Drayton)features a character who looks exactly like the hero of this book, with expression, beret, and shoes the same. Mary's Ducky Daddles has a smooth felt body meant to be under his overalls, with plush on the rest of him: he must have been a stuffed toy based on Drayton's creation. More Images Availbable.


New York: E. P. Dutton & Company 681 Fifth Avebue 1918 , presumed 1st; red cloth boards, gilt titles, each spread with soft black photographs of the dolls facing short text; oblong 10 x 8"; 53 pp
Very Good; neat ink January 1919 gift inscription; tight, clean, and straight, boards bright but darkened on spine, gilt a bit faded, rubs to extrems.
21246 Mouse and his Child by Russell Hoban, ill Lillian Hoban.
Hoban, Russell.
/Lillian Hoban, illustrator.

A broken clockwork mouse and child follow the child's dream of a home and family. Hailed as a classic when it appeared, this is a complex fantasy, full of logical tricks and high adventure. "A rich, disturbing, very touching book" Kirkus. This edition, not uncommon, has always been puzzling to date, it looks newer than 1967 but is certainly early, pre ISBN; it does not feel like a book club.

New York: Harper & Row, (1967), early or 1st printing, no price or date on dw, no later books mentioned, no ISBN; pictorial reinforced binding with clockwork father and son, in jacket identical to boards, tall 8vo; 182 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus in Very Good Plus jacket; no names or other marks, tiny rubs to 2 corners, straight, clean, tight, in crisp jacket with 1/16" bumped tear on bottom edge.
The Nutcracker by Hoffman, Anthea Bell reteller, Zwerger, ill.
Hoffman, E. T. A. (Anthea Bell, reteller)
/Lizbeth Zwerger

Anthea Bell later simplified her original Zwerger book text for small children, using the original half page pictures for full page ones.(except the jacket/cover picture which is the wrong shape). This book is oblong, with the larger pictures not quite as bright.

Picture Book Studio, 1987/1882, 1st US., 9.5x8.5"; np.
CONDITION: Fine in Fine jacket; unclipped, 13.95.
16710 The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Hoffmann, Anthea Bell, Zwerger, ill.
Hoffmann, E. T. A.
/Lisbeth Zwerger, illustrator.

A retelling of the Nutcracker, with text shortened; still this is a chapter book with many coloured illustrations, rather than a picture book.

Natick, MA: Picture Book Studio, 1983/1982, printed in Austria; translated by Anthea Bell. Shiny pictorial boards with child and nutcracker, jacket has same picture; larger Zwerger version c 30 pp.
CONDITION: Near Fine with Fine jacket; gift inscription, otherwise as new, unclipped 14.95 sticker
Lobe, Mira.
/Susi Weigel, illustrator.

Because the sides are folded back under, the corners threaded through holes for hands, and the back sewn, you could quickly stuff the handkerchief body of this doll as well as the head! Then kind Bimbulli saves all his animal friends from drowning! A nice present.

Wein Vienna: Verlag Jungbrunnen, (1964); in German; red cloth spine, turquoise bottom board, deep blue top board with Bimbulli sailing with his chicken under a straw hat and bright flowers on the shore; endpapers with clear pictorial directions for making your own Bimbulli handkerchief doll, bright coloured pictures on every other spread,18x23 cm; np.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus; tiny owner initials, a very slight warp evident when face down, foxed on top edge, very small lamination lift on edge else as new.
21062 The Journey of Bangwell Putt by Mariana.
Mariana/ Marian Foster Curtiss.
/M, illustrator.

A reproduction of the original hand lettered hand-coloured book, this book retains the charm of the heroine, a stumpy little doll from Deerfield who longs for adventure. Bangwell Putt has one memorable night at a ball in the Museum in New York.

New York: Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard, 1965/1945; reinforced sepia boards with Bangwell walking along, endpaper illustrations of dolls from the story follow the plain front endpaper, in green jacket with a large portrait of Bangwell Putt with her funny green hat and her carpet bag; 7.6x9.5; np.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus in Very Good jacket; no names or other marks, straight, tight, clean, tiny rubs to spine ends, a few reading wrinkles in lower margins; in jacket with rubbing on creases, three one inch tears, 1/4" chip at spine top, other very minor edgewear; unclipped 3.35.
21891 jiji Lou by Mayol, ill. Fern Bisel Peat.
Mayol, Lurline Bowles.
/Fern Bisel Peat, illustrator.

The story of a cast-off doll who is taken on the Junk Town Express to the place where lost and discarded toys are spruced up. Jiji and a typical black mammy doll run a cookie business and care for 12 babies, to be rewarded by the Rose Fairy at the end.  Our favorite FB Peat illustrations. 

New York: Saalfield Publishing Company, (1925) early; blue green cloth with red titles on spine and large plate with Jenks driving wagon and Jiji Lou with Jenks; green patterned endpapers, frontis and eight plates, as issued, and black and white drawings in text; 7.5"x10.25"; 142 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good; neat 1930 grandparent gift inscription and ownership panel filled in; straight, spine letters and cloth bright; boards clean with very pale 1" spot on back; corners sharp but tips rubbed through on bottom; plates incld pastedown nice, pages clean and flat, crease in frontis corner tip and light foxing to the first few pages; 1" wrinkled tear in tp gutter and a few 1" margin splits.
If I Were a Mother.
Mizumura, Kazue.
/KM, illustrator.

A tender little girl learns from the care mother animals show their young and thinks about being a mother. Jacket&the title page lead to the first page: "Like a mother hen, I would wish to have many children and have them play all around me..."

New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1968, 1st printing (alternate copy rights pasted in by publisher, over Crowell's imprint stating first edition as well); grey cloth boards with koala and child, in bronze jacket with wrap-around illustration of a little girl gazing into her doll carriage; 7.9x10.2; np.
CONDITION: Near Fine in Near Fine jacket; slight bump to top corner tip, in unusually lovely jacket slightly darkened on light area of spine; unclipped 3.95.
22508 The Red Horse by Elsa Moeschlin
Moeschlin, Elsa. (Moeschlin-Hammar, Elsa)

A faithful reissue whose colour closely approaches the rare original. Peter wants so much for his little wooden horse to grow that the impossible occurs. A Swiss picture book by a native Swedish artist. Mentioned in Hurlimann.

New York: Coward-McCann, 1944/1928, reissue; printed in US by Gloeckner Color process; pale blue-green thin boards, blue paper spine, with full sized illustration of a boy riding a dala horse in the forest, on the back a little horse; pale yellow endpapers;many bright watercolour illustrations in primary colours throughout, in jacket identical to boards; 8.3x 11", 21x28cm, np.
CONDITION: Fine in Very Good Plus jacket; no names or other marks, straight, clean, tight, in clean crisp jacket a bit to large for the book thus 1/8" crease along top edge; unclipped 1.75.
Japanese Dolls, their Creation and Appreciation.
Ozawa, Satako.

Gives illustrations of dolls with historic costume and then step by step instructions in how to make paper dolls, eggshell dolls, and a traditional Wisteria doll, with materials which may be purchased from the Ozawa doll school in Tokyo.

Tokyo: Toto Shuppan Company, no date, (ca 1940's) red paper boards; in jacket with coloured photos of dolls; 14.75x10.25; paper patterns tipped in and loose tissue guard; np.
CONDITION: Poor in jacket; book is actually disbound but it held quite firmly by thickly laminated dustjacket (amateur job) attached to boards, laminated dustjacket is lightly edgeworn with closed 5" tear and several other tears and rubs; the pattern is in very nice condition. It is folded and four times the jpg shown, with just a tiny corner tear where someone has tried to unfold it without untacking it from the book: certainly not used and probably never opened up.
Hilda and her Doll.
Phillips, E. C.
/H Meyer, illustrator.

Hilda played happily in her Greneda, West Indies home, unaware that she was soon to be sent thousands of miles away, to France, to school. Her father felt the experience of "finding her level" would be good for her character, but for a long time she was miserable at school. Her classmates teased her for the wonderful gift her nurse had given her, a beautiful handmade West Indian doll. The international flavour of this book keeps it from being a Sunday School tract.

London: Griffith and Farran and New York: E. P. Dutton (Dutton ads bound in) 1883/1881 US printing; red boards with black decorative stamping and a picture of Hilda reading in her outdoor school bower, yellow endpapers, 5x7.5"; 160 pp + 16 pages of ads. I assume this is a second printing because the first, at U of Ohio, was stamped in gilt, black,and red on blue cloth whereas this is stamped in gilt and black only. It also has these letters at the end 3M-3/83 -S.
CONDITION: Very Good; 20th c bookplate, boards bright, spine a bit dull, corners bumped, a little soil on back, opens loosely, front & rear hinge cracked, clean.
20178 Toys At Play by Reid photos by Waite. Marshall Fields.
Reid, Carol McMillan.
/George L. Waite photographer.

It's 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression. As the Children drowsily wait for their mother to finish shopping, they think about what they want for Christmas, and the toys in Marshall Fields begin to come alive. There must be about 50 dolls and toys in this books, all caught by the photographer in the midst of their play. Very bright colours. Sturdy enough for a modern child, of interest to a toy and doll collector.

Racine, WI; Whitman Publishing Company, (1937); Toys and Settings by Courtesy of Marshall Field & Company, linenette type cover and pages, many many toys, 14 interior pages; 10.2x12.2".
CONDITION: Very Good; white areas darkened on covers, rubs on spine, slight curls at corners, half inch tear on back, faded area upper back.
The Mechanical Doll.
Stearns, Pamela.
/Trina Schart Hyman, illustrator.

Stearns' tale of the mechanical doll is "a subtle parable of art and reality".

Houghton, Mifflin, Co, 1979, 1st printing; 4to, 45 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good in Good jacket; two distracting 1" stains on front of dw; unclipped 6.95.
The Mennyms
Waugh, Sylvia.

The Mennyms, a family of life-size rag dolls living in a house in England and passing as human, see their peaceful existence threatened when the landlord announces he is coming from Australia for a visit.

NY: Greenwillow, 1993, 1st printing Am; 213 pp. Half black cloth blue boards, 214 pp.
CONDITION: Fine in Fine jacket; no flaws in book or jacket; as new; unclipped 15.00. WE HAVE ALL MENNYMS, SEE BELOW. WILDERNESS AND ALIVE ON THIS SITE AND ALSO 2 REMAINDERS IN OTHERWISE AS NEW CONDITION FOR $5 EA. Please Inquire. The series is illustrated below in order
The Mennyms Alive.
Waugh, Sylvia.
/Patrick Benson, jacket, illustrator.

The Mennyms a family of life-size dolls wake up to find their household has been moved from Brocklehurst Grove. They are in the care of an antique dealer, Daisy Maughan, who gives them an unused flat and soon suspects their secret. The final volume.

NY: Greenwillow, 1996, 1st printing Am. Orange brown cloth backed boards, 224 pp.
CONDITION: Fine in Fine jacket; no flaws in book or jacket; as new.
Waugh, Sylvia.
/Patrick Benson, jacket, illustrator.

The Mennyms move to the country and are discovered by a human being.

New York: William Morrow and Company, Greenwillow Books, 1994, 1st printing American; in green boards and endpapers, jacket with doll and "outsider" looking out a window over the countryside, 8vo; 255 pp.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus in Fine jacket; crossed out name, otherwise as new, unclipped 15.00. SEE OUR OTHER MENNYM LISTINGS. WE HAVE THEM ALL.