Original: Here is how the tin and celluloid doll is described in World Guide to Dolls by Valerie Jackson Douet, 1993:
Clockwork doll - an unusual Japanese mechanical clockwork doll with a celluloid head and metal body housing the clockwork mechanism. She has painted eyes and celluloid limbs and is wearing her original clothes (picture shows exact outfit of the one we have). The word "Japan" is printed on each of the soles of her metal feet. Date circa 1950, height 13 1/2 inches. This doll was purchased by my sister through eBay. The doll is xx inches tall. Nothing is known about its origin other than the fact that the bottoms of the shoes say "Made in Japan". There are no identifying marks on the head, neck, or body of the doll. The doll itself is not 100% celluloid. The head, arms, and legs are celluloid; whereas the body and shoes are made from tin. The doll contains a wind up mechanism that makes the doll shuffle, swing its arms, and turn its head (very similar to the Walking Wanda and Walking Winnie dolls. The foot of the doll contains a pin that protrudes from the bottom of the shoe, due to gravity, when held upright. This prevents the mechanism from engaging. When the doll is stood on a flat surface, the pin is pushed in, triggering the walking motion. We do not know if the key is original. The clothing is all original.
The tin body is held together with folded tin tabs. We decided not to open the body to clean and lubricate the clockwork mechanism for fear of breaking off the tin tabs. The clockworks are not brass but appear to be made of steel or tin. Looking inside the body cavity through the leg openings reveals the fingerprints of the assemblers corroded into the surface of the metal. The exterior of the body appears "wrinkled". This is due to the stamping process used to make the doll and is not a defect. It is interesting to note that the seams on the arms and legs run front to back, which is different from hard plastic dolls which have the seams running from side to side.
We are not sure if the eyes are just painted on the tin or if there is a glass insert for the non-white parts of the eye.
Celluloid is a highly flammable material which means that the doll should be kept away from high heat sources and not stored in environments where the ambient temperatures can be become high (like attics). Celluloid is also susceptible to most types of cleaning solutions, so great care must be used when
Figure 1 - Full frontal view. Notice the key dangling from a thong tied around the waist under the skirt. The socks have become discolored with age.
Figure 3 - Unclothed, front view. The body looks wrinkled because of the stamping process.
Figure 5 - Notice the fine detail in the face and hair. Celluloid appears to be more versatile than hard plastic in this aspect. This could be due to the thinness of the celluloid. The dark color at the base of the neck is due to rubbing between the head and the body when the doll is in motion.
Figure 7 - The key hole. The protruding belly is necessary to accomodate the spring when it is in the unwound state. The slot and tab method of joining the body halves is clearly visible.
Figure 9 - The shoulder joint looks very "Frankenstein" monsterish. A tin cage is used to strengthen the relatively weak celluloid arm. A spring mechanism (not visible from this angle) keeps the owner from stripping the mechanism if the arm is held in place while the doll is in motion.
Figure 11 - The bonnet is made from a sturdy plaid material.
Figure 13 - The blouse is made from an usual fabric. Dust and sunlight appear to be weakening it.
Figure 15 - The slip has yellowed with age and is satin.
Figure 17 - The skirt is made from the same material as the bonnet. It is a little faded from exposure to sunlight and dust on the exposed portions of the pleats.
Figure 2 - Full back view. Notice the seams running up and down the backs of the arms and legs. The socks are only tubes - they don't extend into the shoes.
Figure 4 - The gray spots on the back are actually the tabs attaching the clockwork mechanism to the body.
Figure 6 - The celluloid parts of the doll are very glossy, they almost look "wet". There is a small circular depression in the back of the head, centered between the ears. We believe this has something to do with the molding process. Unfortunately, there are no manufacturers marks to identify the doll.
Figure 8 - This appears to be a brass clock key. It is possible that it is original and that the manufacturer just used this key because they were being mass produced for clocks.
Figure 10 - The shoes and rollers. The right and left shoes are identical (like the Wanda and Winnie dolls). The phrase "Made in Japan" is stamped into the sole of the shoe. The start/stop pin that controls motion is only in the upper foot.
Figure 12 - The bonnet is carefully pieced together.
Figure 14 - A few holes where the blouse has deteriorated are visible. The snaps are intact and functional.
Figure 16 - The slip from the back side.
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