A little girl cuts doll hair and many years later…

They were found in a child’s coffin in an antique store in New Orleans!
They traveled to Oregon; their new owner wanted them treated properly…

The dolls have porcelain heads, arms and legs;
Rhett had a broken leg that was also properly repaired.

Both doll’s clothes needed cleaning, and small rips and
previous poorly executed repairs that needed to be properly sewn.

The dolls were undressed…

Cleaning first.  We were happy when the dark dirt stains lifted
from Scarlett’s dress, particularly, as it was all down her front.
Lace rips, proper closures, hems on pants — all was properly repaired.

We were also particularly happy when her hoop skirt which was twisted into an eight, came back into hoop shape with a bit of TLC… and magic fluids!

We were a bit intimidated by the hair cut on Rhett Butler.  Styling hair is one thing, cleaning hair is one thing, but Rhett had had a baaaaad haircut, and the hair was further filled with an odd hard gloop (highly technical term), and so we turned to a hair expert, Howard Sutcliffe, Principal Conservator at River Region Costume and Textile Conservation.  We had heard Howard had a way with puppets and dolls, and sent both dolls off to Howard.  He plied his trade and after explaining that Rhett’s hair was cut badly on three sides, even a near razor cut up the back (see below), gave Rhett a not-Rhett cut that looks much better than he started.

Notice Scarlett’s has bangs?  That too, was the child who played with her many years ago.
He removed what appeared to be bird feces from her hair!

On the back of Rhett’s neck is the following notation:
“Rhett Butler / Clark Gable
by Mary Collier / Mc©1982”

We could find no Mary Collier that was involved with dolls, but did find a Kitty Collier who was involved with dolls — so until further notice that is who we think created these dolls.

In the lobby, waiting to go home, showing before and after!


©MPF Conservation.
Blog posts may be reposted; please link back to mpfconservation.me.