Q&A on Collecting
Toni dolls make waves with collectors
Q: Enclosed you will find a photo of a pair of Toni dolls. They were given to me when I was about 8 years old, and I am now 69. Toni was a home perm product, and the dolls were a promotion for the perms. If you saved box tops, you could send for the dolls. A set of little rollers and permanent wave solution came with the dolls so you could actually curl their hair. The dolls are in their original dresses and in excellent condition.
Please let me know if they are worth anything.
A: Toni Home Wave Company was one of the leading home permanent wave manufacturers in the 1940s. They introduced the dolls in 1949, and they were available until 1953. Toni dolls were made by the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company. Each doll was accompanied by accessories that included little rollers, “play permanent wave solution,” combs, brushes and instructions. The dolls were available in both blond and brunette nylon hair, they had sleepy eyes with lashes, rosy cheeks, bright red lips and jointed limbs. They were produced in height sizes from 14 inches to 23 inches. A bride doll and a walking doll also were made. When the walking doll walked, her head moved.
Home waves were popular in the mid-20th century. They could be purchased at grocery stores and drugstores for about $2. A professional perm ran about $15 in those days. During hard times, a frugal consumer could save about $13. A refill was even sold for $1. Toni competitors were Lift Waves and Rayve. Gillette Safety Razor Company eventually bought the Toni Company sometime in the 1940s. Toni perms are still being made.
Circa 1953 Toni dolls are selling online in the range of $75 to $150 each.
Q: This mark is on the back of an oval glass plaque that is a family treasured heirloom. It has been handed down through four generations and is in perfect condition. It is decorated with hand-painted flowers against a white background. The overall measurements are 9 by 13 inches, which includes the metal frame.
Could you please provide some information on its history and value?
A: Wave Crest glass was made by C.F. Monroe Company located in Meriden, Conn. It was in business from 1898 to around World War I. Wave Crest is opaque blown-molded glass. Blanks were purchased from the Pairpoint Manufacturing Company located in New Bedford, Mass. Monroe Company designers decorated the blanks using the names “Wave Crest,” “Kelva” and “Nakara.”
Your plaque was made around 1900, and an insurance value would probably be $3,000 to $6,000.
Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556.