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M.&S. SUPERIOR DOLLS
Another type of papier-mache doll, large and small, blonde and brunette, which is still fairly plentiful, at least in New England, is the M. & S. Superior doll. This usually has a label on the left shoulder: "M. & S. Superior No. 201 5," although the wording varies as well as the nunAber. The doll is pretty, with painted eyes and short sausage curls around the head. The hair, like that of other papier-mache types, is molded on the head and painted. Who made this doll and where are still unsolved questions.
Some collectors believe that the M. & S. Superior heads were a product of the Greiner factories. The argument against this theory is that, while the finish on their faces is fine and beautiful when they are found in pristine condition, it is badly marred in dolls that have been played with. The Greiners, on the other hand, have come through years of hard service with their placid faces in excellent condition, except for slight damage to the ends of noses and chins.Surely it would not have been profitable for Ludwig Greiner to have made in such evidently large quantities as the Superior, a doll that would not stand up so well as those with the already famous Greiner heads.
No, it seems clear that the M. & S. Superior doll was made abroad, but perhaps we may never know. Indeed it is one of the interesting features of doll collecting that we do not know all the answers. We are always speculating, always discovering new facts.
The M.& S. Superior is the only papier-mache doll, except the Milliners'Model, that usually had a characteristic type of commercial body. The Superior bodies were always alike-cloth stuffed with hair. Striped stockings and buttoned leather shoes, made on the feet, were a part of the doll and there was always a broad sitting base on the body. One occasionally finds a Superior head on a small homemade body, indicating that heads were sometimes sold separately. The A & S. Superior doll is another type of which each general collection should have at least one.