Arts Entertainments

Vintage Collection – Arranbee Dolls Of The Past

One of the best-known doll makers in the US was the Arranbee Company (aka R&B). The company brought in several high-quality models made of composite, vinyl, rubber, hard plastic, and bisque. It was founded by William Rothstein in 1919 in New York City. In the early years of the company, they imported bisque doll parts, especially doll heads from German companies such as Simon & Halbig and Armand Marseille. They offered bisque and composition dolls that included shoes, wigs, doll body parts, and hospital dolls.

Soon after, around 1925, Arranbee started producing their own toys and even became a supplier to the Vogue Doll Company around 1927. They opened their own factory that mainly produced composition dolls in New York. Vogue’s 11-inch Dora doll and the 14- or 17-inch Sportswoman doll series were a pair of dolls supplied by Arranbee and repackaged by Vogue. Arranbee also began producing hard plastic dolls in the 1940s and also maintained the popularity of vinyl dolls in the 1950s.

Arranbee dolls continue to be known for their high-quality materials and clothing. However, a great change occurred in the company when its founder, William Rothstein, died in 1957. The Rothstein family continued operations, but only for a brief period. They then sold the company to the Vogue Doll Co., which continued under their name until 1961. Most Arranbee models are properly marked and identifiable, making it easy for collectors to identify vintage Arranbee creations.

Some of their doll collections that include the year they were first manufactured are:

1) The Baby of My Dreams (1924)

2) Tot Bottle (1926)

3) Nancy (1931)

4) Debut (1938)

5) Around the World and Storybook Dolls (1930s)

6) George and Martha Washington (1932)

7) Little Angel Baby (1940s)

8) Nanette (1947)

9) Princess Elizabeth and baby Carlos (1948)

10) Angel Face (1951)

11) Sweet Pea (1955)

12) Miss Coty Girl (1957)

13) April Showers and Lil Cupcake (1957)

14) Little Imp (1960)

These are just a few of the more popular dolls that Arranbee made and released between 1919 and 1961. Collectors who want to verify authenticity should look among these marks on the doll’s body: 16, 23ARV, ARRANBEE, Simon & Halbig / Arranbee, AM 341 or 341 K, AM 351 or 351 K, Circle P, 49 R & B, 65 R & B, 210 / Pat / Pen, 250 R & B, Made in USA / Pat’s Pend and Nancy. However, there are dolls that were produced that do not have any markings. Antique collectors may only need to consult the list of famous Arranbee dolls and examine their authenticity based on the doll’s description.

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