This vibrantly colored, uncut, circa early 1920's, Little Mary Jane Paper doll designed by Berta and Elmer Hader, an American couple who jointly illustrated more than 70 children's books, ran exclusively in the iconic Good Housekeeping Magazine and features a Halloween theme complete with jack-o-lanterns and a basket of harvested fall apples!
The very popular Mary Jane paper doll series was featured each month in Good Housekeeping Magazine for months, with little girls everywhere excited to immediately cut out the doll and her accessories for play!
From the 1920s through the 1960s, paper dolls were an extremely popular play toy with a wide variety of paper doll "books" sold in the 5 & 10 cent stores of the day such as Woolworth, Berdine and Kresge, to name a few. The Mary Jane paper doll always conformed to seasonal themes, with the coloring and artistry of Berta and Elmer Hader never failing to please little girls everywhere.
Given the extreme play-time popularity of paper dolls, it is very rare to find an uncut sheet such as this!
Berta and Elmer Hader worked together to design children's sections for Good Housekeeping, McCall's, Pictorial Review, Asia, Century, and The Christian Science Monitor. They created pictures and cut-outs, often featuring children dressed in national costumes. In Berta and Elmer Hader's Picture Book of Mother Goose, the couple collated pen-and-ink and color drawings they had done for Monitor and Good Housekeeping to great acclaim. When the US Postal Service dis-allowed the sending of magazines with cut-out segments in 1926, the Haders switched gears, gaining a contract with MacMillan for a series of children's books. They began writing the stories for some of the books in this period. Demand for their product soared, and they worked incessantly from 1927–1931, illustrating, in some cases writing, producing, and helping to sell thirty-four titles. They stayed busy for the rest of their lives, producing another seventy or so books before they retired in 1964. One book in particular, Billy Butter (1936), so impressed writer John Steinbeck that he requested Elmer Hader do the cover to The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Hader eventually did covers for two other Steinbeck works, East of Eden (1952) and The Winter of Our Discontent (1961).
Professionally matted and framed some many, many years back, this lovely piece of wall art advertising measures 10.5 inches wide x 13.5 inches long and remains in excellent original condition given its 100 years of age! Any discoloration, facing of color or reflection seen in photos is related to the difficulty photographing an object under glass and is NOT an imperfection to the piece.