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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chapter 2 Toy Soldiers from my Book; With Love from Tin Lizzie: A History of Metal Dolls, Dolls with Metal Parts and Mechanical Dolls

Chapter 2
Toy Soldiers

In the First World War soldier dolls and tin
soldiers sometimes served in the chauvinistic and militant training of the young. The spirit of war
entered the nursery.
Manfred Bachman
Dolls the Wide World Over

Millions of children throughout the centuries have enjoyed fighting mock battles with toy soldiers. Little boys and girls have long saved their pennies and pocket money to buy small figures of lead and tin with which to people their dreams of heroism nd glory. In fact, the Brontë children's earliest literary endeavors were stories that they wrote about a set of toy soldiers that belonged to Branwell Brontë. Much has been written about the dangers of war toys, including soldiers. Yet, all the criticism does not seem to quell interest in them. One wonders why this is so; recent films including Apocalypse Now, The Killing Fields, Platoon, and Saving Private Ryan have accurately, perhaps too accurately, portrayed the horrors and senselessness of war. In the same light, many novels like Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage and Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum" have also done much to debunk the romanticism of a soldier's life. Yet, children still adore toy soldiers. Some may claim that playing with war toys is cathartic because such play allows children to act out their aggressions in harmless settings, while others may seek to foster courage and patriotism through soldier play. One need only think of Lovelace's famous poem, "To Lucasta on Going to War" and its famous line, "I could not love thee so, dear, loved I not honor more."
At least one teacher I know who is an expert in children's literature has implied that war games, and even violent play, are an innate part of childhood. She has observed that, even if one takes away all toy guns from a little boy, he will chew a peanut butter sandwich into a gun, point it, and shout, "Bang! Bang!" Whatever the reason for their existence, however, toy soldiers, particularly of metal, are here to stay, and are more popular than ever.
The earliest model soldiers were probably made of wood. They represented Prince Ensah's guard and date to the twelfth Egyptian Dynasty, 2000 B.C. Like other dolls, the early toy soldiers were not meant to be toys. Rather, they accompanied their deceased owners to the underworld. One historian has said that model solders were not really popular in the Ancient world, (Alberini 5), but he then cites a Roman legionary made of tin from the Imperial Epoch (6). Also, a fifteen inch bronze model of an equestrian survives from ancient Greece. Flat lead soldiers existed in Rome in the third century A.D. The most famous model soldiers of recent times are probably the life-sized army of Chinese figures which numbered in the thousands and once adorned an emperor's tomb. These are currently reproduced as clay miniatures and may be purchased in many import and specialty stores.
As toys, model soldiers first appeared in the Middle Ages (Fawcett 215). Of these, Leslie Gordon has said that "[e]xcept for the ancient 'magic' doll, it is possible that the toy soldier, who made his first appearance in Europe in Medieval times, was the first doll to be made of metal" (43). Some of these soldiers may have had model accessories and buildings. For example, there is a four inch wooden model of the Bloody Tower of the Tower of London which may have belonged to the Little Princes murdered there. One author speculates that this model had little figures, perhaps made of metal, to go with it (Garrat 12). Such a concept is not hard to envision; even ancient dolls had tiny dishes and other accessories with them, and companies like Playskool and Lego, manufacturers of educational playthings, make toy castles complete with knights and guards.
Interest in toys that teach is not unique to our centuy. In the fifteenth century, historical model soldiers first appeared. Marie d' Medici is supposed to have had silver toy soldiers made for her son, Louis XIII (Alberini). As an adult, Louis supposedly melted them down to fund his wars (6). Bronze-cast tournament toys existed as early as 1490 and the Kunst Historiches Museum in Vienna has several examples. Also, the toy museum in Salzburg has a large collection of toy soldiers and model figures. One group represents five members of the ski patrol. They are complete to their clubs, rifles and ski poles.
Another group from the Salzburg Museum represents an open carriage with two, well-dressed passengers. The driver and his groom wear plumed helmets and the horse are white. The entire piece is well- painted and appears to be beautifully preserved. Still another interesting arrangement represents a group of jockeys. Part of the display includes dice, coins, and other paraphernalia of gambling. In the background is a flier explaining the steeple chase.
Some of these early soldiers and models were breathtaking in detail. One incredibly intricate lead musketeer is French and dates from about the time of Henry IV. It stands three inches (Garrat 13). At Cluny are two Medieval knights made of tin. Some of the Cluny soldiers were worked in gold and silver decorated with enameled bronze (Harris 8). A similar ship with soldiers in the Victoria and Albert Museum is German in origin. One of these ships represents Charles V and his court moving on deck (8).
By the early sixteenth century, some model and toy soldiers were on rollers and held miniature lances. The eighteenth century discovery of alloys facilitated the manufacture of toy soldiers (Alberini 7). Now, other metals could be mixed with the inexpensive tin to make a variety of goods. Standardized uniforms also came into use. As a result, the figures could be mass produced. Early boxed sets were sold unpainted by military unit in wooden boxes. They came in weights of 1 lb, 1/2 lb and 1/8 lb. Each kit contained from twenty to 150 soldiers (7). It is difficult to determine which manufacturer made these early soldiers because they were made before registration laws existed. Some manufacturers, however, marked their figures with initials (White 58).
Apparently, Frederick the Great inspired the creation of model soldiers in England (Hillier APOT 70). One early version was a "flat soldier," 30 mm in height (70). This height became standard for one maker, Henrichsen of Nuremburg, and was gradually adopted by others (70). Heinrichsen's sets included well-written histories to educate children (70).
In France, Ronde-Bosse created solid, three-dimensional soldiers in the eighteenth century (Alberini 7). Lucotte produced lead soldiers in 1789. Other sets came in elaborate boxes with the trademark CBG for Cuberly, Blondel and Gerbveau. This trademark is still used today. The Napoleonic sets wrapped in cellophane are popular.
Interesting and amusing stories about toy soldiers abound. the most famous is, perhaps, Hans Christian Andersen's "The Brave Tin Solder." Webster's play The Duchess of Malfi mentions toy soldiers as does Ben Jonson's The Devil is an Ass. Furthermore, in her memoirs, Catherine the Great discusses how the Czar Peter played with his model soldiers when he was Grand Duke (Harris 12). Some of these were lead (12). Supposedly, Napoleon used toy soldiers to plan battle strategies (Wenham Museum Collection 81). Some of his soldiers have been exhibited at the Coopers Union in New York. Also, a goldsmith named J.B. Odfiot is said to have made toy soldiers for Napoleon's son in 1812 (811).
Because of their popularity in the nineteenth century, old sets of soldiers were often forged. There is one anecdote of a dishonest shopkeeper who threw new solders made in the Medieval style in the Seine, then fished them out to sell as antique
(Alberini 6).
The historical archives of Barcelona, Spain, have a variety of metal figures and soldiers made from nineteenth century molds. These include dancers and figures in costumed, religious figures, etc. They are platy, painted in bright colors (Galter 498). The Salzburg Toy Museum has a large collection of unpainted, flat figures.
In 1820, William Britain devised hollow metal soldiers. This development was quite an innovation because now, more and cheaper soldiers could be produced, and more could afford them (Alberini 8). The United States contributed to the popularity of hollow soldiers by beginning to sell kits with molds and ready-yo-paint soldiers (Wenham Museum Collection 81). American poet Robert Lowell describes an amusing childhood incident were he convinced a friend with a fantastic collection of model lead soldiers to trade whole battalions of them for his own crude, papier maché models.
A variety of metal soldiers are still made. Several years ago, the television show "Falcon Crest" even had a character with a whole collection of them. A 1965 Hauser catalog shows of variety of soldiers, animals and fairy tale figures done in the style of the older, three-dimensional models. All, however, are plastic. The cover of the catalog shows a smith hammering with a red-hot iron on an anvil. The latest movie to star Robert DeNiro, Ronin, features an enviable collection of Japanese samurai lead soldiers.
Furthermore, Helmet Kranks of Salzburg has created an incredibly detailed model of an armoured general, circa 1580, in papier maché, wood, leather and metal. Every feather in his helmet is in place and his real sword rests properly in its tiny scabbard (Garrat52). The author's favorite model soldier are those of English artist Russel Gammage. His Gauls, Celts and Barbarians are complete with long hair awash in lime, long moustaches, breeches and colorful tunics. The Gauls lean against their long shields, arms crossed in defiance. They look as if they are awaiting further orders. These life-like figures are interesting to compare with the original Celtic bronze idols made centuries before. Gammage is a trained artist who used to design figures for the firm of Graham Farish (89). These lead models have influenced current action figures like the Spawn series by Todd McFarlane. Many of these are also created in cold cast resin, but are painted in the colors and traditions of the old metal soldier. McFarlane Toys also insists on paying great attention to detail, so that figures like Cosmic Angela are near-perfect miniatures with life-like dimensions. These "soldiers," however, recreate in three dimensions characters from old comic strips based on Celtic and Medieval Epics. Hence, the Spawn figures, and other dolls like them, allude to the Celtic Warrior Queens like Cartimandua and Boadicia.
If warrior queens and women soldier figures are popular as collectibles, one has to observe that many of the artists who design and create them are also women. Women also collect toy soldiers. Two are Kathleen Ball Nathaniel and Mme. Fernande Metayel, Paris. Mme. Metayel is an outstanding artist who took-up painting models after the deaths of her husband and father. She has won many honors for her work (Garrat 77). Margaret Cruikshank, who started the Mystery Doll Club, a mail order club where girls received a kit for dressing dolls from foreign countries, collects dolls in military dress. The author, too enjoyed toy soldiers when young and remembers playing nurse to the fallen plastic models of a childhood friend. He relegated her to this position because "she was a girl." A noted collector and doll author, Mary Hillier, has similar memories. Another time, the author rescued and reclaimed a number of tiny, red plastic revolutionary patriots from t he gravel of a friend's drive way where they had been abandoned. Aramis men's cologne offered lead British guards as a Christmas promotion in 1988. Other figures in lead were made by the same companies, but they represented other people besides soldiers. The author has figures dating from the forties which once belonged to her uncle. One is of a tiny farm woman. In her molded left arm, she holds a basket, but her right arm is separately jointed and swings back and forth. The author also has older figures representing comedian Charlie Chaplin and Abraham Lincoln. These remain unpainted. Many painted models from the forties and fifties of this century represent Native Americans of various tribes in different poses, horses, Civil War soldiers, and Arabs and their Steeds, the latter, perhaps, in tribute to Lawrence of Arabia. All these are marked "England" in embossed letters underneath their stands. For awhile, British companies painted the skin tones of their soldiers according in various shades of brown and tan, so that African soldiers were dark brown, but Greek and Turkish soldiers were light brown.
Toy soldiers, then, were among the earliest toy dolls and metal dolls. They are a colorful source of history for everyone and continue to be created to the delight of children everywhere.
Since the days they were made in metal, they have been recreated in many materials. One unusual doll in the author's collection hails from Hong King. He is a china head doll with china limbs, dressed as a British soldier. What makes him interesting is that, while his dress and painted blonde hair and blue eyes are European, his sculpted features are Asian. To the people of Hong Kong who created him, he is their portrait of the British who colonized them. Also, besides the famous G.I. Joe still made today, their are companies making historical soldiers of plastic representing Napolean, Civil War Generals Lee and Grant, George Washington, and others. There is even a set raising the flag at Iwo Jima. G. I. Joe by Hasbro has several series of soldiers, including one representing Generals Patton, Colin Powell, and MacArthur. Another doll fittingly represents Bob Hope, who entertained American Troops so many years overseas. Women are not ignored, either. Israel produces female army soldiers, and the G.I. Joe nurse is among the most desirable Hasbro figures. Recently, the company created a special edition G.I. Jane, after Demi Moore's movie. (Ms. Moore, it will be remembered, is also an avid doll collector). That dolls often echo social and political trends is apparent in the history of G.I. Joe. Betty O. Bennett writes that G.I. Joe's sales suffered during the height of the Vietnam War because of the outry against war toys (78). Before that time, G.I. Joe and his buddies were bringing Hasbro thirty-five to forty million dollars in revenue.
For those with more exotic tastes, there are female warrior figures including Lady Death, Xena Warrior Princess, The Golden Girls by Galoob, and She-Ra from Mattel's Masters of the Universe series. Ironically, many of these soldiers are static; that is, they are not mechanical, though they represent men and women who needed to be agile and in constant motion to survive in battle. The next chapters describe dolls from all "walks of life" that not only portray certain characters, but also move and even speak like them. They are the "uncanny dolls" of which Rilke and Freud wrote, and the muses of both nightmares and dreams. In short, the next two chapters discuss automata and mechanical dolls.

Tin and Metal Dolls Through History; A Special Blog Exhibit

I am including some photos of various dolls of tin and metal this time. Metal has been used for ancient dolls, including amulets and ritual figures, jewelry, badges, utensil dolls, since almost the beginning of time. Iron Age people knew the value of good metal, and golden idols are mentioned in The Bible, remember the golden calf, though not with the happiest of connotations. Ancient Sumeria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Etruscan regions, Asia, and America all had their figures of metal. The Benin people specialized in objects of iron and various metals. Cast iron has been wrought into toys and figural objects like door stops and book ends for centuries, too. Cellini brought us fantastic figural salt cellars, and jointed silver and gold dolls with clothes have been found buried with sacrifical victims in Peru and other places in South America. Charm dolls abound today, and companies like Juicy Couture and Betsey Johnson Feature them in their work.

One of my first metal dolls was a tiny, jointed gold bear my mother had put on my first gold charm bracelet. Tiny ballerinas, more bears, jointed fish, and pewter "Penny woodens" followed. I have trojan horse charm that opens to reveal treacherous Greeks [my ancestors, after all!], and a Cinderella pumpkin coach that opens to reveal Cinderella. I have a little house that opens with a family inside, and a mini dice table with miniscule dice in it.

Statues in the ancient world, and masks, like those of Agamemmnon and King Tut are famous.

If you follow Sadigh Gallery catalogs, you will note many artifacts detailed there that are made of bronze and iron.

I include here some photos for you all to enjoy. Thanks to my almost 600 viewers for this blog, and to the nearly 11,000 viewers who read Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Hannukah!

Dr. E

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Creche Dolls, Nativities, Santons and Santons-Angels we have Heard on High

My first memories of these dolls are of the vintage 40s and 50s nativites at my Grandma's every Christmas. I fell in love with the miniatures then, and with their tiny stables strewn with miniature pieces of hay. One even played music, and it fascinated me. My first encounters with religious images were with the pictures my Uncle showed me in my childrens book of Bible stories, and of the icons we had at home and in church.

When I was about 5, and my grandparents and aunts and uncles moved, my mother took me to Woolworth, and my collection of nativities and religious dolls was born. There were bins and bins of tiny plaster figures, from one inch to six inch high, of The Holy Family, angels, shepards, The Magi, lambs, donkeys, cows, and all sorts of animals. They were made in Italy and Japan, and each year, we added to the set. I also had figures from my Grandma's nativity, and later, my babysitter gave me her first set, bought at Woolwoorths, in the early ears of her marriage, now over 70 years ago.

I became aware of the various other types of religious figures when I was 8, and received a much wanted book, The Complete Book of Doll Collecting by Helen Young, where I first saw photos of Santons de Provence, Creche dolls from all over the world, and religious jointed figures. I learned of the Neopolitan Creches and Spanish Precipios from my friend Mary Hillier and her landmark book, Dolls and Dollmakers, when I was nine. She also had antique figures made of cake and gingerbread, somehow preserved, of Ruprecht carrying off a naughty child.

It was St. Francis of Assisi who is credited with creating the first creche. This was in the 13th century, but religious figures exist from Coptic Egypt, and paitnings and sketches are even earlier. In the Catholic countries, from the time of St. Francis on, there were competitions among those who could afford them, to set up the most elaborate nativity. These were articulated dolls of gesso covered wood, carved ivory, plaster, precious metals, you name it. Some of the female dolls were built over cages like the fashion dolls of hte 13th-19th centuries made of wood and gesso. These are popular today. The child's book Maria, and The Museum of Mary Child talk of handcarved religious figures like this, often mistaken as dolls. An artist of these is featured in the excellent film The Extraordinary World of Doll Collecting, and in July Taymor's Titus [based on Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare].

Before Christianity, there were the Goddess figures, featured in our first weg exhibit, and the images that appear in early Judaism and Islam. Many of these appear in illuminations and mosaics. There are many representaitons of Buddha and asian deities, the ancient world's Greco-Roman figures and statutes, and of course, the Ancient Egyptian representation of the gods, often Ushabti. Here, are some pictures of these, of angel dolls, Santos, Indus figures, and others in the spirit of the season. There are angel museums in Beloit, WI, and many avid angel and Christmas collectors and clubs all over the world. The Metropolitan Museum's Renaissance and 18th century angels, featured on magnificent trees also have many fans.

Myself, I have more angels, Christmas dolls, and figures than I can count and I love them all. I have aobut 100 nativites from all over the world, some miniscule, others jewelry, some dolls with clothing, and of course, my Woolworth's figures that started it all.

Merry Christmas; take advantage of visiting exhibits of nativites and religious statutes, of live nativities, and of Christmas Displays set up all over. There are many wonderful sets from SERV and UNICEF, and even fantastic Gingerbread molds and hand blown ornaments. Don't overlook plaster religious statues, nite lites, or ornaments.

God Bless Us, Everyone! Peace in 2012.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Idols of Mexico

From Ancient Mexico come these images, some from a book published in 1887, now in the public domain. They are clay, and may have been set up in temples. The Emperor Monctezuma is said to have collected these and other dolls. There is a story that when Cortez came to christianize him, and showed him Santos, The Emperor told him to put his idols up on the shelf and they would be revered, true multiculutral insight on the part of Monctezuma. Some of these idols were also broken at volcanic sites, and later tourists found them there much as they find the shards of porcelain dolls in the old German doll factories today. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

U of Iowa Clay and Travel PreColumbian Artifacts

Thompson Travel and Ethnic Art Artifacts

Collection Dates: 1950s-1960s

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Precolumbian Dolls - Gold

Figure of a Warrior
Central Mexico, Aztec, from Tetzcoco?, 14th century
after 1325 cast gold-silver-copper alloy Overall: 11.2cm x 6.1cm

Above is just one link on this topic. Dolls from the ancient Americas have been found made of cloth, precious metals, jade, precious and semi-precious stones, and clay and stone. They are written about in Anne Rice's Merrick, and the Emperor Montezuma himself is said to have had a collection of dolls.

Fragments and heads have been found with sacrifical victims, in sacred places, and in graves. In Peru, there are grave dolls of clay and woven cloth, and reproductions made of old materials abounded in the 80s. Some, like the clay doll that graced the old Kahlua adds, were jointed. One silver example, jointed, with woven clothes, was found buried with a mummy of a young girl, probably a sacrifical victim.

From the same site, on casting gold [some were done by lost wax method]:

Like wax-resist ceramics, gold working seems to have begun in Peru, perhaps as early as 1500 B.C. Knowledge of casting, hammering, repoussé, and inlay spread from Peru and possibly Colombia northward, passing through Panama and Costa Rica on its way to Mesoamerica, where it finally arrived in the 10th century A.D. These same methods are still in use today for the making of fine jewelry.

The lost wax method consisted of making a wax sculpture of the item, then covering it in a ceramic outer cover, then melting and pouring out the original wax. The gold is then poured into the ceramic and cooled. The ceramic is then removed leaving only the gold. Very complex figures can be created using this simple method.

The wax was typically bee's wax warmed to be pliable, then carved into the desired shape, then cooled in a river or water to harden and hold it's shape. The clay/ceramic used to form the mold is itself wet and soft, which helps keep the wax hard, and also allowing it to better mold to the shape of the wax. Since it is more difficult to maintain the integrity of larger pieces, often the appendages are made separately. This allows for the fine details to be created without worrying about the model being maimed or destroyed. with separate pieces, a drop or two of molten gold can be used to solder or join pieces together.

Once the wax is fully coated with clay/ceramic, it is then "fired" (hardened) in some form of a kiln or fire - this hardens the ceramic, and liquefies the wax. After the mold is hard, the wax has either burned away, or can be poured out of the mold, leaving it ready for the molten metal. This leaves a hollow where the wax was inside the ceramic. After the ceramic is cooled and ready for use. The metal is then poured into the mold, and either temper cool by immersing it in water, or allowed to air cool. After which, the ceramic is broken off the gold piece. Thus both the original design in wax, and the mold are both destroyed in the process. So each and every piece is an original and unique. Click here to visually see how this process is done.

A variation on the lost wax method is a half cast, where the cast is open and reusable (like an ice tray). This allows repeated use of the mold (under ideal conditions), but does not permit complex designs, since the design must be removable without breaking the mold. In fact, the author once used a variation on this process: caved a pattern from wood, then used plain mud (as well as raw clay) as a mold - since the pattern remained intact, this was an easily repeatable production process. While there is no factual proof that this latter process was ever used in Precolumbian times, it is nonetheless workable for simple designs. Enigmatic stone hollows found throughout the region may also have been used in this fashion.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ancient Dolls a Hint to Early Man

I used this in 2003 for a class I was teaching on dolls. The link is

Hand is still bad, but the article talked about thel ion man, and other small figures carved from mamoth ivory over 30,000 years ago. Some were one inch, others one foot. An author named Nicholas Conard was quaoted. There is a lso a 2 inch bird discussed, one of the oldest bird figures. Note that there are ancient Greek dolls with owl-like faces also in museums, and these appear in Mary Hillier's dolls and Dollmakers, too.

An interesting quote is "The researches belive the figurines were created by early anotomically modern humans, and not their Neanderthal predecessors." The little figures were as old as the French Cave Paintings, where an ancient owl figure was also found.

Though it was suggested in the article these were shamantistic objects, the article also states that the little dolls may have been teahcing aids, or even toys, according to Archaeologist Anthony Sinclair. It is also interesting that the title refers to these artifacts as "dolls" unequivocally.

Sorry for typos, and Happy Thanksgiving. More later, but what interestng points to make.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Art and Celtic Dolls

A very good Article:
Celtic Art
History, Designs, Crafts of Celts: Hallstatt, La Tene, Hiberno-Saxon Insular Style: Illuminated Manuscripts, Celtic Metalwork, High Cross Sculpture.
A-Z of ART: Browse Our 500 Most Popular Articles - Celtic Culture & History - Timeline: History of Art


La Tene Style Metal Figurine
Dating from the 1st century BCE
(Museum of Brittany, Rennes).
Celtic Art (1,000 BCE onwards)

• When Did Celtic Art Begin?
• What Were the Early Influences on Celtic Art?
• What Was the First Style of Celtic Art?
• What Were the Main Characteristics of Hallstatt Arts and Crafts?
• What Style of Celtic Art Came After Hallstatt?
• What Were the Main Characteristics of La Tene Arts and Crafts?
• Are There Any Examples of La Tene Painting or Sculpture?
• Did the Celts Make Pottery?
• What Happened to the History of Celtic Art After La Tene?
• What Happened to Celtic Art in Ireland After the Fall of Rome?
• Was the Christian Celtic Renaissance Caused Solely by the Church?
• How Did the Church Help Irish Celtic Art?
• How Did Christian Celtic Metalwork Develop?
• How Did Illuminated Manuscripts Develop?
• How and When Did Celtic High Cross Sculpture Develop in Ireland?
• Was There a Continuous Tradition of Celtic Designwork in Ireland?


St John from the Book of Mulling (c.790)
An illuminated gospel text with
portraits bordered by interlaced
animals and knotwork. Even St John's
hair and clothing is interlaced.
(Trinity College, Dublin)

The Broighter Boat (1st century BCE)
La Tene Style Celtic Gold Metalwork
(National Museum of Ireland) When Did Celtic Art Begin?

Broadly speaking, the earliest Celtic arts and crafts appeared in Iron Age Europe with the first migrations of Celts coming from the steppes of Southern Russia, from about 1000 BCE onwards. Any European art, craftwork or architecture before this date derives from earlier Bronze Age societies of the Urnfield culture (1200-750 BCE), or the Tumulus (1600-1200 BCE), Unetice (2300-1600 BCE) or Beaker (2800–1900 BCE) cultures.
See also: Irish Bronze Age and Irish Iron Age.

The Eagle Symbol of St Mark
from The Book of Durrow (c.670)
Showing complex knotwork.
(Trinity College, Dublin)
What Were the Early Influences on Celtic Art?

The first Celts brought their own cultural styles, derived from the Caucasian Bronze Age, as well as a knowledge of Mediterranean and Etruscan styles, derived from maritime trading contacts through the Bosporus between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean basin. Settling in the area of the Upper Danube, the Celts duly absorbed motifs of the ancient Danubian tradition.

They also brought with them a knowledge of iron-making, possibly developed from the Bronze-making Maikop culture of the Russia Caucasus, or contacts with the Levant. (The later La Tene silver masterpiece, known as the "Gundestrup cauldron" is believed to have been made in the Black Sea region.)

For facts about the evolution of
metalwork, sculpture, ceramics
and illuminated manuscripts, see:
Celtic Art, Early Style
Celtic Coins Art
Celtic Art, Wadalgesheim Style
Celtic Art, Late European Style
Celtic Art in Britain and Ireland
Celtic Style Christian Art

For facts about the craftsmanship,
artistry and artisanship for which
the Celts were justly famous, see:
Celtic Weapons Art
Celtic Jewellery Art
Celtic Sculpture.

A Link

Celtic Dolls 1

See Below, this excellent beginning article on Celtic figural objects. Also, see Nora Chadwick's book, The Celts, and Jean Markale, The Celts. Antoni Fraser's The Warrior Queens is fantastic, as is Joy Chant's, The Warrior King's. Fraser also writes books about dolls.



(a) Shercock (Cavan) Ireland
(b) Dagenham (Essex) England [45 cms high]
(c) Ballachulish (Argyll) Scotland
(d) Teigngrace (Devon) England
(e) Montbouy (Loiret) France

All these figures are stiffly upright with none of the lewdness of the sheela-na-gigs and none of the earthy and often witty plasticity of the Romanesque carvings.

It was originally thought that the holes in the Shercock and Dagenham figures might have been sockets for penises or even dildoes, but this has by no means been established. Hundreds of wooden figures (including representations of animals and internal organs) have been found in France, notably at the source of the river Seine.

drawings by Dr Morna Simpson

Halloween and The Church, Samhain, Celts Next

I recommend Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree, book and Film, narrated by RB himself. I'm back, after two weeks of not being able to type due to a hand injury that a physician's assistant made much worse. It is my favorite week and time of year, and it is cool, a little gloomy, and drenched in fall colors outside. There are a canopies of red and gold everywhere, and my tittle terrariums are ready for fall. We went to the pumpkin patch, and I'm even painting a few, where hand allows me. Most of all, I love Halloween for the family memories, my dad taking us out to trick or treat, my mom making fantastic costumes, for me and my dolls. My grandma sending boxes of goodies, and my babysitter taking lots of pictures andhaving mini parties ready for me after school.

Of course I knew the spooks weren't real, but who wouldn't want to be on The Jack the Ripper Tour, at Countess Bathory's castle, or at Disney's Haunted Mansion on Halloween night [all on my bucket list]? There is a rich cultural tradition for this holiday gone back to the Celts, even earlier, and there were spiritual people, rich in tradition and family virtue, courage, many good things. My here Boudicca was one of them, and really, so was St. Patrick, Arthur and his nights, Braveheart!

Below is a freely shared essay that I happen to like. Enjoy; forgive typos, more later when I'm completetly healed:

I have a confession to make. And it’s a bad one ….

When I was a kid … I used to get dressed up for Halloween! And it was not always something innocent either, like an astronaut or a cowboy. Once I was even a ghost! Worse yet, I would go door-to-door with my brothers and say “Trick or treat!” Idolatrous! Occultic! Satanic! Over time, of course this demon-glorifying activity caught up with me. Look at me now. I dress in black almost every day …

Of course you see the problem here. If not, you will very soon start reading about it in the paper again. Many people of churchy persuasions object strenuously to the observance of Halloween. Every year we read letters to the editor that run as follows:

“Halloween is the worship of the devil! Halloween comes from heathen roots! Trick or Treat comes from an ancient pagan custom: the Druids would go from house to house seeking a virgin to sacrifice! If you complied and handed over your family’s virgin, outside your door they left a jack-o-lantern with a candle inside … fueled by human fat! If you did not comply, a terrible trick would be played on you! The Catholic Church perpetuated the pagan legends with its Feast of All Saints! If you let your kids celebrate Halloween, you expose them to the possibility of demonic possession!”

Well, good Orthodox Christian, what should our Church make of this controversy? Is Halloween something we Christians should shun like the Black Mass? Don’t the facts about Halloween’s origins prove that it is an abomination?

No. First of all, none of these “facts” are true. It’s all fiction. We know almost nothing about the culture and practices of the ancient Druids, except what little the Romans had to say. (Mind you, these are the same Romans who also used to say that Christians hold secret orgies where they sacrifice babies and eat them—so let’s be careful about how much credence we give them.) The Romans invaded Britain in 43 B.C. There they found a number of Celtic tribes, which the Roman legions subjugated with relative ease.

Now, you need to know that the Romans were not what you would call “culturally curious.” They had little interest in the ways of the conquered Britons. Generally, when there is interaction between conqueror and subject, the conqueror picks up and uses the local names for rivers, hills, and the like. For instance, my home state is full of names from the native languages of the Indians: Michigan, Mackinac, Saginaw, Escanaba, Kalamazoo, Washtenaw. However, we find almost no use of the Celtic place names by the Romans. The Romans did not come to Britain for kaffee-klatsches, but for plundering and pillaging. Under the Roman sword the Celtic place-names perished with the Celts, as did any certain knowledge of Celtic or Druidic customs (like what kind of fat they used in their candles).

But what if it the stories about pagan Halloween were true? Does that prevent us from making a fun day out of the Thirty-First of October? Or do pagan origins damn a thing forever?

I would hope that as Orthodox Christians we would know better than to say that. We borrowed an awful lot of useful things from ancient pagan cultures. Our musical system of eight tones? From the pagan Greeks. (Next time you hear a dismissal hymn in the Third Tone, picture a phalanx of Lacedaemonian warriors marching into an attack: they liked Third Tone for their battle hymns.)

And our iconography is an obvious adaptation of Egyptian funerary art: the portraits painted on Egyptian coffins look very much like the faces in our icons. Christmas, we all know, is a retooling of the Roman celebration of the winter solstice, the Feast of Sol Invictus (the Invincible Sun-god). And many, many Christian churches were built atop pagan shrines and holy places, the most famous example being the conversion of the Parthenon (a temple built in honor of Athena the Virgin Warrior) to a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Even Protestants with their Puritan impulses and their “just the Bible” mentality have to contend with borrowings from pagan sources in the Scriptures. For example, chapters 22-24 of the Book of Proverbs are almost certainly a translation of the older Egyptian advice guide The Instruction of Amen-em-Opet. And elsewhere in the Bible different titles given to God such as El Elyon “God Most High” and “the one who rides on the clouds like a chariot” (Psalm 104:3) are originally epithets for the pagan storm-god Baal.

What’s my point? You can’t judge a custom by its origins. What counts is one’s intention in the here and now. And let’s be honest: modern Halloween for you and me—and even the Wiccans down the street—has nothing to do with virgin sacrifice or black magic. It’s about having fun in a costume and eating things your dentist wouldn’t approve of.

“Well!” the anti-Halloween crowd would reply, “Halloween teaches kids that they can get something for nothing!!” But is that so bad? To my ears that sounds awfully close to the Christian idea of grace!

“Yes, yes, but we shouldn’t teach our kids that it’s OK to threaten someone with vandalism if they don’t fork over something you want!” Well, let’s look at this from another perspective. Maybe Halloween holds a nice little life lesson: you give a little to get a little. The Book of Proverbs speaks often of the power of gifts. If we all practiced the spirit of Halloween—being prepared always to give small kindnesses to those around us—what a wonderful world we would have.

Again, let’s be honest: no one was ever possessed by the devil because he or she dressed up for Halloween or passed out licorice or read a Harry Potter book. Our modern lives have way too many other avenues for temptation to enter, and these things are the real cause of our spiritual problems: pride, gluttony, hatred, materialism, and ignorance.

This may be the only pro-Halloween article by a clergyman you read this year. Actually, this piece isn’t so much pro-Halloween as it is anti-superstition, anti-paranoia, and anti-gullibility. American Christianity is too much titillated by thoughts of demons, based on a mythology of evil that has more to do with pagan folklore than the sober statements of Scripture. Such superstition gives all Christians a bad name.

That’s why I’m not afraid of Halloween, and I see no problem with Orthodox Christians having fun at costume parties. After all, why would anyone want to learn more about Jesus Christ and his message, if being a Christian means forever being a spoilsport and a killjoy? If you believe in one God, if you trust Him, then accept his protection (1 John 4:4) and don’t live in fear of demonic bogeymen. The real battle with the devil is fought in the heart, not in front of the Harry Potter bookstore.

Some people drink too much on New Year’s Eve. Should that stop you and me from enjoying a glass of champagne? Some people eat too much at Thanksgiving. Should that stop us from having our turkey with all the trimmings? Some people spend too much at Christmas. Should that stop us from exchanging gifts?

Some people go overboard on the spooky side of Halloween. It’s not too hard to avoid that for your family. Skip the horror movies. Don’t revel in gore. Don’t profane death. Don’t indulge in occult practices … But don’t be gullible, paranoid, or superstitious either!

And have a Happy Halloween!

By Fr. Mark Sietsema

Revised 8/17/11

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Our Next history of dolls will continue with Rome, into the Ancient Celts; Samhain is approaching! Due to an injury, I am posting some photos, and limiting my writing. More from Von Boehn later!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cycladic Idols from Greece

From Finders Keepers:

"Cycladic idols come from the Early Bronze Age and became popular after World War II. It is estimated that around twelve thousand graves in the Cycladic Islands of the southern Aegean have been opened to find these idols. The slender carvings are notoriously hard to date,as is the exact manner of their use, because they almost all come from private sources rather than from archaeologists. They have almost no documented context" (Childs 112).

I also note that Barbar Pym writes of these; she has a character who has seen them on holiday in the Aegean. She tries to fashion them out of bread dough to relive the experience.

The 5.7 Million DollarDoll, and some thoughts on Archaeology

I was reading Finders Keepers

by Craig Childs, a memoir/expose of the museum and archaeological world, when I read about the little figurine with a lion head from Mesopotamia, 5000 years old, that sold for $5.7 million dollars in 2007. It broke the record, certainly, for sculpture, but, I'm going to argue that it is also a type of doll, and thus is now the most expensive on record. Childs does not like museums much, or at least how they operate. He is conflicted about leaving every artifact where it is found, and probably most of us who love these ancient and old things have some of the same conflicted feelings. What do you think? There are laws protecting the sale of antiquities, and I will post some of them down the road, but here is what Childs writes:

"Complain as one might about the buying and selling of the past, the fact remains that there is a legitimate antiquities market. It is part of the international arts commerce, a free flow of publicly owned artifacts--such as those from St. Lawrence Island and other pockets of legal sources--that has been going on for as long as there have been early cultures to rrot around in" (107).

Ancient Roman Dolls and Toys

In Rome, as in Greece, dolls were made of clay, cloth, bone, ivory, and precious idols of gold, silver, jewels, and other metals. There are many figural objects of bronze, now a deep aqua with patina, that have come to us from the glory days of rome. Little girls in Rome also dedicated their dolls, hoops, and balls to the goddesses, including Diana, the virgin huntress, who was the Roman version of Artemis.

Beautiful, detailed jointed dolls of ivory, now turned dark as mahogany with age, exist from the first century A.D. There is a 2000+ year old Roman rag doll from The British museum, found in a child's grave in Egypt of Roman origin. The doll was buried with other toys, littl sandals, game pieces, and other small objects of clay and other materials that would attract a child's intreset even today. My friend, the late Mary Hillier, wrote about this doll in her excellent book, Dolls and Dollmakers. She challenges the reader to imagine the doll in the hands of the child who must have loved it so long ago, and Mary speculates that the dry sands of Coptic Egypt helped to preserve the doll.

One tiny Roman doll is seated, her legs extended before her in a fixed position. Her hair is styled in the elaborate curls of a Roman matron, perhaps like Portia, or Aggripina. Her arms are missing, but were probably jointed with wires.

The realistic ivory dolls, that are often mistaken for wood, are found in the sarcophagi of young girls.

These dolls were probably painted once to look life-like. They would have had real, colorful clothes, and their relatives were the fantastic statues, ornaments, and effigies that were used as art and as sacrifices to the gods of Rome.

Ancient Rome was a harsh place for everyone; even children were not spared
when someone's household was scourged, and they would be murdered or executed with their parents. Many were enslaved, and poorer children, as always, were abandoned. This history makes it even more touching to think of children's toys existing then and surviving now.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Athena and Phevos

From Wikipedia: Athena" and "Phevos" (Greek: Αθηνά, Φοίβος; pronounced [aθiˈna] and [ˈfivos]) were the Olympic mascots of the 2004 Summer Olympics, held in Athens. The pair are one of the few examples of anthropomorphic mascots in the history of the Olympics. According to the official mascot webpage, “their creation was inspired by an ancient Greek doll and their names are linked to ancient Greece, yet the two siblings are children of modern times - Phevos and Athena represent the link between Greek history and the modern Olympic Games.” [1]

The mascots were named after the Greek gods (Athena) and (Apollo). Phevos is a transcription of the modern Greek pronunciation of Phoebus, an epithet of Apollo. They were loosely modeled after an archaic Greek terra cotta daidala from the 7th century BC (below left), which was recommended by curators at the National Archaeological Museum.

The Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee claimed that the mascots represented "participation, brotherhood, equality, cooperation, fair play [and] the everlasting Greek value of human scale."

The mascots have been emblazoned on a variety of items for sale, including pins, clothing and other memorabilia

Ancient Greece

From "Dolls of Ancient Greece"

Dolls and the Art of Ancient Greece
"Although dolls are the oldest and perhaps most beloved toys of all eras few remain from prehistoric times. It is believed that in the golden era of Greek civilization, dolls developed out of a figure that had previously been an idol or a fertility symbol. In many cases it seems that when the figure was no longer needed for worship that it was given to a child as a toy. Most experts agree that the most important criterion for labeling a figure as a toy are its movable limbs.

Ancient Greeks used the tern 'kore', literally little girl, and applied it to a doll. Dolls were made of rags, wood, wax, ivory, and terra cotta. Many dolls had moveable limbs that were jointed. At marriage the Greek girls dedicated their dolls to Artemis. It was believed that this dedication would assist with their fertility during marriage. If they died before marriage their dolls were buried with them. A dagus was a wax doll or puppet used in magic rites.

In Ancient Greece, these dolls known also as daidala were not only children's toys but also had a religious significance, as is evident from the religious symbols depicted on them. Such references exist from the days of Homer and Hesiod. In the course of time the religious aspect slowly disappeared.

Most dolls found in the tombs of children were very simple creations. Often they were made from such materials as clay, rags, wood, or bone. Some of the more unique dolls were made with ivory or wax. The main goal was to make the doll as "lifelike" as possible. That ideal lead to the creation of dolls, dating back to 600 B.C., with movable limbs and removable garments ."

I saw some of these in the National Archaeological Museumin Athens. I was nine, and I was so overcome, I cried. I knew them from my friend Mary Hillier's book, Dolls and Dollmakers, which I received for Christmas the year we went to Greece. The old Greeks had many dolls and idols, including Kore figures meant to commemorate young girls who had died, and also the bell-shaped dolls from Boeotia with the terracota stripes and clapper legs, 540-520 B.C. There are the Cycladic idols menioned in Barbar Pym's A Few Green Leaves, the classical theater figures, seated, with moveable limbs, and the jointed clay dolls, once painted, and made to be dressed. There are also miniature toys and dishes for them.

A fragment from Sappho dedicating her doll to Artemis when she came of age, something girls did:

"Artemis, despise not my doll's little purple cloak!"

See, also, the World Book Encyclopedia, article "Dolls," 1956, for a good, succinct history of ancient dolls.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rosale Whyel; last sale

Just A Little Reminder...

Come help us Celebrate the final Anniversary- our 19th Birthday!!

Saturday, September 10th- Museum 10am to 5pm
Birthday Cake
Door Prizes
Surprises All Day Long!
Party Room Fun- Doll Dressing, Doll Hair Styling, Pin Clothes Doll Making, Paperdolls...

Museum 35-75% off! Plus an additional 10% for Members!
Rosie's Too 45% off! Plus an additional 10% for Members!

Saturday, September 10th - Friday, September 16th
Museum Store Sale- Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm, Monday thru Friday 10am to 5pm
Rosie's Too Sale- Saturday 11am to 4pm, Thursday 11am to 8pm

Everything is on sale- Antiques, Modern Collectibles, Robert Tonner, Madame Alexander, Corolle, Vogue, Books, Exclusives, Kathe Kruse, and More!

Rosie’s Too Sale-

Rosie's Too
221 106th Ave NE
Bellevue WA
Shelley Helzer
Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art
Ph 425-455-1116 Fx 425-455-4793

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I feel I must say something to commemorate the day, that I call "the worst day ever." We were not near any of the places hit; I was in class, teaching my college kids literature, when the latecomers came running in with the story of a plane hitting the World Trade Center. We went on a few minutes, and then the second sotry came of the second plane, and we sent to the student lounge. We are a samll school; I was the academic dean, and only I and a couple of teachers and the school psychologist were there. At least five kids went running for their phones; someone in their families worked at the Pentagon, or were near Ground Zero. The girl next to me was shaking uncontrollably; her husband was supposed to be near Ground Zero for a conference. She couldn't reach him by phone. That afternoon, she discovered he hadn't gone to the conferenc that day, and had rented a car to drive home.

The brother of one of my colleagues we learned later, died in one of the towers. My cousin by marriage, a day trader, was talking to colleagues and friends in Cantor Fitzgerald when the phone died. Many of them apparently did not come out. And, the girl who owns my favorite yarn shop across the street from work was a survivor; she had worked in the towers.

I thought of my Dad, who had been there late in 1976. He wanted to take me there to see the Towers; he said there were stores full of dolls from many countries. I thought of an ad I had seen the week before; there was a photo of the towers, with the caption "something will happen on September 11th." They meant they were introducing a new computer software. Little did they, and we know.

As soon as I could, I did what I always did in times of crisis; I called my mother. I had called her in 1993 when the first attack on the twin towers took place, when the Challenger exploded, when Oklahoma City was bombed, and during the Columbine disaster. I wanted to call her today; I can't. She died three years ago. That first Christmas, we joined others and bought RWB ornaments, and little fire fighter and police dolls. At the stores, others were buying them, too, and they said, as we chose what to buy, " we have to buy them; someone has to do something."

Today, may we think on those who lost their lives, and on those who have died since in the wars that have ensued. Bless them and their families and friends who have survived. There is no closure for grief; only memories, only rembrance. That, we will always have. May God Bless all of us who live in this world, even those who sadly see this as a day of celebration. Little do they know. Maybe someone can forgive them, for they know not what they do, either. Above all, God Bless the Union, and God Bless the United States. Have a thoughtful, safe, and careful day today, September 11, 2011.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Egypt has a long history with ancient dolls and figures, though not so much with modern dolls. Only recently have I been able to find any modern costume dolls, and some were Nubian women brought to me from a good friend's trip. Some trivia; On the other side of the Sphynx and the Great Pyramid lies a modern avenue, complete with a McDonalds. Two icons that span milennia are not neighbors.

With one rare 1930s doll from Egypt, it is hard to find dolls, though Ushabti are being reproduced, as well as jewelry and bone statues of Neferititi, Tut, and others.

I first came in contact with an ancient Coptic bone doll when I was seven, at the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose. It was really adoll torso, but had a sweet face. I also saw the grave figures, or Ushabi, and wooden models with moving arms and legs. There were miniature rooms at our local museum, and a collection of small grave figures, too. I saw those when I was six, and began to read about paddle dolls and other figures when I was only nine, in Helen Young's classic, The Complete Book of Doll Collecting, and Mary Hillier's, Dolls and Doll Makers. These books made my 8th and 9th Christmases very special. I saw ancient Greek dolls in the museums in Athens and Delphi when I was nine, and I cried; they were very touching and even lifelike. I wanted them right away! Later, I reproduced them myself and looked for artist's renditions.

Dolls in the ancient world literally saved the lives of people; witness the Terra Cotta soldiers. Teh population was dwindling from disease and too much human sacrifice; the little figrues who would come to live in the afterworld were the solution.

Ancient Eqyptian dolls include the 2000 year old rag doll, found in a child's tomb, paddle dolls [were they toys or not?}, Ushabit, and jointed figures and miniatures. There are also dolls of precious metals and stones, and ivory. They are well executed and sophisticated. Mary H. includes a mannikin of Tut in her book, and we know that these people had many games and toys.

My book A Bibliography of Doll and Toy Sources, on Amazon, also has many sources for finding ancient dolls.

Other authors who discuss ancient dolls are Max von Boehn, Leslie Gordon, Janet Pagter Johl, Gwen White,and Carl Fox.

Ancient Egypt, The Rest of the Ancient World, and Metal Dolls

Below is Chapter 1 of my book With Love from Tin Lizzie: A History of Metal Dolls, Dolls with Metal Parts and Automatons: it covers the ancient world in general and talks about dolls in Egypt:

Chapter 1
The Ancient World and Middle Ages

Dolls in the Ancient World were usually not toys, but idols or ritual figures representing various pagan gods. Ancient metal soldiers often served the same role that the ushabti of Egypt served when they accompanied the dead to their tombs as representatives of their live servants. Bronze statuettes representing the Sardinian mercenaries of Shar dana who served in Egypt date back to approximately 1000 B.C. and wear tall helmets, small shields and short swords. In Palestine, archaeologists discovered an early bronze spear thrower from Shigan closely resembling the linen-girdled wooden figures of the Egyptian dynasties.
The late Bronze Age, (approximately fourteenth to thirteenth century B.C.), has yielded metal molds which artists used to make pottery plaques of the goddess Astarte. Astarte was an early manifestation of the Greek Aphrodite, goddess of love. Small iron figures of nude women with their arms upraised and their hands holding snakes or lily stalks also date from this period. These are probably representations of the Snake Goddess of Crete. These dolls are found in Greece, around the Bosphorus in Asia Minor, in Italy, and in Gaul. These examples are usually jointed at the shoulders and hips (Chapuis 19). Usually, they were modeled clay around an iron rod and baked. In Automata, Alfred Chapuis observes that these dolls are found in great quantities in regions "where the art of the modeller, that is the maker of figures in baked earth or wax, flourished" (19). Chapuis theorizes that these are the dolls young girls consecrated at the altars of the female godesses before marriage (19). Other similar figures hold their arms clasped in front of them and uncannily resemble the stone bisque Frozen Charlottes and penny dolls of the 1800's.
Ancient Egypt, too, has given the modern word some spectacular doll-like objects made of gold and precious gems. One is the famous death mask of the boy king, Tut. It is of beaten gold decorated with glass, faience beads and lapis lazuli colored beads. Also from the tomb of Tut comes the realistic portrait figure of the young king lying on top of a gold stick. He closely resembles the ushabti figures of clay and glass from the same period. The Peggy Nisbet model of Tut has a head cast in metal. The head is a copy of the famous death mask. The Peggy Nisbet Company of England, now defunct, specialized in small composition and plastic figures of historical persons and celebrities.
Authentic tomb figures sometimes surfaced in collections of the 1930's and 40's. One collector wrote Janet Johl, noted doll historian and former reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, of a "three inch tall bronze Osiris" supposedly found in mummy wrappings. One hand of the doll holds a shepherd's crook or whip, while the other hand holds some sort of symbol. The owner thought the symbolic objects might be symbols of invading kings. One is reminded of the staves that Moses turned into serpents in the Charleton Heston film, The Ten Commandments. There was a bronze peg attached to the bottom of this doll (Johl SMAD 2). Modern reproductions of these figures are now made of brass or bronze and attached to basis. One five inch figure of Isis has a candle holder attached to her head. Her arms are akimbo and touch her head. and her close-fitting garment is carved with lines to imitate linen folds.
Doll collectors have long been familiar with the small, jointed clay dolls of the ancient Greeks. These little figure are among the earliest dolls actually to serve as toys. Besides these miniatures, however, that are often strung with metal, the Greeks also had dolls made of various metals.
The artisans of Mycenae were skilled in metal work while Egypt was still in its new kingdom in about 1600-1200 B.C. In fact, the hammered gold death mask of Mycenae has historical significance besides its interest to doll lovers because it was once believed to be the death mask of Agamemnon and thus served as proof of the historical existence of Troy and the Trojan War. Also during this period, the Hittites of Asia Minor were forging iron. Their work helped to bring about he end of the Bronze Age (Seltzman 15). The people of Crete were also famous for their metal work and archaeologists have found a stone matrix which served as a mold to make small metal figures. One of these is a little figurine holding a disk. Another is a small, gold statue of a woman. Modern toy soldiers are made in a similar way.
The metalworkers of Bronze Age Greece were not only skilled, but also highly respected. There was also a hierarchy to their craft. For example, Dactyls were Bronze smelters. This hierarchy and variation existed even in the pantheon of the Greek gods for Vulcan was the chief forger of Zeus and the Cyclopes were his helpers. Furthermore, a toreutike was an artist who carved or engraved works of gold, silver or bronze (Seltzman 13).
Artists and craftsmen of ancient Greece made a large variety of bronze figures representing sphinxes, gorgons, harpies and children. One small bronze doll of a boy wearing a belt and making an offering to Apollo is similar to an ancient Celtic doll of bronze. In Olympia, in the Attis, (Zeus's sacred grove), was found a grave containing small models of archaic Greek warriors. These were wearing helmets and breast plates. One could say that they are the ancestors of the later model soldiers.
Another type of doll or statuette is called a chryselephantine (Seltzman 16-17). This doll has a body of ivory and belts, armlets, hems and borders of gold. Gold studs are also implanted in the exposed nipples. Figures representing the Snake Goddess of Knossos of Crete even hold tiny golden snakes in their hands. The author has a modern reproduction of the Snake Goddess in her collection. While she is made entirely of a plaster-like substance, one can see where the original was decorated with gold by the painted detail
These goddess figures wear the elaborate curled, long, full skirt, and tight, open-breasted jackets of the well-to-do Cretan women of the time. Other chryselephantine figures represent one of the female toreadors of Crete. One doll wears a golden apron and corsage to protect her ribs, groin and belly as she grabs the bull's horns and jumps over his back. Like the Snake Goddess, her chest is bare. Her companion is a male toreador with a golden apron.
In Sparta there are small bronzes showing Hermes wearing a conical cap. One found in Arcadia in 560 B.C. carries arms and is around seven inches high. Ancestor dolls were tiny figures of lead or bronze that people set up in home shrines near the hearth. The little dolls were given offering so food and drink in return for healing a sick or injured person. This practice continues today in European churches where small metal images of tin resembling candy molds, called in Hispanic countries milagros, are left at churches when someone recovers from an illness or injury. These images can represent a whole person, or just the afflicted body part. When the author was in Greece she saw examples in the Cathedral in Athens representing a woman, a foot, a heart and a hand. E.M. Forster's short story "The Road from Colonnus" mentions these tin offerings nailed to what was once a sacred pagan tree in a tiny village. Also from Sparta come two figures in bronze of young girls. One holds flower while another holds her arms up as a mirror support. Another bronze of a woman is only six inches high, yet her garments are bordered in silver in the style of the sixth century revived under Claudius. She dates from around 50 A.D.
Finally, no discussion of metal dolls in Ancient Greece would be complete without discussion of the Charioteer of Delphi. The charioteer is not a doll, but a life-sized statue in bronze of an athlete. He was dedicated at Delphi by one Polyzalos and originally stood in a chariot drawn by life-sized horses. His eyes are onyx, surrounded by bronze eyelashes and his lips are inlaid with copper to make them look realistic. The author is discussing him here because the method of inlaying eyes in this and other statues is similar to the way glass eyes would be inserted in Minerva and Juno metal heads thousands of years later. When one actually stands before the Charioteer in the museum and looks into his face, she forgets that he is only a statue. Centuries later, the look of pure astonishment at winning the race is still reflected on his face as he clasps tightly the reigns of his horses. He must have been a magnificent sight when new. As he is, he is unforgettable. After seeing the life-like wax-works of Mme. Tussaud, one wonders if she ever saw the startled look of the Charioteer and was thereafter inspired when she created her own sculptures.
A jumping jack, though from Southern Russia, nevertheless shows Greek influence. He is a baked clay Hercules, wearing a lion's skin hood and holding a club and canthare (a drinking vessel). He is strung with bronze wires (Chapuis 20). This doll has been mentioned in the Dictionnaire des Antiquités (20).
Petronius writes of a banquet where the host had a water-clock (clepsydra), a mechanical horn player, and silver skeleton that was "so well contrived that its joints and its flexible back-bone could turn to every position" (21).
The Celts, like the Greeks, used small metal images as votive offerings in order to pray for health and healing. Many of these small figurines belong to the Halstatt Culture of the eight to fifth century B.C. This culture represents the earliest period of the Celtic Iron Age. Archaeologists now believe that many of these figures were not really votive, but rather that they were part of settlement washed away by a flood. They were fond in La Tene which is located by a lake on a mountainside.
Iron was to the Celts a sacred metal with magical powers. Known also as the "blood metal," it was forged by the god Lug. One could even imagine Excalibur, that magic sword of the legendary Celtic King, Arthur, was forged by iron. Given the importance which the early Celts attached to iron, it is not hard to believe that a lot of the tiny figures were indeed of a religious or ritual nature. One figure is of a horse and rider and is mounted on the handle of a bronze axe. Horses were important to Celtic myth and Epona, the horse goddess, holds a place of honor in the pantheon. Another figure represents a man raising his arms. He wears a round helmet similar to those one would wear today on safari along with a long tunic girdled tightly by a wide belt. He wears a bangle around his left ankle which is characteristic of Celtic dress for both men and women.
These votive offerings were also made of wood and stone and were often thrown into natural waters as offerings to the spring deities. Like the Greek examples mentioned earlier, they could represent a whole person, or only an afflicted body part.
More bronze figures have been discovered in the ruins of Roman Gaul. Now, though, the clothing and hairstyles appear almost Grecian in influence. Three of these figures date from 200 or 300 A.D. The first is of a musician wearing cris-crossed designs on his tunic and legwork. He appears to have a beard and his hand is raised as though he were holding an instrument. The second figure seems to be a barefoot priest or druid with a long-sleeved, knee length tunic. The hair is curled and the arm is outraised as if in benediction. The druids were the scholarly and priestly order of the Celts who handed down law and healed the sick. They also interceded with the gods and may have performed human sacrifices in their sacred oak groves early in Celtic history. The Romans methodically and mercilessly slaughtered them as they began to conquer the Celts. The third figure is of a dancing girl with delicate features. Her graceful, elongated body and limbs make her look as if she is made of plasticene clay. Her graceful pose clearly illustrates for the observer the fluidity of a dancer's movement. A tiny pewter gymnast of the twentieth century in the author's collection has some of the same grace and fluidity as the ancient Celtic dancer. She stands about four inches and was a gift to the author from her mother.
A Celtiberan wagon from Merida, Western Spain dates from the first century B.C. A horseman wearing patterned breeches is bent over his horse, naked from the waist up. He holds a spear and in front of him is a sacred boar. Next to him trots his faithful dog. The Celts were particularly fond of their dogs and they often appear in their myths and art; in fact, King Arthur himself is said to have wept during battle when his dog, Cabal was mortally wounded. Another even older model warrior was found in a burial chariot and dates from the seventh century B.C. He was discovered at Stretweg, Austria. From Primeaux, France comes a Gallo-Roman bronze figure representing Dagda, the "good god." Dagda is good because he does all things well, not because of his moral qualities. The figure holds a massive club to show strength and a cauldron, which, like the cornucopia, has the power to inspire and rejuvenate. Another French doll represents the god of thunder and holds a thunderbolt and wheel in his hand. He is naked and bearded, his only ornament being an ankle bracelet.
One fantastic find of these Celtic figurines was discovered in a grave mound at Strettweg. In one example, a naked goddess with painted breasts directs a procession of deceased to the afterlife. Often these miniature carts were placed in graves as tokens of the death of a young person. A fourteen inch bronze cart with figures dating from the seventh century B.C. is quite magnificent. It consists of horsemen and walking figurines, some with helmets, some bareheaded. Some of the figures have been painted, but all are naked. There are women in the procession as well and some
wear large hoop earrings and have their hair pulled back in a bun. All are thick and elongated in physique.
Christian influence is not lost in these Celtic dolls as the figures called "Captives of St. Leonard" or "Leonard's Louts"illustrate. These date back to the twelfth century when Leonard was canonized. The Wurdeger family is often connected with superstitions concerning these and owned a knight in armour weighing fourteen Kg. which young boys had to lift to their shoulders then throw to the ground to ensure against illness the following year. This tradition continued until 1904. The Salzburger Museum Carolino Augusteum Spielzegmuseum has an example of the St. Leonard figures. Historians do not know much about St. Leonard. His feast is November 6th and first mention of him appears in an eleventh century life of saints. Leonard is supposed to have founded a monastery at Noblazc, now Saint-Leonard, near Limoges. Also he was a hermit worshipped by the crusaders who named him patron saint of prisoners (Attwater 218).
Later Celtic dolls from the La Tene culture wear Etruscan helmets and have moveable rings in their arms and legs. They appear almost African and some carry pots on their heads. Some of these decorated utensils.
Bavarian villages yielded interesting ritual dolls made of iron, usually roughly forged by the village blacksmith. Men are usually naked and women wear long skirts. Sometimes, the artist denoted sexual features. Some figures were used to ward off pain and were offered in sacred places like the votive dolls mentioned earlier. The Iron Man of Battenviesen is one such figure (Von Boehn 74). He appears to be one of the ancient dolls, but historian Richard Andree later proved that he was a fake, made in the late Middle Ages in the style of the prehistoric figures. One modern ancestor of these ancient talismans, though not a doll technically, is the Oscar figurine. This figure of a man with clasped hands resembles Celtic dolls as well as ancient Egyptian figures of Osiris. Many have personified Oscar and refer to the statuette by the male personal pronoun. He is also sort of a good luck charm like the older figures were and Barbra Streisand addressed him as "Hello, Beautiful!" when she won an academy award for "Hello Dolly!" The little World War II era charm dolls of silver with hands pointing upward called "Thumbs Up" served the same good luck talisman purpose.
Like the Celts, the ancient inhabitants of the Americas were also skilled artisans when it came to making figures of metals.
Gold was abundant in Columbia and Panama, just as it was in Peru and other South American countries. Artisans worked in styles similar to the Peruvian and created as well a method of casting gold over wax forms. One figure cast over wax is a two-dimensional Musica warrior. His body and head consist of crude, triangular shapes with tiny, stick-like arms crossed over the torso. His features are draw with wax thread. Another, three-dimensional figure of a noble is cast from 1.37 pounds of gold. Many of these dolls show a geometrical influence and one talisman is decorated with patterns of dots and lines and may have been meant as a breast ornament. Articulated doll figures of other materials were even more common, and Chapuis, in Automata, writes that these are among the ancestors of the mechanical figures, which will be discussed in Chapters Three and Four. Chapuis pictures one example of a Mexican doll with articulated limbs from an Aztec grave at Teotihuacan, which was near Mexico City (18). Teotihuacan is also the site of the great Aztec pyramids. Chapuis writes that the art of statuary "hade been highly developed among the Aztecs and the Toltecs, as alos among the Mayas further south" (21). Chapuis, Linné, and other experts claim that these articulated figures were not toys, as we might be tempted to believe. Instead, they were part of a ritual that took place one the first day of the third month [of the Aztec calendar] which honored Centeoti, goddess of maize. As part of the ceremeony the figures were probably suspended over the maize filed by a cord (Chapuis 22).
Mexico was not the only country in Ancient America to yield articulated figures and metal dolls. Without a doubt, the most magnificent gold dolls and idols came from Peru. The vast quantities of gold an metals available in Ancient America made objects of these materials a natural tribute. Then, people appreciated the objects for their beauty, not their monetary value. Some of the little dolls decorated temples and others were gifts for favorite courtesans of the ruler, the Inca. Inca temples held niches for all sorts of figures representing people or animals made of gold or silver. Some larger figures served as garden decorations. Royal houses even had realistic gold and silver lizards and mice strategically placed to look alive. The Inca hid many of these treasures from the conquistadors who came looking for riches.
The Moche or Mohica civilization of Peru as famous for its gold work. This pre-Inca culture existed till approximately 600 A.D. They derived their name from the Moche River near the modern city of Trujillo (Newseek 68). Much of the art work was a photographic representation of their life and customs. Moche tombs contained a variety of small, gold objects meant to serve the dead. As with early rulers of Egypt, Moche elite were buried with entire households. Sometimes, those who died before their master were even put into storage until the time when they could be buried with him (Newseek 69). One corpse of a warrior- priest, the Lord of Spain, displayed at a 1993-94 exhibition at UCLA's Fowler Museum of Cultural History, wore a large hold headdress and silver sandals. His heraldic banner is so detailed, that the golden human figures adorning it wear tiny turquoise bead bracelets. Included in his ensemble are a gilded cooper chest piece, nose ornaments made of sheet gold, gold and silver earrings covered with shell and turquoise mosaic figures and other objects of gold, copper, and silver. As late as 1987, grave robbers were still helping themselves to Moche treasures and flooding the black market with them (68). Moche artists were apparently not interested in depicting everyday life for its own sake, but even poor people were buried clutching objects like pottery shards.
The Moche were known to be farmers who grew Maize and other crops and fished for crab. They also traded with the people of what is now Chile for lapis lazuli and other goods. Even 100 years ago, there was interest in their culture for William Randolph Hearst's mother sponsored a dig on a Moche site (68).
The Inca, the best-known of the Peruvian civilizations, were also known for artifacts of precious metals. One small silver doll wears a woven textile blanket and red feather headdress. It was found buried with the body of a mummified royal child. According to one expert, the child was left to die of exposure as a sacrifice. Also buried with him were a variety of small doll figures and other objects. In the author's collection is a tiny imitation gold replica of these figures which is naked except for the small, conical cap on his head. He comes from Chan, the capital city of the Chimu empire in Western South America. The original dates from 1100-1500 A.D. and is in the Peabody Museum. the Inca conquered the Chimu, who were a desert people, in around 1470 A.D. The original doll is not made of gold, but of copper alloy. The reproduction came fastened on a blue card which gives information on the doll and reads at the bottom:
Young Collectors INCORPORATED
Post Office Box 894
Haverhill, Mass tts 01830.

Another collector wrote the late Janet Johl about a similar doll of brass (Johl SMAD 5).
It is the position of the Peruvian government that artifacts like the gold figures should become state property, but private collectors have the money with which to collect them and to provide proper protection for them, so exceptions are made.
Mexican craftsman in the early -period were also skilled metalworkers. Indeed, their work often rivalled that of European artisans. One example is the fabulous gold bust of the Mixtec god of death. His shoulders have calendarical notation and his elaborate headdress has circular designs. He has a face which resembles a grinning skull. When Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer viewed an exhibit of Middle American gold work in 1520, he said that he had seen nothing in his whole life which so filled his heart with joy. The objects he saw were gifts from the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, to Cortez.
Metal dolls continue to be made in Mexico. Among the most famous are the tiny wire dolls with clay heads representing skeletons which adorn graves during the day of the Dead, November 1st. Also, metal knights and conquistadors are popular. The Yokohama Doll Museum has an interesting Mexican doll dressed as a peasant with a head of metal. The entire doll is made of lead. He is five inches high and is dressed as a gaucho. He wears a white outfit and a gun belt, all of lead. He holds a rifle and stands on a square, metal base. The author has one of these in her collection, which represents a French soldier.
Other countries, too, have ancient dolls of made of various metals. The Wellcome Museum in London has a seven inch doll with a face made of a gold disk. The body is made of fibre decorated with a crisscross of beads with fibre hair. The face has no features. The iron dolls of Zaire date back to several centuries before Christ and are among the spirit dolls of Africa. One has cut-out holes for eyes. These were generally ritual figures belonging to chiefs, not toys. One two-inch brass fetish dates from the 1940's and formed part of a necklace of brass beads. These are still made today and are worn on black leather cords. Particularly popular are miniature Ashanti gods from Ghana. The author has a necklace and a pair of earrings in her collection.
From West Africa come 3 and 3/4 inch bronze figures which may also be fetishes. Benin, formerly Edo, has a tradition of making metal figures utilizing the lost wax method. Benin lies between Nigeria and Bukina Faso. One eleven inch brass doll represents an important tribal personage holding aloft a ceremonial sword. This is a modern example made around the time of World War II and has no marks (Judd 7). Figures like this one, however, have been made for centuries in Benin, which has always had rich deposits of metal resources. Skills are passed from generation to generation, as they are in families of Japanese doll artists. An antique example would cost thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars, according to a recent Antiques Roadshow.
Like many foreign counties, Mexico sells dolls either formed of wire armatures covered with cloth, or wire armature wound with colored yarn. "Worry dolls" from Guatemala are tiny, one inch dolls formed of pieces of wire wrapped in yarn. Most have paper faces, some have clay heads.
India has brass acrobats which balance as well as a variety of costume dolls which consist of wire armatures covered with cloth. Small brass figures of Indian deities, replicas of ancient figures, are currently sold at Pier I Imports.
Japan has heavy metal dolls of women posed in graceful kimonos with the headdresses of fisherwomen. Also, there have been throughout the ages many metal carvings and images made of Buddha throughout Asia. A small brass head of Buddha, about 3 inches high, has holes around the collar/base and is meant to be an incense burner. One cast iron doll from Japan stands 11 inches high and represents a child. Her face is painted in silver paint, the rest of her clothes are painted in gold and silver. She is from the author's collection and was purchased in 1991 in Herrin, IL.
Thailand still exports dolls with cloth bodies and brass heads representing young girls. The little girl's hair is molded as a pompadour and has a sharp object through the bun. The brass is not painted, but is left its natural color. From china come modern dolls made of cloisonne or copper enameling with ivory heads, dating to an ancient tradition.
Articulated dolls or shadow puppets called Wayang Golek come from the Theatre of Java. These are marionettes "operated from below" instead of by strings from above. Chapuis observes that Plato has described tis type of puppet int he seventh book of the Republic (23). Chapuis discusses in his book Automata examples from Paris, the Musée de l'Homme (21). Articulated masks showing Indonesian influence come from Lombok, Dutch East Indies. Articulated dolls of many kinds, often incorporating metal, come from the Bataks of Sumatra (Chapuis 22). The Batak figure has a sponge mechanism in the back of its head that makes it shed tears.
Finally, there are the felt-wrapped wire dolls of Bulgaria which have iron weights in their feet to enable them to stand and masks for faces.
Dolls were scarce during the Middle Ages, but they did exist. In fact, Johl claims that during this time parents blessed dolls before giving them to children (SMAD 19). During Medieval times, dolls of silver and other metals were created for royalty. These may have been baptismal favors. This theory becomes more plausible when one considers the cheaper baptismal dolls of clay which and an indentation in their stomachs for a coin. Thus, it is logical that more expensive dolls would be made entirely of precious metal and would themselves be the offering.
Among Bohemian communities were toys and dolls fashioned like a pair of little silver miners wielding picks. There is a smith from the Medieval period hammering an anvil in the style of Vulcan. These two were probably amusements for rich adults. Doll-like utensils were popular during this era as in the Ancient World. In Dolls and Puppets, Max von Boehn discusses a sixteenth century virgin goblet made of precious metals. She is a full-length figure of a woman with a large hoop skirt. Her arms are upraised to hold a swivelling cup. Similar examples date from Ancient Greece. supposedly, a man first drained the large cup of the figure's skirt and a woman drank from the smaller cup held aloft in the figure's hands. The author's modern, silver-plated example stands ten inches and is elaborately decorated. These figures are also called "brides' cups."
Another goblet of silver made in 1596 represents King Christian IV on horseback. The horse's head was the goblet cover, while his body was the goblet. Cellini created classic gold and silver salt cellars of women during the early Renaissance. Modern metal can openers and cork screws made in human form are the modern versions of these figures. A set of skewers from Greece has a tiny, brass Snake Goddess on the handles. A can opener is made of metal and is shaped like Amalía, the heroine of the Greek War for Independence of the early 1800's.
Silver plated nutcrackers are also made today. Real silver and silver plated ornaments have also made quite a comeback. Among these are figurines of Santas and Angels, many quite detailed and cast in the old way. Other metal ornaments and figures are more modern. Target Stores were selling for Christmas 1998 angels made of silver screening. The wire mesh was folded and twisted into the shape of an angel much the way cornhusk dolls are made. These sold for about $12.99 and were meant to be tree tops. A company in China was promoting angels of about 14 inches made of tin. The head and hands are resin, but the body and wings are made of intricately folded and painted metal. This figure resembles the famous angels that grace the Christmas Tree of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Walmart marketed a metal Santa Claus, about the same height as the metal angel, that appears to be tole painted in dark reds and greens. The face is painted to make the figure look three dimensional.
Créche dolls and figures for churches were made with different metals a well. One of these is the "Golden Madonna" of Essen Cathedral in Germany. She is similar to some Inca work that was cast in metal over some other material because she has a wooden core with a surface covered by hammered gold. The madonna is dressed in flowing robes and holds the infant Jesus in her lap. The apples in her hand are symbolic of the Fall and subsequent Redemption of man. She is thirty-inches high and dates from the tenth century.

Personal adornment often took human form and one pilgrims badge from the shrine of St. Thomas à Becket shows Thomas a bishop riding his horse in triumph. Such doll badges were meant to be worn around the neck or pinned on hats and resemble toy soldiers.
In about 1130, Armenian fire worshipper dolls of bronze crowded corroded miniature iron urns. One figure, probably brass was excavated in Ofello in 1939 (Johl SMAD 3).
It is no surprise to experienced collectors that dolls have often been used for sinister purposes. One of the most infamous and sinister dolls of the Middle Ages was the Iron Maiden of Elizabeth Bathory, the "blood countess" of Hungary. Iron maidens are generally known as instruments of torture that look like life-sized female statues of mummy sarcophagi. Anyone who wishes to see one has only too watch "Addams Family" re-runs. Cousin Ophelia often slept in one. Though they appear harmless, iron maidens have a secret spring device that, when triggered, pierces their victims with deadly spikes (McNally 7-8). Elizabeth's iron maiden was painted to look like a woman and wore real clothes of rich materials. It had flowing human hair attached to its head and wore jewels. The Countess would ask a young victim to polish the jewels on her doll. As the girl worked, her touch triggered a mechanism hidden by one of the jewels that caused the top part of the figure to grab the girl with its arms and clutch her to its chest. She was then stabbed by spikes. Legend has it a German locksmith made one iron maiden for every castle Elizabeth owned. The iron maiden dolls of the Countess gave material to a writer named Bram Stoker who traced the various vampire legends and wrote in 1897, Dracula. Elizabeth herself inspired Andre Codrescu to write the novel, The Blood Countess.
Elizabeth Bathory was an insane noblewoman who believed that if she tortured young girls to death, then drank and bathed in their blood, she would retain her youth and beauty eternally. When her gruesome activities were uncovered, her servants were executed and she was imprisoned for life in her own castle.
Of course, not all dolls of this period are so diabolical. Metals were used to make all sorts of children's toys. Mary I is said to have had a golden cup filled with gold coins on her first Christmas, so perhaps Sir Thomas More had some experience of precious toys when he wrote Utopia. It is, after all, a small step from silver rattles with attached bells that resemble marottes, to dolls. These rattles were popular toys for wealthy children in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Silver doll furniture also graced the baby houses of the rich. The author has seen such furniture as late as 1978 at Shreve, Crump and Low of Boston. One expert also says that silver soldiers and acrobats were famous in the Netherlands during the time of Charles II (Fraser 84). Furthermore, the memoirs of one Herouard, who was the royal doctor to Louis XIII, show that the King had silver toys and dolls. The Pope during this time is supposed to have sent silver toys to the children of the King of Poland. Also, automata of metal were invented and created during the Middle Ages. These will be discussed in further detail in Chapter Three.
Noted author Mary Hillier shows in her book Automata and Mechanical Toys several medieval and Renaissance examples of toys that are made of metal. One beautiful mechanical doll dating from about 1600 plays a lute. Her clothes are detailed and sumptuous, and her face is expressive and dreamy. The doll is, according to Mrs. Hillier, possibly by Gianello della Torre and is from the Vienna, Kunthistorisches Museum. Mrs. Hillier also shows a mechanical rooster of "painted ironwork and gold leaf," from an early clock found on Strasbourg Cathedral, 1354. The rooster is in the Strasbourg Museum. Mrs. Hillier's chapter on clockwork figures is excellent further reading for anyone who would like to know more about the subject of medieval clockwork examples.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

10,000 Year old Doll

From Turkey:

This is a large, sort of crude, marble statue.

Some figures from this region were found here:

Çayönü: (Cult Buildings).

Çayönü was excavated by Robert Braidwood in the 1960s, as a joint project between the universities of Chicago and Istanbul. It dates back to at least 7,200 BC (1)

The site provided the archaeological world with several 'first's' including animal husbandry, woven cloth, smelted copper Terrazzo (stone pieces pressed into a cement base) floors and several female figurines among the finds representing some of the earliest traces of the Mother Goddess cult in the region.