Doll Detective Mailbag – Chiltern Teen Doll Update


Some time ago reader Lynne sent in a photo of her Chiltern Teen doll which was given to her in 1960.

My recently acquired “British Dolls of the 1960s” by Susan Brewer has a chapter on the large teen dolls. They were very popular in the 1950s and early 1960s just before twelve-inch fashion dolls appeared on the scene. Most of the major manufacturers made them. In Britain that meant, Pedigree, Rosebud, Roddy, Palitoy, Chiltern and Faerie Glen.

These dolls were dressed in the style of the day and their outfits were a little more formal than teens of the later 1960s wore because at that time young girls tended to dress in the same styles as their mothers. Teen fashions had not yet been invented.

The most popular size in the Chiltern range was fifteen and a half inches which is what Lynne’s doll is. They also made a larger one of nineteen inches and the smaller eleven inch one I mentioned in my previous post.

The article goes on to say that the dolls were made in a quality vinyl and had painted finger and toe nails. The doll in the illustration in my book wears a wide skirted cotton dress with red stars and a blue collar on a white background but I’m sure this was not the only outfit the doll came in. Apparently Chiltern and the other companies also made dolls clothing which was sold separately.

The teen dolls were just one type of doll made by Chiltern so I may do a post about the company’s other products later.

5 comments

  1. I have a Chiltern 19″ Teenage doll my nana bought her for me in 1957 her name is Debra she means the whole world to me I lost my nana when I was only 5 years old
    My doll is in need of some TLC she needs her hair replaced , some eyelashes adding
    Her fingers on one hand have been chewed off from the family dog and she needs some new clothes, I would love to restore her to her former glory, can you help

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    • Hi Maria, if I were you I would see if there is a dolls hospital in your area as restoring such a precious doll is something that ought to be done by an expert. You could buy her a wig, you can get the right size by measuring the circumference of her head. You can buy them online if there is not a doll repairer near to you. I have seen tutorials for replacing eyelashes on YouTube but I have not done it myself. If you don’t sew yourself there are also lots of lovely clothes you could buy online. The chewed hand would be the biggest issue and that would require an expert repair.

      Like

  2. I make dolls clothes, I also custom make for old dolls and have a range of old patterns for various doll sizes. I too am from the UK but now I live in Perth. Dolls clothes are my retirement hobby!

    Like

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