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Dollese

The Language of Doll Collecting

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There are a few terms that are unique to doll collecting.  A language all our own.  I call it DOLLESE. You will hear it at doll shows as well as in classifieds,  on internet bulletin boards, web pages, and auction sites. Listed below are terms that will help you to understand the world of doll collecting.

These are the terms I am most familiar with and I am sure there are others, especially when referring to a particular doll group (i.e. Barbie, Ginny, Madame Alexander, etc.) E-mail me if I have omitted anything and I will add it to the list for all of us to share.
                                                                                                                                           
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Acid Free Tissue - special type of tissue paper that has no dyes, or chemicals in it.  Museum quality, used to protect old dolls and their clothing in storage. Mohair - wig fiber popular before the mid-50s made from a type of goat. Soft but not easily combed or styled.
A/O - All Original Molded Hair - Waves, curls, and comb marks that are actually part of the head mold and then usually painted over.
Antique - usually refers to a doll that is over 100 years old. The term is also used when referring to very old dolls made of wood, bisque, china, cloth, or wax. NM - Near Mint
Applied Ears - ears molded independently, often made of rubber, which were attached to the head. (Effanbee Dy-Dee baby used this type of ear.) NRFB - Never Removed From Box
BKW - Bent Knee Walker O/F - Outfit
Bubble Cut - refers to short hair style (usually Barbie term) PE or P/E - Painted Eye
Caracul - curly wig made from wool, used in 40s and early 50s on Vogue Ginny's and a few other companies like Effanbee. Peeling - can occur on composition dolls when the paint loosens from the compo and chips off.
Composition - the material most popular to make dolls in the 20s-40s . Various combinations of wood pulp, glue, and other secret ingredients were molded into dolls. PLW - Painted Lash Walker
Condition - refers to the overall shape of a doll. Generally you will hear the terms:
Mint, Near Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.  Sometimes the term parts doll is used to describe a doll that is so far gone that she is only salvagable for parts.
Poodle Cut - refers to short curly hair style (usually Ginny term)
Convention Doll - a specialty doll offered only at conventions, very limited production Rooted - hair the was secured directly into the doll's head (vinyl) through small plugs, very washable and styleable
Crazing - hairline cracks in composition Saran - fiber used in wigs, washable and styleable
Dynel - fiber used in wigs, washable and styleable Skull Cap - wig was secured to a fabric type base, then inserted into top of doll's head (common in Sweet Sue's)
Fashion Doll - popular types of dolls of the 50s that had an extensive wardrobe (Revlon, Dollikins, etc.) SLW - Straight Leg Walker
Flirty Eyes - eyes that move from side to side as the doll's head is tilted back and forth giving them multiple expressions SSC - Strawberry Shortcake dolls
Frozen Charlotte - doll that is molded all in one piece including arms and legs Strung - refers to a doll that's body parts are held together with elasticized string.
Green Ear - greenish discoloration to vinyl caused by metal wire holding earring Sweating - refers to a condition that affects some vinyl dolls where the doll appears shiny in spots and gets sticky to the touch.
GWTW - Gone With The Wind (this term is seen alot with reference to a Barbie series of dolls) Titian - refers to hair that is red
Hard Plastic - material used to make dolls throughout the 50s. Very durable. TNT - Twist and Turn (Refers to Barbie Dolls with a special waist)
HTF - Hard To Find Toddler Body - Usually a chubby jointed body with chunky shorter thighs.  Sometimes has curved instead of jointed arms.  Appears child-like as opposed to a more slender fashion doll body.
Limited Edition - limited amount produced Topsy-Turvy - Doll with two heads, one usually concealed beneath a skirt
M/NB - Mint/No Box available Transitional - usually refers to a type of Ginny doll made in the early 50s that has factory intentional pale coloring or the eyes' color has migrated to the whites
MIB - Mint In Box - Doll still has its original box but may have been taken out to be displayed.  Doll is still like new. TRU - Toys R Us
MIP -  Mint In Package Vinyl - Soft form of plastic material used for making dolls after 1950s. Durable but tends to absorb stains more easily than hard plastic.
MOC - Mint On Card  
Modern Collectible - refers to dolls made of either composition, hard plastic or vinyl, usually from the late 20s to current. Thus, some modern dolls could be 70 years old and still be in this category. Watermelon Mouth/Smile - Lips on a doll that have the shape of a half watermelon instead of the traditional "bow" mouth. (Seen on many Alexanderkins and 8" Betsy McCalls)
   

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