Composition doll 1950s or before, may be Dewees Cochran

This is a doll from my grandmother's estate; she died in 1957, so it could be from any time before that. We believe the material is composition. We couldn't find any identifying markings. We posted a photo on a doll collecting website, and they thought it might be a Dewees Cochran (there were apparently some works she didn't sign). It does look a lot like her work, so it may have been a prototype. There is a lot of resemblence to the Susan (Stormie) Stormalong in the age 7 version, although this doll has brown eyes and most of the examples we found had blue, which leads us to think it might also have been one of her portrait dolls. We couldn't find anything exactly like her, so we suspect she might be rare.

Her facial expression is gorgeous. The contours are very artistic, she has defined shape under her eyes, chin, mouth, cheeks, and nose. She has a beautiful mouth in coral, with a little dot of the same color in each nostril to give it depth. There is a deeper groove between upper and lower lip to separate them, the contours of her mouth are incredibly realistic. Her brown eyes are exquisitely painted with bright little dots for sparkle. Her upper eyelashes are glued on, the lower ones are painted. Her left eyelash is coming a little unglued at the corner, we didn't mess with that. Her right eyelash looks like a couple have stuck together, in the photo it looks like a hair is missing from them but you might be able to move them back and fill that little space. The eyebrows are painted on, there are a couple of tiny scrapes to her right one (see photo). Her fingernails and toenails have pink polish. She has wonderful detailed lines in her hands, elbows, and knees. The paint is a little darker in a few places, which might be soiling. She is about 15 inches tall.

The red hair is very fine with a lot of subtle color variations, so we think it is human. It is glued onto her head, you can see a sort of brown skullcap painted onto her scalp under the hair. The bangs part a little at the place where the stitching begins, the effect of the stitching in the top of her hair is well done to look like a natural part. Her hair is tied in the back with a light blue bow. She wears a pretty little gauzy dress embroidered with beautiful flowers, white on white, with laced-edged slip and shorts underneath. The hem of the dress is points, with points on the little sleeves - very dainty. The dress looks perfect, with no tears, holes, or stains. There are no tears or holes in the underclothes, just a slight discoloration in a couple of places - from being next to the body? She has white socks and black shoes with silver buckles. The soles look like leather, the shoes might be vinyl. Her neck, arms, and legs swivel.

Her fingers are deteriorating a little (see photos), as composition tends to do. There are some areas on the arms, legs, and body of a lighter color, which we think is where some of the skin-tone paint has rubbed away (see photos). Her face has a couple of areas that are not quite as smooth as the rest, probably age. (It happens to us all). The skin of the body has some texture irregularities but they are under the paint. There are a couple of hairline cracks in the legs.

This would be a great addition to any collection. She is absolutely beautiful.

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