The history of my involement with Hitty started when I was asked by the Stockbridge Library to produce a unique limited production of Hitty. They wanted to do this because they owned the original Hitty. This was an interesting proposition which presented a couple problems which had to be solved.
The first problem was to get legal protection on a doll that is unsigned and over 100 years old. This doll may be owned by the library but the image was in the Public Domain. There was no legal protection on the image of the doll itself. I decided that if legal protection was necessary, then I would have to design a Collectors Set consisting of items that could be legally protected with Hitty being one component or one item of that set.With that in mind I contacted Simon and Schuster and negotiated a deal with them to allow me to reproduce the book "Hitty, Her first 100 years" by Rachel Field. The copyright to this book was owned by Simon and Schuster and no one could reproduce this book without their permission and thus established the first bit of legal protection.
The third part of this Collectors Set was the sea chest (which was illustrated on page 39 and descibed on page 40 of the Hitty Book. I designed and built this chest which served two purposes. The first was that it served to provide us with the second piece of legal protection. (I owned the copyright for the chest) and the second purpose was to store and protect the Hitty and the book. Included in the chest was a seperate and removeable tray. This tray is what Hitty was tied to with a beautiful ribbon
The chest was made to fit the book in the bottom and Hitty in the tray.The bottom of the chest as well as the bottom of the tray were made of aromatic cedar (not only did it smell wonderful, it protected the clothes and book from insects).
This is how the COLLECTORS SET came into being
Now that we figured out WHAT had to be done, the second problem was HOW to do it. The library demanded that on no condition was I to put the Original Hitty in contact with mold material of any sort. I could not promise them that the Original Hitty would not be affected in some way by the mold material (i.e. that some of the original paint might be taken off or worse, that some of the mold material might penetrate the wood of the original)So here again, Iwas forced to come up with another solution so we could produce this doll. The method I came up with was very expensive and time consuming, but it was also perfectly safe for the doll, HITTY.
The solution consisted of me taking Hitty to a place that used a lazer and scanned the Original. A starting point was established and a data point was made, then the doll was moved one thousanth of an inch and another data pont was made, and then another and another. This was done for hours and hours until the doll was digitized. It took hundreds of thousands of data points to accomplish this. From here we took the data points to a shop and they used these points to make a model that was the exact reproduction of the Original Hitty (without any danger to the original) and this model we then used to make our molds
Thank God for the current technology. We could not have reproduced Hitty or miniaturize the book any other way.
Each item in the set is numbered and the book is stamped with the Stockbridge Library Seal. The Edition was limited to 100 sets This is indeed a magnificent COLLECTORS SET and any serious collector of Hitty should have one. Occasionally they go to auction or you may find one for sale on ebay. If so, pick it up. It is a rare and wonderful opportunity to get one of the incredible Collector's sets