Price guide: 1950s Poor Pitiful Pearl

Price guide: 1950s Poor Pitiful Pearl

Mikalov, Lauren

Poor Pitiful Pearl remains one of the most sought-after dolls, probably because her winsome and homely appearance cries out to many people. Famous cartoonist and children’s book author William Steig designed her. Poor Pitiful Pearl was an orphan wearing a raggedy dress. The new owner was supposed to adopt her and redress her in a pretty pink party dress. Brookglad manufactured the first dolls. These dolls tend to be of a heavier vinyl; many of the dolls have one-piece stuffed vinyl bodies. Later, in the 1960s, Horsman manufactured the dolls in several sizes. The later dolls tend to be of a lighter plastic. Horsman’s Poor Pitiful Pearl, bearing the 1963 copyright date on the heads and boxes, was seen on department store shelves as late as 1982. Twenty years ago, many of these Horsman dolls still being sold at retail were snapped up by collectors who kept the doll mint in the box. For this reason, there seems to be many more Horsman Pitiful Pearl dolls still mint in the box. The Brookglad dolls are much harder to find and much more valuable when in mint condition. The dolls were later created by Tristar; these dolls are often found mint in the box because so many collectors purchased them when new.

Copyright Ashton International Media, Inc. Jun/Jul 2003

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