and then her head fell off…

Yesterday, I decided to clean up my new S&H 890 so that I could pick a color of fabric that would work with her clean face.

I cleaned her with Formula 409 and q-tips like I always do. The 409 didn’t help with the dirt ring around her neck from the kid lining, so I decided to trim it instead of replacing it.


I needed something sharp and pointy, so I used a box cutter with a new blade.

Then her head fell off.


She has been restrung and her stringing is nice and tight. Like many antique all-bisque dolls, there was a tiny wood rod to support the elastic in her head. Usually the rod is angled on the ends to fit snugly into the neck. This one was not angled and was just knotted with the elastic. So it slipped out when I pulled her head up to trim the kid lining.


I was not happy, but it did make it easier to trim away the dirty kid leather that showed. As you can see from the q-tips, she was pretty dirty, too.


The elastic that held on her head was looped around the leg elastic, so it was a bit tricky to replace it. I used my forceps and long tweezers to wiggle it into place, then pulled both ends through her neck and head.


I keep a supply of small wooden beads on hand for such emergencies and I had one that would fit and that didn’t interfere with her sleep-eye mechanism. I threaded the bead onto one end of the elastic and tied it tightly in place with a double knot.

I have used the wood rod method before, but believe that the bead is more stable.


Here’s a view inside her head with the bead in place and the elastic trimmed.


On closer examination, I did notice that the wax on her eyelids has been redone and is not original. It’s a bit splotchy, but I will leave it alone.

Now that she’s all clean, doesn’t have a dirty neck ring and is securely strung I can contemplate her costume.


and then her head fell off… — 4 Comments

  1. Great tip about keeping wooden beads handy! Love to see how others are keeping up there collections. Thank you for sharing!

  2. She is very pretty. I am glad someone knows how to restore dolls to their former beauty.

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