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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ann Blyth Paper Dolls

Today we have a fun and a different sort of collection of Ann Blyth images: a book of paper dolls.  Once a mainstay of playtime for little girls, paper dolls are still popular with collectors, especially from Hollywood's golden age.  Ann Blyth received the paper doll treatment in the early 1950s as her career was booming.  Here from my book, Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.:

...the peak of her popularity surely typified by the book of paper dolls published by Merrill Publishing. According to American Paper Doll from an article by David Wolfe, it was “…one of the most beautiful paper doll books ever produced by Merrill Publishing.”

This paper doll book has actually been re-issued as a reproduction of the original.  While not as valuable to collectors, it is still an interesting piece of movie memorabilia, and is much more affordable, of course, than an original item.  Above we have the two doll figures to dress.  The other smaller illustrations of Ann on the page you will probably recognize from various publicity photos.

 You'll recognize as well the costumes from Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1949) and from her role as the princess in The Golden Horde (1951).  Since this book of paper dolls came out before her MGM musicals, we unfortunately don't have any representations of Rose Marie or The Student Prince, or Kismet, but most of the outfits were chosen with the idea in mind that the girls would like to imagine playing the life of the famous young actress, and not necessarily the characters she played.

To that end, there are a lot of selections of dresses and accessories that fit the part of a busy young starlet.

And the glamorous world of Hollywood society.

Including skiing, evidently.

What adventures did the paper wardrobe inspire in the children who matched each accessory by number?

And how many girls' interest in clothes was first inspired by a shoebox full of paper doll outfits?
The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on, and on Amazon and iTunes.

Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon.

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