Nancy Ann History
Nancy Ann Characteristics
Dolls For Sale
Sell Your Dolls
Nancy Ann Storybook Doll
This page is designed to help you
determine whether your doll is a Nancy Ann Storybook doll, and, if so, what are
her noteworthy characteristics. If you already know that your doll is a
Nancy Ann Storybook doll and are trying to determine her character's name,
please see the Photo Album.
Due to Nancy Ann Storybook dolls'
popularity, the style of the doll was often copied by competitors and may
sometimes be confusing to the novice collector. K&H dolls and
Dollcraft are two that most closely resemble Nancy Anns. Also, some
people refer to any "Storybook" doll as a "Nancy Ann." However, once
you see enough of Nancy Ann's dolls, you will be able to distinguish her
quality a mile away. Don't be fooled by imitations! The following
characteristics can be noted of most Nancy Ann Storybook dolls.
click on the underlined links below for additional pictures and information.
The majority are 5-1/2" tall, but range in size from 4-1/2" to 7".
Body composition: Bodies
may be bisque or plastic. Plastic dolls may have painted eyes or
sleepy eyes. This site will only focus on the bisque dolls.
Some of the later bisque dolls had plastic arms.
styles: Bisque dolls in the 4-1/2" to 5-1/2" range may generally
be described as "pudgy", "slim strung", or "frozen leg". Both the
"pudgy" and "slim strung" dolls have legs that are jointed at the hips.
Bisque dolls in the 6" plus size will be one of three types: "socket
head with jointed legs", "socket head with frozen legs" or a traditional
"frozen leg." ("Socket heads" are sometimes referred to as "wobble
heads.") All of the dolls will have arms that are jointed at the
- Markings: Bisque dolls are
typically marked on the back with one of the following marks:
5.5" Frozen leg dolls:
"STORY/BOOK/DOLL/USA/PAT. APP. FOR"
Slim strung dolls:
Pudgy, jointed leg dolls:
"MADE IN/JAPAN" with a Fan mark above
It is also relatively common to find Nancy Anns (particularly the frozen leg
have no markings or faint markings on their back as the result of a well-used
- Shoes: Dolls typically have
black painted "slippers", although black boots and white boots are also
found. Silver slippers are found on select earlier dolls. White
and red slippers are extremely rare. The earliest dolls have "molded
Dolls have glued on mohair wigs, found in brown, light
blonde, honey blonde, lemon yellow, auburn, and black. Some early
rare dolls have "sprayed on" painted hair. Also, the earliest dolls
will have "molded hair" underneath their wigs.
Headwear: Girl dolls ALWAYS
have something in their hair or on their head, such as a hat or hair ribbon.
Only the boys do not have anything on their head.
fasteners: Dresses were held in place at the back of the bisque
dolls with either a gold or silver safety pin or a ribbon (which was used
during the war years.) A snap was used at the back of the outfits
for the later plastic dolls and some bisque dolls during the transition phase to
Undergarments: Dolls will
typically have long, white pantaloons under their dresses. On the
earlier dolls, the pantaloons will sometimes be trimmed in lace. Some dolls
wear short white panties. Also, the earlier dolls often have separate
white half slips while later dolls may have attached slips or none at all.
Gold wrist tags with the dolls' names were placed on dolls beginning in
1941. Prior to that, a round gold "Storybook Dolls" or "Judy Ann" sticker was placed
on the front of the doll's clothes. The sticker typically corresponds
to dolls that have molded socks. Small oval stickers were also sometimes
placed on the back of dolls' felt hats or other felt costume parts which say "Nancy Ann/100% Wool/Dressed
Boxes are usually white with either pink, blue, red, or silver dots, and
have a silver label on them with the dolls names and identification numbers.
Earlier boxes are colored (blue, pink, or red) with white dots, and the
earliest boxes may be something such as blue with silver dots, red with
gold "sunbursts", or a "marbleized look." Boxes with Nancy Ann Storybook Doll written between
the dots belong to plastic dolls. A completely original box will
come with two "cardboard restraints" that hold the doll in place at the
neck and the ankles.
Brochures: Each doll came
packaged with a brochure that listed Nancy Ann's complete line of Storybook
dolls at the time. The earliest brochures were black and white, while
the later brochures for the plastic dolls were in color.