It has been more than five years since I wrote a post about Christine, the walking doll that I received when I was about four years old. In that post, I wrote that I did not know for sure who had made Christine as she was unmarked but I believed that she was either a BND or a Roddy. Since that time I have seen a couple of dolls on eBay described as BND but I have yet to find a book reference or a picture of a brand new boxed one. A swing tag or a box would help to ID her positively.
The subject came up again last month while Naomi was on holidays in Adelaide. One day she went to a big antique place and found a doll that she told me looked a lot like Christine. She sent me a photo and the doll looked exactly like Christine, but with blonde hair. Not only that but her dress was just like the dress that Christine used to have except that Christine’s was pink. The doll and another which I’ll talk about in another post came home with Naomi. Here are the girls together.
Naturally, we started to talk about who made them again and Naomi found another picture of a doll tagged BND on eBay. BND, by the way, stands for British National Dolls. This company was based in London between 1930-60 but so far I haven’t found out a lot more about them. They made a lot of dolls and I would love to know more about the company history.
One piece of information I did run across was that BND supplied dolls to Marks and Spencer’s for their “St Michaels” brand including one called “Dollie Walker” in the 1950s and early 60s. I did an internet search for “BND Dollie Walker” and came up with an earlier version of the doll which was all hard plastic. These earlier hard plastic dolls were marked BND on the back of the neck. Perhaps when they switched to the vinyl heads they stopped marking them. BND doll clothing was never tagged but apparently, their original shoes were marked BND London. I am pretty sure I never saw that on Christine’s shoes, however. I have managed to find a picture of one of these dolls with her box which is clearly marked “Dollie Walker”. I will keep trying to find a picture of a boxed transitional doll who is like Christine and her new sister Caroline but I think that we have solved the mystery.
Caroline still needs a wash and a bit of a tidy up and when I have done that I will take some more photos of her.
This has also made me think that the smaller all vinyl doll I have who looks rather like Christine may also be a BND. They made a similar looking doll called Marilyn who has different hair but the same body and face. I’ve left a picture in the links. See what you think.