This example illustrates an example of a reproduction doll. Bye-Lo babies with simulated 'newborn' type body and facial features were originally designed by Grace Storey Putnam in 1922. These dolls were extremely popular while still in production and for some time now they have been hotly pursued again in doll collecting circles of contemporary times. Unfortunately, this reemergence of their popularity has also encouraged modern-made copies.
Twentieth century Bye-Lo's were made in various sizes and with bodies made either of bisque or cloth. There are obvious clues to be found on each type of original doll, and certain manufacturer's marks can often also sometimes help differentiate a real Bye-Lo baby from a later copy. Knowing what characteristics to look for (or confirm as being present with the seller, if you can't see them in a listing) on any specific doll you wish to collect is always recommended, because reproductions of many types of antique and vintage dolls are being actively sold as authentic examples. Whether innocently being misrepresented, or not, don't allow yourself to be taken in by just a sweet, well painted face on a modern-made reproduction. A skilled crafts-person can recreate the look of an original Bye-Lo's features and coloration.
Doll collecting is one of the many areas where prices are steadily escalating for genuine antique and vintage items, so it can be well worth the time to do at least enough research to know what characteristics to expect to be present on a particular type of doll or doll accessory, if it is indeed authentic. For Bye-Lo babies, in particular, since they have been reproduced for many years (and are still being copied today) if you don't know what specifics to look for and don't feel you have the time to research them properly prior to purchase, then your best course of action would be to buy a doll only from an established, reputable dealer who values and seeks repeat customers.
Whenever becoming serious in any area of collecting, remember that buyers who manage to avoid making costly mistakes as they learn can manage to keep more of their collecting dollars at the ready. This makes it possible for them to be able to immediately devote their collecting budget toward the really good, authentic pieces as soon as they are found. Which not only allows for swifter assembly of an enviable collection, but can also have the effect of granting perpetual enjoyment of both the collection and the act of collecting.
The reproduction doll shown in this listing is fully jointed at shoulders and hips, as would be an original all-bisque Bye-Lo, and the facial features may seem very convincing. Because some reproduction examples may have been made from a mold taken directly from an original Bye-Lo, too, they may sometimes appear at first glance to be correctly marked. But on this particular copy besides missing 'Germany' (country of origin) in its back mark, it is also missing requisite numbers that should be incised inside the limb joints. These should match the size number stamped into the back of the doll. The manner in which the size number from the back of an authentic bisque Bye-Lo should be placed on the joints of its components is shown in the additional images offered in this listing. Additional images also show a side-by-side comparison between the reproduction doll and an old Grace Putnam Bye-Lo. Included is a picture of an original Grace Putnam label that was placed on the torso of some original dolls.
The reproduction doll in this listing was advertised as being 8 inches in size. The comparison doll is not the same size, so the size numbers are different, though their placement inside joints should be expected to be much the same on an original 8 inch doll.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
Item listings in this shop are intended to be viewed for educational purposes, only. Items in this shop are not for sale.