While the history of this particular Pinocchio doll is unknown, it's possible that it could be one of the very highly coveted hand-crafted dolls that Charlotte Clark used to make for Walt Disney himself!
This is a reader question that I'm posting because it's just such an interesting looking Pinocchio doll with huge potential to be a real collectible! The history of the doll is unknown, but it would appear to possible be of the style and construction similar to those made by Charlotte Clark in the very early years of the Disney company. Charlotte made at least one known 18 inch tall prototype of Pinocchio and as you can see from the photos, this particular example looks very hand-made with the Sharpie drawings of the joints in the legs/etc.
I am working on an investigation into a possible Charlotte Clark Pinocchio doll for the PBS program History Detectives. The contributor worked as an artist for the University of Disneyland back in the 1960s and says she bought this doll from the estate of Don W. Graham. She believes Clark made the doll and then Walt Disney gave it to Graham as a gift. We are trying to determine if that is in fact the case.
I have attached several photos of the doll that the contributor sent to me. She describes the doll as constructed with primarily velveteen fabric and wooden legs. It is about 16 inches tall and has a 1939 Walt Disney copyright stamped on the bottom of one of its feet (which is nearly illegible in the photograph). If you need a more detailed description, please let me know.
Is it possible that this a one-of-a-kind object and the only Pinocchio doll that Clark ever created? Also, is there an explanation for why the doll is copyrighted 1939, but Disney’s animated feature was not even released until February 1940.
Imagine if this was one of the dolls that Clark made for Walt and which he then handed-out to friends and family! What an incredible treasure for a Disney collector to have in their collection!
If you happen to know any of the history of these dolls or this one in particular, I'd love to hear more. The person who asked me the questions and sent the photos is researching the history of the doll, so please use the Contact page to keep money values private as this is to be a secret for the owner.
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