Saturday, January 12, 2019

Doll-A-Day 2017 #12: Poor Pitiful Pearl

  Today's doll is Poor Pitiful Pearl.

This particular Pearl doll was made by Horsman, and is all original.

When I got Pearl out to photograph her she had developed a cloudy eye. Her eyes are plastic,and the cloudiness isn't on the surface,so I don't know what the problem is.

Poor Pitiful Pearl was made Tristar in 1955 and by The Brookglad Corporation in 1958.

 I have even seen photos of a mask faced, cloth body version of Pearl,(or at least a Pearl rip off.),described as a late 1940's doll from Poland.
 In 1963 she began to be made by Horsman. That's who made my doll.

In a box like this. 'Make her neat and pretty'. There was also a set that came with a pink party dress for Pearl.

Pearl was supposed to be a poor girl. She has a patch on her dress.

She's all vinyl,and has sleep eyes with 'real' lashes.

Pearl has long,rooted hair with bangs.

The tape goes all the way around her head. I'm not sure if it's original, but I'm almost afraid to remove it.

She has the standard articulation: neck,shoulders,and hips.

The Horsman Pearl came in two sizes, 12" and 17". My girl is 17" tall.

Pearl was remade in 1973, but apparently those dolls have the 1963 markings. I suspect mine my be one of those.

Her clothes are leaving dust all over her. I think the age is getting to them.

She's marked on the back of her head too, but I couldn't get it to show up.
I got my Pearl at an auction for something like $5, because no one else wanted to bid on her!

  Pearl was the creation of author and illustrator William Steig.

Steig was best known for his New Yorker covers...

...and the children's books Sylvester and the Magic Pebble...

...and The Amazing Bone...

..until one of his children's books was made into a movie in 2001...

And the rest is history!

 The Horsman Pearl is from the same era as Little Miss No Name.


In fact, a while back I had to convince my friend Lori that the doll she had as a kid was Little Miss No Name, and NOT Poor Pitiful Pearl, as she always thought. She may have called it Poor Pitiful Pearl, but the burlap dress and plastic tear gave her away.

I got this girl at a yard sale for a quarter. I lost my tear when I took my LMNN, with her detachable tear, to school in first grade,even though Mom told me not to, because I would lose it. Umm...  You can see and read about my LMNN HERE.
Pearl didn't have the big eyes of the Keane paintings that inspired Little Miss No Name, but she was decidedly pitiful.

She's supposed to have her right sock falling down,but it has been up for so many years it didn't want to go. I was afraid of ruining that old elastic by forcing it.
 I didn't know about Poor Pitiful Pearl as a kid, or I would most certainly have wanted her. 

Not as much as I wanted my Little Miss No Name, but she still would have drawn me to her because she looked like she needed love.

While researching for this post I came across this picture on Pintrest:

The scarf was made for her and was not original.
 **NOTE: I often use pictures of dolls in box, or packaging of some sort, for reference purposes. But I don't like to use anybody's artistic pictures, or just pictures of loose dolls/items, because I consider that to be stealing somebody's work. However, this is a real conundrum, so I'm doing it. **
The picture was pinned from Worthpoint, and they got it from an old Ebay auction. Their auction said they had seen a doll just like theirs on Ebayearlier, being sold as Pearl's cousin. They called her  'Poor Pitiful Suzie'. She is supposed to be 17" tall and have a stuffed vinyl body.

Looks like a Magic Skin body. Did they even make Pearl dolls like this?
 Who is this doll? She looks very Pearlesque, and she's wearing Pearlesque clothes. But she's not Pearl. Anybody know anything about her? To go to the Worthpoint page and see other pictures of her,and read the description, you can go HERE.

  I also once saw an auction for an advertising doll for a gas station or some related thing, which was obviously made from the Pearl molds,only she had red hair and was wearing gas station coveralls or some such thing. I can't remember the name of the gas station. I think it was a man's name, like Gus's or something.
Anybody know anything about these dolls?


  To close on a serious note, any prayers,good vibes, or positive energy, or whatever you believe in that could be sent out for our niece in law Carly would be deeply appreciated. Carly and her husband,our nephew Chris are only 30 years old, and have been together since they were 15. Recently we learned that Carly is battling cancer. Today she updated her prognosis, and things,although not impossible, don't look good. Any and all positivity coming Carly's way couldn't hurt. For those of you who think it inappropriate for me to stick this serious message on the end of a doll post instead of giving it a separate post of it's own: to be quite blunt,more people will read this one.
  See you tomorrow.


  1. Your Pearl is in the same boat with several of my vintage dolls with that eye going glazed. I'd heard that a warm hair dryer was supposed to fix that, but I've never tried it. If you find an effective fix please let me know; my Little Miss Revlon doll is starting to look possessed!!!

    1. Have you checked to make sure the cloudiness isn't on the outside of her eyes? Try using a fingernail, or a baby toothbrush. Are the eyes metal or plastic?

  2. Firstly the doll is very cute, another I've never seen before. But I like her face with the big gap between her nose and her mouth. The clouding of her eye is apparently quite common on some older dolls, and sometimes instead of cloudy, the colour will change altogether. The only way around it is to change the eyes for new ones, but I don't know how easy this is to do on a doll with sleep eyes.
    Secondly, no I don't think it's wrong or inappropriate to put a serious note on the bottom of your doll post, you're right, more people will read it than, sadly, if it were a post on it's own.
    I wish your niece in law all the very best, that any treatment she's going to have will work well for her...I'll send positive vibes and thoughts her way.
    Big hugs to you and your family xxx

    1. Thanks very much.
      I thought the cloudiness was only in eyes with metal backing. These eyes are plastic as far as I can tell. The timing would be right for plastic eyes. I thought at first it was dust on the outside of the eye,as I've seen that before. It didn't come off even with my fingernail though. Strange.

  3. I will add Carly to my prayer list. I think it's always appropriate to ask for prayers. We are human first and need human attention before we can do anything else.
    I do remember Pearl. I didn't have her but she was out when I was a child. I remember that my mother thought her name was so funny. I can't remember Pearl's face but I thought it was a little different. I could just be mixing her up with another doll.
    I think the tape was to keep her bangs in place. I don't remember hairnets being used on dolls when I was a child.

    1. Thank you.
      I'm sure the tape was to keep her bangs from straying,but I'm also sure I'll make a mess of her hair if I remove it. I don't work well with hair.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your niece in law. Don't give up hope, my aunt was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1998 and given about a year and a half to live, all the doctors told her to get her affairs in order. She fought and lived until November of last year, about 18 more years than they gave her. Don't EVER give up hope, send her cards in the mail, stickers or fun socks. Little things to make her smile, hope and laughter can help so much when battling cancer. The doctors might say one thing but doctors don't know everything, and they can be wrong. I hope she gets better and kicks cancers butt!

    1. I have sent your story along to Carly and she greatly appreciated it.She puts a lot of faith in a positive attitude and she said she loved hearing your aunt's tale.Thank you.

  5. My Horsman 1963 Pearl is 11 inches tall and my Brookglad Pearl is 13 inches tall. They make a cute sister combo.

    1. I'll bet they look nice together. How cute!


Thanks in advance for your comments.