‘Love, Shirley Temple’ Collection from Theriault’s

Currently, a collection of memorabilia owned and collected by the lovable, iconic Shirley Temple Black is being displayed in a limited time, traveling exhibit around the United States. I don’t know about you, but I’ve watched and loved my fair share of Shirley Temple movies. Shirley added light to the darkness for many people during her days as a child actress, which coincided with the Great Depression in the United States.

The picture used in this post were found from various sources.  If you would prefer I remove an image, please e-mail me: taps1223@sbcglobal.net.  I will gladly remove any images if asked.

At the mere age of 3, Shirley Temple was spotted by two producers who worked for Educational Pictures.  They loved Shirley and gave her her first on screen credits in a handful of satirical shorts starring toddlers.  She gained popularity relativity quickly.  In 1933, after Educational Pictures went bankrupt, she was hired by Fox Studios for the feature film Stand Up and Cheer, singing and dancing to’Baby Take a Bow’, where her future in film was forged.  In her career, Shirley starred in 43 movies for multiple studios and won the heart of generations.

Shirley Temple and her Doll Collection

Shirley Temple and her Doll Collection

While her films have left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry, Shirley also made an impact in the doll collecting hobby.  Dolls have been made of Shirley Temple since 1934.  The first Shirley doll was created by Ideal and was, from all accounts, a joint effort between Ideal and the Temple family.  Taking inspiration from Stand Up and Cheer, Ideals’ Shirley wore a polka-dotted dress similar to the one the real life Shirley wore in the movie.  This doll, which was sold in four sizes, started at $3.00.  Keep in mind this was the Great Depression.  $3.00 was a lot of money.  Shortly after, Ideal started releasing outfits sized for their Shirley line and the demand for this original release and other companies Shirley dolls has never wavered.

Shirley herself had a bit of a doll collection.  Costume designers would create doll sized dresses to match Shirley’s on screen outfits for the young actresses own personal collection.  The little starlet also had a soft spot for Lenci dolls. I don’t know how much truth there is to the story, but apparently, a producer suggested Shirley start a doll collection.  From then on, fans would send her dolls.  According to the source I found (which is just a tumbler), Shirley would end up passing many along to charities, only keeping a small few.

If you’d like to see some of Shirley’s personal items, including some of the dolls and/or outfits she saved over the years from her film career, you might be able to.  There are tour stops in California, Texas, Kentucky and Missouri scheduled through July 13th.  The Theriault’s auction itself is July 14th in Missouri.  You don’t know how disappointed I was to not see Illinois on this list, but, alas, that’s how it turned out.  You can follow the tour stops on Facebook, where you will also find some amazing photos.

For those looking to savor this bit of history, you can purchase the hard bound catalog, “Love, Shirley Temple, Collector’s Book”.  It’s a little pricey, but this wonderful collection will soon be getting split up and I wouldn’t doubt that a number of these items will never be shown in a public setting again.

Credit: Unknown

Credit: Unknown (I LOVE the doll she’s holding in this– what is it? Do you know?

Do you own a Shirley Temple doll?  What made you purchase it?  What’s your favorite Shirley Temple movie?  Did you get to see this exhibit? Share your thoughts below.

Below are some links you may find interesting.







May 23, 2015. Uncategorized.


  1. jackylina replied:

    I have 4 Shirley Temple dolls I inherited from my grandma who lived during the Great Depression and loved Shirley.

  2. barbielea replied:

    What a lovely article. I love the spotted dress that comes in child and doll size. If this exhibition was in my country, I’d certainly go.

    I recently saw a Shirley Temple paper doll at the V&A Museum of Childhood, there’s a photo of it on a recent post somewhere. Incredible that such a fragile thing survived all these years.

  3. Lon replied:

    What I find interessting is the size difference between the costumes in that second to last photo. I mean, she was a kid and OBVIOUSLY she would be growing from movie to movie but it’s not something I ever really thought about. Seeing the costumes together is quite something!

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