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This 16" Effanbee Charlie McCarthy circa 1937 with his original monocle and trunk is used to stealing the show! All eyes go to him when anyone enters the doll display room. Though he's been in the family for over fifty years, he's clearly ready to travel on a moment's notice.
His composition face has no crazing, repair or repaint! His back mark says: EDGAR BERGEN...CHARLIE MCCARTHY...AN EFFANBEE PRODUCT. His body is cloth, his hands composition (they are great but for some chipping on the inside of his left palm on his fingertips), his feet and lower legs are wooden and painted black. His pull string is still in great condition but his mouth doesn't open and close that way. If you touch his jaw with your finger it will move. There's a little chip on the left corner of his mouth and a faint crack where his lower right jaw meets his neck (not visible when dressed in tuxedo) which I'm told is common with this doll. His eyebrows have been loved off over the years. Other than those imperfections and some paint loss on his hair that you can barely see when he has one of his two hats on, he's stunning!
At first I thought the trunk was never intended for this doll and my grandmother and great-grandmother made the outfits. After years of searching the net for something like this, I've seen one similar trunk (same polka-dot interior, wood and trim). Closed and standing upright, the trunk measures 18.5" high x 10" deep x 10.5 wide. Open its 18.5" high x 21.5 wide, the left side approximately 5" deep and the right almost 6". A black velvet cord tied around his waist holds him into the trunk. Without the stand though, he doesn't stand up very straight. Stand is included. He doesn't sit up on his own either. A prop is behind him helping him.
25 piece wardrobe is made of natural fibers. I've learned that many outfits were made for this dapper doll that look similar to these but not identical. I don't think Granny and Florence would have left the inside seams so untrimmed, but would Effanbee have made clothes without any snaps, just straight pins and safety pins (and a few buttons and buttonholes) to hold the clothes together? Also, why is one outfit for the 20" version of this doll? Perhaps someone viewing this listing who is an expert on this doll can shed some light. I'm happy to send more photos.
Dress wear: Black tuxedo pants, black tails with black silk lining, black satin cummerbund, white vest, white shirt, white bowtie, white ascot, black top hat. The tuxedo has a seam that's come apart on the inside, at the back of his pants, and has a couple of threadbare areas that are hard to see. The jacket has four tiny buttons in front that look like they're covered in satin, 2 matching buttons in back where the tails split, and also on the cuff of each sleeve, however the one on his right sleeve is missing. The ecru thread used to sew it on can be seen. The black evening cape with white/gray/silverish silk lining and velvet collar is quite elegant. Lining is perfect. There's a threadbare area in back about an inch long. Cutaway ivory tuxedo jacket (should he have a formal engagement before 6PM) is made of a soft heavy material and has 4 tiny pearl or abalone buttons. Noticeable age spots. There's another sleeveless shirt with aging and two tears in front, one used for the abalone (or abalone-like) button. There's no buttonhole. A second white strip goes around his neck, is perfect and the same length as the one he usually wears. (12 items)
Casual wear: White suit (pants and 4-button jacket) made of a material similar to white tuxedo jacket (soft and heavy). Lots of aging, especially on left arm of jacket. A good soak in OxiClean would do wonders but I prefer to leave clothes this old alone since some buyers want them that way. There's a small tear in the inner seam of the pants. Sleeveless bright blue shirt has one pearl-like button. Cute long tie is four colors with aquamarine background. Topping it all off is an adorable straw hat with a black band. Shirt does not have a finished buttonhole. Tie and hat are in perfect condition. (5)
Business suit: Brown-checked cuffed pants and one-button jacket with two pockets, perfect shape. Heavy wool or wool-like material. (2)
Business suit for 20" doll: Brown-checked with red and blue/gray lines, this suit comes with a one-button, two-pocket jacket, a 3-button vest with a golden back, and is made of heavy wool or wool-like material. Perfect condition. Pants are 12.75" long, waist is 5.25" across. From the top of each shoulder seam is 5". (3)
Pajamas: Royal blue with burgundy trim, this lightweight cotton ensemble include pants, a robe and a sash that's blue on one side and burgundy on the other. Beautiful shape. (3)
Fainting couch, cigar and wicker chair not included.
The wooden trunk with a red leather handle and red leather trim looks great. The color on the handle has faded but it's still nicely intact. There's no key so I was afraid to close it all the way for fear it might lock. The polka-dot cardboard interior has warped a bit pulling it away from the edges. It could easily be glued down. The hanging rod for the clothes is made of wood. It looks like it may have once had a metal piece running from the middle of the back of the hanging area to the front instead of the wooden dowel. It has three drawers, one long one and two deeper but not as wide. One of the four brass pulls is missing.
A charming, possibly one-of-a-kind and unquestionably rare vintage addition to any home. You don't need to be a doll lover or ventriloquist to appreciate this one!
Item ID: 0157
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