I grew up as one of four sisters, so my family home was jam-packed with girlie toys. The game we all enjoyed playing together the most, though, was “doll’s houses”, each of us taking a corner of the room to convert into a makeshift dwelling for our little ladies. Coming across Good Golly Miss Dolly’s quirky, vintage website reminded me of those happy days and made me long for the time when dolls looked like little girls rather than curvy glamour-pusses or over-made-up, provocative teens (think Bratz).
I suspect a lot of this e-tailer’s customers will be nostalgic grown-up girls buying for themselves this Christmas. All the original dolls at Good Golly Miss Dolly are carefully sourced from antiques shops and fairs, with particular attention taken to provenance (on the website each doll comes with its history, manufacturer and production dates included). The Modern McCall dolls (£25), for instance, were made for six months only in 1986, so they are quite exceptional chubby-cheeked cherubs. The Lesney Ginny dolls (£20), with slender frames and fine features, were made in the 1970s and 1980s by The Lesney Corporation and are website favourites.
There are also idyllic miniature worlds created for Amanda Jane (£15), Penny Brite (£20) et al, which have been meticulously curated. They include bedrooms, sitting rooms, kitchens and the Mauve bedroom (£325) with its wooden four-poster, vintage wool eiderdown and hand-stitched patchwork quilt. The beautiful French Stencilled Kitchen (pictured, £300) has a tin Fuchs stove with its original pan, kettle, hanging moulds, and even a tempting-looking chicken in a baking tray. Rustic shelves hold a mixture of vintage metalware and white ceramics, while little nails hold a dishcloth and an apron. Garden settings are also perfectly picturesque from tropical styles to Edwardian ones, the most adorable being the Teddy Bears’ Picnic (£50) complete with vintage hand-knitted rug, jointed teddy and his friends, as well as minuscule strawberries sitting in their wicker basket alongside a diminutive tea service and cookies.
And so what to wear? Good Golly Miss Dolly has all the girls could desire with a large collection of vintage doll’s clothing that, like the furniture, is both factory- and handmade. The clothes sell in three categories: basic, deluxe and ultra deluxe. Ultra deluxe includes a dead ringer for the Dior New Look suit (£85 for nine items) and some seriously plush fur coats (£15). After all, it is winter and only the best will do for these little darlings.