Fair Children Helen Pringle Doll

Today I went to an exercise class (yay, me!) and as a reward on the way home I gave myself a little time in an antique mall nearby. I've been looking for a round kitchen table and chairs to put in our basement playroom - for doing crafts and playing cards. As I was going through I saw the doll booth. Truthfully, I don't usually stop there, because it's mostly vintage manufactured dolls or collectible character dolls. Which are fine, but not my thing. Today, though, I saw a cloth doll sitting there and thought, "She's interesting. I wonder who made her?" So I picked up the doll and this is what I saw:

I did a double-take.
Is this really a Helen Pringle doll?

Because Helen retired from dollmaking,
there is a kind of mystique about Helen Pringle's dolls.
Many of her contemporaries are still making wonderful dolls,
and we should be collecting those, too!

This doll is painted a bit more
primitively than some of Helen's dolls.
Her name is Mary Mason Dixon.
Her feet go both "North and South."

Black Stockinette stockings are on the feet.
The pattern is simple, but very warm in feel.

She wears pantaloons,
a rusty-red understkirt and a gingham dress.
Sewn inside her dress is a poem typed onto muslin:

The poem reads:

Mary Mason-Dixon
(She has North and South Feet)

I am Mary Mason-Dixon
I have North and South feet
and such a solemn countenance
that isn't cute or sweet.

I've my Mama's Yankee stuffing
and my Papa's Rebel rags
Grandma's eagle Eastern eye
Grandpa's graceful Western legs.

Do you need a Guardian Angel?
Or a Conscious or a Friend?
Whatever job you give me
on me you can depend.

From Maine by way of Texas
I bring All-American style;
and whenever noone's looking
I smile.

copyright 1988 - Helen Pringle

Well, I have those same North-South feet. I get the Yankee stuffing from my dad and the Rebel rags from my mom. ;-) In fact, my business name came from an email address I picked out a long time ago, which was a way of melding my southern and northern roots. Hence, Northdixie Designs. What a nice surprise to my day. Thanks for sharing with me in the fun!


MaryC said...

Congratulations, DIXIE!!! what a *find*...a fitting "reward" for you! MaryColgan

Hardin County Keepsakes said...

WOW what a great find.Funny I had just *talked* of my love for Pringle dolls to you.
the painting does not look quite as refined(not sure that is the right word) as I thought it would be.
judy j

Dixie Redmond said...

Judy - yes it's interesting. This doll has great charm but it is more primitive in style than many of the ones pictured in magazine articles.

Anonymous said...

Dixie that doll was meant for YOU!

Sandy Mastroni said...

A very cool story
She WAS meant for you
and I found it interesting how it all tied in with your name !

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden