Phonograph doll “Mae Starr” with phonographic cylinder

    Phonograph doll “Mae Starr” with phonographic cylinder

    USA, New York

    The 1920s

    Averill Manufacturing Co.

    Papier-mâché, metal, fabric, lace, leather, hair, cardboard, celluloid; casting, sewing, mechanical works, painting

    66 x 40 x 18 cm, 2.9 kg

    On the movement: "PAT / 1355525 / 1357936", on the cylinder: "AVERILL MANUFACTURING Co.", "NEW YORK CITY U.S.A.". On the cylinder flat end: "OLD MOTHER HUBBARD".


    Phonograph doll is an anthropomorphic toy for babies and toddlers - made of organic materials: papier-mache head, with a specific childish face, with parted lips, light wavy hair, closing eyes, body shaped carcass covered with white fabric and filled with cotton wool. An aperture for sound from the horn to come out is in the chest and a niche with a spring-driven phonograph mechanism and a 5.5 cm-diameter cylinder is on the back. Cardboard cylinder with two round apertures on the metal top panel, with celluloid working surface with a phonogram and inscription on the flat end.
    The doll is dressed in pink batiste dress, with long sleeves, a button fastening at the back, a flounce on the dress bottom, embroidery on the collar and sleeves. The underwear is white with lace trim, with white knitted socks and white leather shoes with straps and buckles. When the mechanism is switched on, the poem 'Old Mother Hubbard' sounds, an English children's poem first published in expanded form in 1805, although its exact origin is disputed. It is indexed 19334 in the Roud Folk Song collection. After a notable success in a kindergarten, it was eventually adapted for a wide range of practical and entertaining purposes.