Vintage Rita Hayworth Dolls
A vintage Rita Hayworth doll is a five-piece composition doll modelled after Rita Hayworth's character "Carmen" in the 1948 film The Loves of Carmen.
Brief history and description
The doll is typically clothed in a red taffeta dress with black lace trim and lace mantilla, and also features a black net veil with a red rose, a composition socket head, blue "sleep" eyes, real eyelashes, painted eyebrows, eye shadow, a red wig, and gold shoes with black ribbons strapped around the ankles.
The doll was originally copyrighted by W.I. Gould & Co. and manufactured by Uneeda Doll Co in 1948. The Uneeda Doll Company was founded in 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, and produced thousands of different cloth, composition, plastic and vinyl dolls. The company is now known as the Tony Toy Company of Hong Kong.
Guide for collectors
An authentic "Carmen" doll should measure at approximately 14 inches in length and may feature a fan-shaped paper tag on the back of the doll's body or neck. Authentic "Carmen" dolls manufactured by the Uneeda Company may feature the letter "U" or "UN" inside the shape of a diamond, however, Uneela dolls were often unmarked as well.
A doll should be kept inside of its original box as much as possible. Replacing any of the doll's original clothing or accessories is not recommended.
The Modern Doll Collectors' website has information regarding the value and identification of various collectible dolls. Other online resources for collectors include the United Federation of Doll Clubs' website and Doll Reference's website.
Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania sold a Rita Hayworth "Carmen" doll (circa 1940s; 14" in height) which featured its original red taffeta dress as well as replaced shoes and socks for $350 in October of 2010.
Cordier Antiques & Fine Art in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania sold a "Carmen" doll for $70 in November of 2008.
Conestoga Auction Company in Manheim, Pennsylvania sold another "Carmen" doll (circa 1948; 14" in height) for $50 in March of 2007.
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