At a doll show recently, I picked up a fixer upper composition Dionne quintuplets doll made by Madame Alexander in the mid to late 1930’s. She was in dire need of a little (well, a lot of) TLC from my favorite doll doctor, Dr. Noreen. Dr. Noreen has restored a few other dolls for us, including an antique bisque doll and a smaller Dionne baby.
This new Dionne had good eyes and face paint, but suffered from large cracks in her face and, unbeknownst to me, a bubble in her composition. Bubbles form when air gets stuck between the composition and the base of the doll. To fix this, the good doctor would have had to restore a lot of the eye area, which would have disrupted the original paint and been a much more costly and invasive restoration. She decided against doing any work on the bubble, which was fine with me, as I didn’t even notice it until Dr. Noreen pointed it out.
But, lesson learned. If you see a composition doll with a lot of bubbles under the composition, you may want to pass on picking it up or, at least, barter the seller down a bit. And definitely ask the seller if a doll has any bumps or bubbles on their face when shopping online.
The real thing that I wanted Dr. Noreen to fix were the large cracks, which took away from the doll’s cute face. Also, I really wanted her to work on her hair, which was a mess. Well, in a few short weeks, Dr. Noreen delivered on all fronts! Check out her handy work.
Her chin had to be repaired, as it had lost some of the composition.
The Dionne’s torso had some cracks, too, which were expertly filled in.
The human hair wig was restyled by Dr. Noreen into something that resembles an actual hairstyle (and not a bird’s nest). She did a wonderful job cleaning this girl up!
It’s amazing how much better she looks with the cracks filled in! It will always be obvious close up that this Dionne had some face cracking, but from a far, you can barely tell. Now, instead of the cracks drawing your eye, it’s her cute chubby cheeks and delicately painted features!
Truth be told, I wondered if buying this $30.00 Dionne had been a mistake after purchasing her. But, after seeing the magic Dr. Noreen did on her, I’m very happy to have picked this girl up! You can find Dr. Noreen on Facebook or, of course, her website. What do you think of this restoration? Share your thoughts in the comment area.