We have just about finished with Ancient dolls, and I am ready to enter the Dark Ages. We don't know much about toy dolls from the 1000+ year era that covers the Dark Ages/ Middle Ages, but we do know about religious art and figures, Santos, some grave figures, doll shaped utensils and jewels, other toys and games, and of course, puppets and clock figures.
As my Medieval Lit prof said, we call them The Dark Ages because we know so little about them. What we uncover in literature and history is something completely different from our sterotypes and suspicions. Art flourished, so did commerce. Pilgrims and others travelled, hence, The Canterbury Tales, and women wrote, including Margery Kemp and Christine de Pisan. Children surely had dolls, especially in the upper classes, and Charlemagne is said to have had amazing automato, including a brazen head that talked. Fourtheenth century fashion dolls, some life sized, were used and sent among queens as gifts and to show the latest fashions. Many wooden statutes, covered with gesso or enamel and painted, exist, and all over the as yet undiscovered New World and on other continents, people had dolls, idols, and religious statues. I again point you towards Dolls by Max von Boehn. More photos and stories to follow.