How do I store a vintage doll in its original box?
Q. Dear Donia,
Hello, I have a 1954 Madame Alexander 8" plastic doll in a gown in mint condition. I also have her original box, pink tissue paper, and cardboard neck brace—none of which are acid free. I need to store them all together as they are all original, and in the doll world, one is expected to save all packaging. Should I lay the neck brace and pink tissue on the floor of the box, wrap the doll in acid-free tissue, and then lay her on top of the pink tissue, neck brace, and box? Would the acid-free tissue get damaged by sitting on the pink tissue? Or, should I put the pink tissue and neck brace in a Ziploc bag, place it on the bottom of the box, wrap the doll in acid-free tissue, and put her in the plastic bag then in the box?vI appreciate any advice! Thank you, Ann
A. Dear Ann,
You have very good instincts. The best thing you can do is to wrap your doll in acid-free tissue to create a barrier between the doll and the acidic original materials. This way, you still have all the packaging (my mother collects dolls too so I know the drill) but the doll is protected not only from the box materials but also from light and dust. Keep an eye on the acid-free tissue and if you start to see deterioration in the form of color shifting from white to yellow (or pink if that color transfers), it is time to change to new acid-free tissue.