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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Early 19t c Continued

You may enjoy Mis Munecas, a lovely blog with theme music. She as gorgeous photos,and covers the history well. She makes a point that by Victoria's time, there were few toys left from the poor childrens' toy box, and perhaps because commercial dolls, parts, and other materials to make them were becoming more plentiful, and because the Middle Class was forming and rising across the globe, especially in Western Countries. Also, those still wretchedly poor worked constantly, and they had no time for dolls. Even in the early 20th century, my grandmother in Europe had to work. She had to dolls as a child, only later as an adult, and these became the nucleus of my collection. My grandmothers worked, and went to school to be seamstresses so they could work even more. One of them lost her father as a little girl of six or seven; she had to wear black till she married twenty years later, and then had a Paris trousseau to make up for it. She used to beg us not to wear black, even if someone died. With the rise of the Middle Class, and more leisure time for children, there was more time for play, and for toys of all types.

The Early 19th Century

Papier Mache soon joined wood and other materials in doll making, again, because the Industrial Revolution made paper a mass produced item. Before, and even after for many, paper was a precious commodity, saved, and written on over and over again. Now, it was more plentiful, and could be used for many small items, including dolls and toys, and soon, Paper Dolls! The first of these as we know them were probably Pantins, from France, late 18th c., later forbidden to expectant mothers lest the mania for them lead to deformed children! Excerpt from a site on Sonneberg: History of toys: In the 19th century southern Thuringia - just like Nuremberg, Oberammergau, Berchtesgaden and the Ore Mountains - developed into one of the most significant centres of German toy manufacturing. In the course of the 19th century doll production grew to be the main element in toy manufacture and in 1840 dolls made up 70 % of the entire sales in Sonneberg. In addition to the production of wooden dolls, more and more dolls made of papier-mâché. Then in 1830 porcelain was used. The porcelain doll from Sonneberg became a world famous product made by porcelain manufacturers like Armand Marseille and Ernst Heubach. In the early decades of the 20th century the small town reached its peak in sales and international reputation. After the recovery from World War II toy factories began to produce again in 1945/46. From 1948 on craftsmen in the toy industry were forced to join cooperatives specifically established for purchase and distribution of goods, following the expropriation and nationalisation of the large-scale enterprises. By the end of the 50s private companies were more or less compelled to accept state interference. The foundation of combined collectives represented the next step of the economic centralisation and the entire toy industry with its 27,000 employees, 10,000 of which working in Sonneberg, was coordinated from there. The large-scale enterprises did not survive the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Today about 1,000 employees are still working for small and medium size companies within the toy industry. Some of the local toy factories were able to make a name for themselves so that Sonneberg nowa is called Toy Town to display the international significance which it still has.

18th Century Dolls II

Here is a link to a blog called 18th Century Notebook; maybe the best resource for 18th c. dolls I've seen: Keep in mind that the Industrial Revolution brought changes to dolls and toys as well. My theory is that with the successful mass production of china and glass, in fact, all ceramics, and with the success of Josiah Wedgewood, china manufacturers were looking for new ways to use their raw product, and eventually, a billion china headed dolls and more bisque and ceramic dolls and doll heads were born. Kestner and other German companies began in the late 18th century, and as cloth became commercially made, it was more feasible to make rag dolls and doll clothes, because the surplus of cheap cloth made the rag bag, and later, the flea markets we all love, so popular. My hands are still crippled up, but usable, and I still can't find spell check, so thanks for your tolerance.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: But, I Love Dolls from Garage Sales . . .!

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: But, I Love Dolls from Garage Sales . . .!: From Denise's Blog on about; I have everything from the sublime to the ridiculous in my collection, high end, low end, and everything in ...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Over 18,000!!

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Over 18,000!!: God bless everyone; we are over 18,000 strong!!! Here is a link to our friends at The Haunted Doll Web Museum; they should meet our other fr...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

From the Philadelphia Doll Museum which features Black Dolls; take their virtual tour as well; there is also a YouTube film of them. Thanks to my friend RM for sending me the link: History Since the beginning of civilization, man has made images of himself from objects from his environment, either as drawing on cave walls or as figurines made of wood or clay. These dolls or idols were used as a religious or magical status. Today, dolls are defined as a three dimension figure representing a human being. Added to this definition, is that a doll is a play toy for children. Dolls have been found throughout the world from the sarcophagi of Ancient Egypt, to the Catacombs in Rome to Native American graves of North America. Dolls tells a story about their past. That is why “the world of doll collecting” provides a treasure of information and holds such interest and joy to all peoples. In Africa, from Ashanti to Zulu, image sculptures called “ancestor figures” are traditional and religious. These wood carved images represent deceased loved ones. The dolls are used to thank the gods for good health, wealth and a rich harvest. Ancestor’s images permeate an African’s day-to-day existence because of strong powers. There is a doll for each cycle of life-birth, initiation, marriage, and death. With the rise of the German doll industry in the 19th century, black dolls found their way from the marketplace and into the home of the wealthy. The early black dolls from Germany were crudely made from papier-mâché, hand painted with pupiless eyes, glued-on wig or molded hair and some with molded shoes. The doll bodies were stuffed with saw dust or straw. Known as the “Golden Age of Doll Manufacturing,” from 1880 to 1930, the Germans made china, porcelain and bisque head dolls as well as celluloid. Black dolls were painted or had the color fired in during the second firing process. Of the leading German doll manufacturers, notably three manufacturers led in the production of black dolls: Simon & Halbig, Armand Marseille, and Heubach Koppelsdorf. Although the Germans were the leading doll manufacturers, the French made more black dolls. Both doll makers Emile Jumeau and Casimir Bru were producing black bisque dolls commercially as early as 1880 and some came with the fired in black color. These luxury French bebes were produced with shades of coloring which gave more realistic tones. The majority of black Bruns and Juneau’s are found in the United States. In 1895, the Golliwogg appears as a black character doll in Florence Upton children’s best seller, The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls. The series of books featured the mishaps of the dolls. The Golliwogg was the delight of most English children. In America, handmade and hand crafted dolls were not only popular because Americans could not afford the expensive porcelain dolls imported from Europe. Old cloth was used over and over to make faceless or embroider face cloth dolls called “Rag dolls”. The Native American taught settlers to plant corn and to make corn husk dolls. Other dolls made during the early 1900’s were nut dolls, bone dolls and tobacco dolls. These dolls are considered “American Folk Dolls”. Many of the black dolls made during this period portrayed stereotypical images of black people. Many black parents would not give these dolls to their children; instead they made dolls for them. Early black dolls were made from the same composition mold as while dolls and painted black or brown. After the First World War, the use of unbreakable material such as rubber and celluloid was used to make dolls. As for the rubber dolls, they could be bathed, fed, and diaper changed without damage to the doll. The most popular black rubber doll was “Amosandra” produced by CBS Broadcasting Radio Co. Amosandra was the daughter of Amos from the Amos and Andy Show. Also some of the famous Kewpies dolls were made of celluloid material; some of the black Kewpies were called “hottentot”. Although, in the 40’s there was an increase of black dolls on the American market, but it was not until the late 50’s that black dolls had ethnic features. The “Sara Lee” doll was designed from the composite pictures of black children. “Sara Lee” was considered the first “Anthropologically correct” black doll. Since the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, many independent black doll manufacturing companies produced black dolls such as Shindana Doll Co., Keisa Dolls Inc., Whitney Doll Inc., Golden Ribbon Inc., and Olmec Inc. A noted African American doll artist was I. Roberta Bell (1904-1992), an educator. Ms. Bell was the first black to become a member of the National Institute of American Doll Artist. She created a Heritage series of porcelain dolls representing famous and historical African Americans. The Philadelphia Doll Museum continues to preserve and research black dolls as artifacts of history. More than play toys, these dolls symbolize the struggle for freedom and human dignity. The growth and legacy of black dolls will increase as both American and International doll artists continue to design and create wonderful black dolls.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Metal Head Huret

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Metal Head Huret: I am looking for photos and information about this doll that belogned to Maureen Popp and Dorothy Dixon at one time. I am also interested i...

Monday, June 4, 2012


I would like to welcome my new follower, and to thank all my followers for reading my blog, and for putting up with my typing challenges, do to early onset osteoartritis. I have been working on new doll writing projects, and also thinking of new paper doll projects and minature projects I would like to create. Peter Carey and others are writing about automatons and other dolls; the fascination seems to be growing. As always, I welcome comments and suggestions for blogs. Briefly, in our loosely chronological history, I would like to discuss edible dolls. Dough figures can be traced as far as ancient Egypt, when they represented Osiris and were used in his religious rituals. Joseph Campbell tends to allude to them in The Masks of God. Maria Argyriades discusses them, and says that dough figures are still made in Greece today, remnants of ancient fertility rights practiced eons ago. Dolls made of dough have long been made in Europe, sometimes as parts of various celebrations, sometimes as toys, sometimes as objects to ensure fertility. Related to these are cornhusk dolls and corn dollies created to represent the harvest. These were often kept in the home for one year, then burned at the end of the year while a new one was made. Large straw men appear at Midsommer festivals in Sweden and in Swedis communities like Bishop Hill, and straw men of gigantic proportions were connected with human sacrifice practiced by the Celts. Gingerbread figures are ancient dolls and doll figures originally made as part of Lenten services, but migrating to te Christmas Holidays, where they have become icons of culture; everyone knows The Gingerbread Man and his rhymes. Gingerbread houses and villages are important parts of the HOliday Season, and are made for other occasions, too. Bread dough figures in miniature are made in Mexico, China, and Peru. These are often greatly detailed and placed under miniature glass domes. Dough ornaments and figures became popular during the 1970s. The author has many varieties in her collection. In The Doll, Carlo Fox sows a three-breasted fertility goddess baked fresh for his collection, and Mary Hillier talks about and shows a figure of Ruprecht, very old, made in part of cake, as part of a St. Nicolas celebration. There are candy figures of all types, and candy Kewpie dolls and black licorice animals. The Vermont Candy company makes Santas and figures out of maple sugar, and these include Pennsylvania Dutch-style couples. Sugar eggs and dioramas abound, as do the famous sugar skulls and figures long made for El Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead. Dolls are made of egg shells, lobster claws, mandraek root and other carved root, dried prunes, apples, and pears, nuts and corncobs. Miss Hickory is a nut head doll made famious in the book by the same name by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, and Laura Ingalls Wilder's first doll is made from a corncob. There is a devil doll made from a dried fish, and other dolls made from fis and animal bones. Marzipan is used to make dolls, figures, and toys, and "clear toys" are figures made of clear, liquid sugar. Tasha Tudor discusses these in her Christmas book, Take Joy. Also, I have angels made of macaroni, and the Ripley museum in Wisconsin Dells Displays a witch at the stake made entirely of spaghetti. A local sushi restaurant creates intricate sculptures of Japanese figures from radish. Also, let's not forget ice sculptures and butter figures, and of course, various chocolate figures including Kewpies and rabbits, made for every holiday. Godiva figures preserved often bring $15.00 or more. There are Golliwog cookies and licorice babies, and elaborate cookie figures from The Slovak Republic. I have made many miniatures and dough dolls from a salt dough clay that involves mixing equal parts of salt, flour, and water. Bernard Ravca began making dolls of bread crumbs, and claimed only a good French baguette would do. There are also 18th C. Pedlar dolls in Hillier's book made of crumbs. Snowmen are made from marshmallows, and figures are carved from vegetables. There are ice cream cone clowns, and pancake and pizza faces, all made to tempt little palates into eating. Seeds, edible grasses, and flowers, lobster and crab claws, everything edible or related to food as been used to make dolls over the years. There are many legends of beings being molded and "BAKED" into life, and an episode of "Sabrina" with Melissa Joan Hart featured one of these, and awakened old legends and rituals associated with dough figures. There is even a creaton myth that involves the gods baking people at various temperatures to create the various races of man. Here are some photos to enjoy. Next time anyone bakes, think of the edible dolls, and try to create some.