Have you found that when several Ann Estelle devotees get together, one topic that always comes up is "how old are these kids?" and "what scale should their life be lived in?" Right from the start, I want to make sure y'all understand that I think your dolls can and should be any age you want them to be!! And I think it is fine if everyone ends up on different "pages" on this topic. (I'll tell you a little about what age my clan is at the end of this post.)
O.K. - with that "be your free inner child" credo taken care of - what I am going to try to do here is present a group of photos that will study just what Ann Estelle would look like if we set her age at different points. I'm going to use as a back drop the "My First Kenmore" kitchen set that was sold a few years back, marketed for Barbie-size dolls. I'm going to assume that if this kitchen was "in real life" the counter tops would be at about three feet from the floor. And, taking a list of average heights for (real) little girls (provided some time back by Andria), I'm going to shrink a photo of Ann Estelle and 'shop her into the the Kenmore kitchen as if it was "real". (And yes, I am only looking at overall height as an indicator of age, not other things such as the proportion of the head to the rest of the body or the eyes to the head.) (And yes, these are pretty sloppy 'shop jobs - I haven't taken the time to clean-up Ann Estelle's aura!)
But I am quite comfortable using this kitchen and not thinking of my dolls as very tall adults! How can that be?? Well, as I said at the start, we all set our own "rules" for play - that's what makes it "play", right? And my own rule is that I enjoy the way my dolls look with this kitchen. I think of it in terms of not being a "real" kitchen but more like a kitchen in a "real" child's playhouse - those things are about half scale, aren't they?? (Never had one as a child but I had a friend who had such a playhouse and I envied her mightily!!) There are lots of props to be found in this scale and if I use this scale I can fit "rooms" into spaces that are "only" about 14" tall. The drawback is that I can't fit "adults" into the same scenes. But then again, I don't have many "adults" and my gang seems to live fine without 'em, thank you very much!
So, what "age" are my dolls??? Somewhere around ten or eleven, I think. Definitely beyond baby-hood. Definitely before puberty! And, in many senses, very precocious - I enjoy seeing them working on projects that would, in reality, be beyond the ken of a ten or eleven year old! Annie Laurie and Sudha are at this moment working on a lab project involving recombinant DNA and the entire broadband signal industry! But when they leave the lab, they still like to play with dolls and read "Winnie the Pooh". So who knows how old they are??!!