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A Memento of the Reagan Years?

January 19, 1989|From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — She's not exactly a living doll, but she is a doll, this Nancy Reagan in her 1981 inaugural ball gown. And bargain of bargains, for $235, payable in six easy monthly installments, she'll stand on your shelf for years to come, a 19-inch-high memento of the glamorous Reagan years.

It's all news to the White House, which says Mrs. Reagan has no knowledge of or connection to Nancy Doll.

It's also news to the Smithsonian's Museum of American History, which owns the original--not Nancy, but the white satin, heavily beaded, lace overlay, James Galanos-designed dress the doll appears in.

In its national advertising campaign, Danbury Mint of Norwalk, Conn.--a commercial outfit that sells high-priced trinkets aimed at would-be collectors--calls Nancy Doll "the first in an exciting new series" being dubbed "America's First Ladies."

But the company isn't responding to media inquiries about the dolls.

But the Smithsonian experts have plenty to say. One criticism is that the artist was "almost cruel" in interpreting Mrs. Reagan's figure. "When her husband came into office she was not nearly so thin and gaunt as now," an expert said. "The doll exaggerates that and it was unnecessary."

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