Say Hello To: Loretta


I thought I would use the doll packing and unpacking process as an opportunity to showcase various dolls who haven’t appeared on the blog that much. It will make the packing up a bit more enjoyable for me and maybe we can revisit some of the dolls later when I have time to write more about them.

I realised recently that I had not shown you much of my large hard plastic Italian doll. Loretta came from a lady who had a doll stall at Paddy’s Market in Pooraka, South Australia. I think Naomi originally spotted her and either bought her for me or took me to the stall to see her and I bought her. I honestly can’t remember exactly as it was more than 20 years ago now. I do remember that she cost $30.

Italian hard plastic doll.

Loretta is, as I said, a hard plastic doll and most likely from the 1950s. These dolls were often made from bakelite and some of Loretta’s paint has come off revealing a shiny blue plastic. She has a mama box which is still working as I discovered when I laid her down to photograph her feet. Loretta has little rollers on the bottom of her shoes to help her move. The shoes are permanently attached to her feet. There is what looks like a battery compartment in her back, the cover is missing and this probably controlled her “walking”.

I still have the original dress that Loretta came in but it was in very poor condition and she had been redressed in the white dress she is wearing now. I think that this dress may have been made for a child or perhaps it is a replica of a former owners confirmation dress. It seems a little long for her and has a net underskirt. My old photos of Loretta undressed seem to have disappeared. They were on Flickr but I had thought that they were on my computer as well. However, I can’t find them so today I undressed her for a new photo and as her dress was very yellow it is now soaking in a bucket of Vanish so it will be nice and clean for our move.

Loretta undressed

I don’t know a great deal else about Loretta but I think she is a pretty doll.

5 comments

  1. Loretta is a very pretty doll, she has lovely blue eyes. Also her body is quite shapely, it looks more teen rather than childlike. Whilst going through your collection to pack, you never know, you may find some treasures you’d forgotten about!

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  2. I had forgotten all about that lady at Paddy’s Market Pooraka. On Sundays I used to frequent up to four markets starting at Gepps X Trash & Treasure at the drive in, Pooraka Markets at the fresh produce markets, Paddy’s on the Main North Road and finally the market at Port Adelaide near where I used to live. How I loved these Sundays when I didn’t have to work. Very sadly these are all but gone. I remember Vanda buying Loretta. I think I suggested the name. I did take her out to see the stall when I found it. There used to be a few doll ladies with stalls at various markets. It’s funny because Vanda has always been the big doll collector but I’ve been the one blessed with doll ladies downsizing collections both in South Australia and right here in Oatlands. I often go out looking for collectables as I collect just about everything and many a time I have come across old dolls such as Pedigree Penny. Here is the heads up on her. She is nearly ready and we should be collecting her from the Hobart Doll Hospital soon. I expect Vanda will be showing her off very soon so stay tuned.

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