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❤❤❤History of dolls articles provided below for your reading enjoyment! ❤❤❤

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Years of Production of Raggedy Ann and Andy:
1918 through today.

Sizes of Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls:
From miniature (under 6") to 48" and up. Raggedy Ann and Andy have been created in nearly every size imaginable. However, classic, standard sizes of the dolls are from 15" to 18".

Material: Cloth.

Companies That Have Produced Raggedy Ann and Andy:
Companies that have produced Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls have included Volland (1915-early 1930s) Molly-'es (1935-1938), Georgene (1938-1963) Knickerbocker (1962 to 1982) and modern companies including Applause, Playskool and Hasbro, [and Handcrafted Dolls by Lu !! ].

More About Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls:
These huggable, loveable dolls have been delighting children (and collectors) for over 80 years! They generally have yarn hair and button or sewn eyes and sewn or embroidered features. Raggedy Ann out-sells Raggedy Andy, since the dolls are not always purchased in pairs. The dolls were created by Johnny Gruelle (b. 1880) who also authored a series of books about Raggedy Ann and Andy, starting with "Raggedy Ann's Stories" in 1918.

The Enduring Charm of Raggedy Ann And Andy

Why Are These Simple Cloth Dolls Such Perennial Collector Favorites?
Recently, a family brought their family dolls to me for an appraisal. This family had some wonderful dolls--including about 10 various Raggedy Anns and Andys from several decades! There were Georgene Raggedy Anns and Andys (several, different sets, including some with rarer "Silsby" tags and an Ann with rare vertical leg stripes!) some early Knickerbocker dolls, even a Georgene Beloved Belindy. I was entranced by the dolls, and thrilled to have them in my possession for awhile, yet a few years ago, as a confirmed collector of modern fashion dolls AND antique bisque dolls, I wouldn't have given them a second look, and would have instead spent all of my time oohing and aahing over the completely mint 1950s vinyl Cissy. Now, however, I'm one of many collectors that are subject to the enduring charm of Raggedy Ann and Andy.

Why Do Collectors Collect Raggedy Ann and Andy?

To a collector of Ann and Andy, this seem like a silly, rhetorical question.

But, to other doll collectors, this deserves a fair answer--after all, Ann and Andy are made of cloth, sometimes more at home with a display of cloth and nursery toys than with an average doll collection. Ann and Andy, however, have an incredible history. Raggedy Ann and Andy have been in commercial production since 1920, which qualifies them as an antique doll, a vintage doll, and a modern doll. I cannot think of any other doll that span such a long history--in fact, I played with one as a child, as did my grandmother, mother, and daughter! The history alone makes Raggedy Ann and Andy remarkable.

Great Design and An Emotional Attachment

But, there's more. Sometimes, simple designs are the best, and the design of Ann and Andy is classic and clean--two button eyes, red yarn hair, that classic triangle nose. Ann in her flowered dress, Andy in his overalls. A simple doll, made for a child to hold and love, and pleasing to the eye of a collector. Children might play all day with an American Girl doll or a Barbie, but they are going to tuck into bed at night with a Raggedy Ann. Collectors, of course, still remember this emotional attachment to Ann and Andy from their childhood.

Oh, The Variety!

Ok, they are simple, but they aren't boring! One great thing about Raggedy Ann and Andy for a collector are the many companies that have produced them, and the endless variety in faces, cloths, labels and details. Ann and Andy have been made, over the years, by the following companies (among others): Volland, Molly-'es, Georgene, Knickerbocker, and Applause. The doll have been made in every size from miniature to gigantic. And, in the introduction to this article, I mentioned some of the interesting variations--vertical leg stripes are rare and desirable, as are stockings done in other colors, such as blue. Some dress prints are very rare. There are variations to the faces. And, there are even additional characters in the Raggedy Ann and Andy universe that are highly sought after, such as Beloved Belindy (pictured), Uncle Clem, and the Camel with The Wrinkled Knees).

Money Talks

Collectors, of course, are always fascinated by valuable things, and Raggedy Ann and Andy doesn't disappoint in this regard. A set of Volland Raggedy Ann and Andys (circa 1920s) can set a collector back $3,000, as much as a find French bisque antique doll. Early Georgene Black-outlined nose Anns and Andys are just as expensive, as is a Georgene Beloved Belindy.

Starting a Collection

Even though some of the early Raggedy Ann and Andys are so valuable, you can collect Raggedy Ann and Andy on any budget. Many talented artists make Anns and Andys today at very reasonable prices. Applause is currently producing wonderful Raggedy Anns and Andys ranging in price from $5.99 to a pocket-sized Ann or Andy to $60 for a 48" size. Plus, if a little wear is not an issue, there are lovely late Georgene and many Knickerbocker Anns and Andys from the 1950s to 1970s that can be added to a vintage collection.


THE HISTORY OF DOLLS "We Go All Around The World!"

❤African Dolls
One kind of African doll is an Ndebele doll. This has been a known doll for many years. This is a doll that was one of the first made by Africans. It is the basis of their modern day dolls. Dolls are usually not childrens playthings, as many people believe, but rather objects that are loaded with ritual and religious associations within the community. These dolls are not found in a bedroom as a piece of entertainment but rather found in classrooms to teach children of their history and culture. These dolls came from the Ndebele tribe in Southern Africa. Although they are the smallest tribe, they are known for their well painted houses that stand out to anyone who happens to walk by. Their clothing, like their houses, is also very colorful. This seems to have an influence on their dolls because their dolls look very similar to them. This dolls can be placed outside a womans house as a way of a marriage proposal. Before getting married, a woman is given a doll. She treats the doll like her child , giving it a name and caring for it. Her first child then shares the name of this doll. The beaded Ndebele dolls are now an important export item and much needed source of income for the Ndebele women. The beads and colors are what make the dolls unique.

❤Chinese Dolls
Paper was invented in China around the year 105 C.E. The earliest paper dolls did not come from China but came from Japan. There is also evidence that paper dolls originated in China so the exact development of paper dolls is not known for sure. But we know that these paper dolls were created sometime in the 18th century. The most popular paper doll is thought to be the Betsy McCall, whose creator is Kay Morrissey. This doll was invented in the mid 20th century. Almost all dolls from China are paper unlike dolls from other countries that are made of many more materials. Chinese dolls relate to other dolls such as German dolls. Chinese factories in Germany started to make porcelain dolls in the 1800s. Most of the dolls from China represented females with elegant hairstyles at that time. Many of the dolls sold were already dressed as an adult or a child.

❤French Dolls
There are many French dolls and there are way to many to mention, but I will tell you about a couple of famous French Dolls. Most French dolls are all unique and they can be used for different purposes. For example, younger kids may want to play with them, have fun with them, and literally take them everywhere, but older kids and adults may want to collect them and cherish them as valuable belongings. Most French dolls were used as valuables though. Two of the most famous French dolls are Bebe dolls and French Bisque dolls. French Bebe dolls started out in the 1850;s and they resemble a little girl. This was unique because most dolls used to resemble adults. Jumeau, Bru, Steiner, and Rohmer were the makers of the French Bebe doll. Overtime, the Bebe doll became one of the most popular dolls. The French bisque dolls started out in the 1840s. These dolls resembled ladies but the way the dolls dressed was lovely but yet complex. Jumeau, Bru, Gaultier, Rohmer, and Huret were the doll makers for the French dolls. These dolls occurred to become a very famous antique doll.

❤Japanese Dolls
Three dolls you can learn about here are the Daruma, Hakata, and Kokeshi dolls. Puppets also can relate to dolls in the sense that their beauty is expressed through puppetry. You can learn about puppets here too. Daruma dolls are unique in many ways. One way is their body, which is shaped as a sphere. Their bodies are red and the most unique thing about them is that their eyes have no pupils when you get them. Although they have no pupils at this time, once the New Year comes, the owner of the doll makes a wish and paints in one of the pupils themselves. Then, if the wish comes true, you can paint in the second pupil. They are thought of as good luck charms to some of their owners and can also represent a Zen monk named Bodhidharma who brought Zen enlightenment and tea to China and Japan. Kokeshi dolls are wooden dolls that surprisingly started as souvenirs. They dont have arms butit ends up suiting well because they dont have legs either. They have an unusually oversized head for their cylinder-shaped bodies. In addition to originating as souvenirs, they were also used as offerings to gods and are still made as they were in c.1800. Kokeshi dolls are also unique because they may sometimes wear a kimono and can have bamboo as their hair. Hakata dolls are made of clay. They show great beauty because each one has been greatly detailed. They are sometimes mistaken for plaster figures since they are unglazed. The finest Hakata dolls have detail in metal, cloth, or wood, which then adds to the radiance of the figure. Puppets are different from dolls but the beauty of Japanese dolls is expressed in puppetry. Bunraku puppets have wooden heads and are richly clothed. There are also mechanical Japanese puppets which are purely for amusement.

❤Mexican Dolls
One type of Mexican doll is a Ceramic Lupita doll. Elaborate paintings had a large influence on the design of these dolls. The dolls will most typically wear a Mexican dress of many colors. Depending on what the doll was intended to represent in life would answer the question of the doll wearing an apron as some will wear. Although many may wear an apron or similar traditional outfits, they resemble real people in the sense that no two ceramic dolls are the same. This may be because they are each hand-painted. Another doll is the paper-mache doll. This doll came in many different form. One form of the paper-mache doll is one that has red lips, glitter, movable legs and arms, and is vibrantly painted. Some paper-mache dolls are used for celebrations. One of these celebrations is the Day of the Dead in Mexico. An example of this would be a paper-mache skeleton.

❤Russian Dolls
Most of you have seen many types of dolls. But did you ever know where these unique dolls came from. When I was little I was very amazed by a certain type of doll called Nesting Dolls. These dolls are very entertaining but arent usually seen as playful items, but more of decoration. This is true, however it is indeed considered to be a doll. These dolls are the ones you see that start out huge, can be opened and inside is a smaller version. It expands from a range if three pieces to 25. Surprising as it may be, these dolls of various shapes, colors and sizes began in Russia. Their unique form is what made these dolls such popular collectables. Some of these dolls are simple, with little decoration, while others are complex and beautiful. These dolls have become so popular they no longer have one name. Throughout the years their names varied and expanded to become that of three others, nested dolls, stacking dolls or matryoshki dolls. They have become Russias number one souvenir. At all large events, fairs, festivals held in different countries of the world, these amusing and cheerful nesting dolls were, and still are among the most fascinating items known to the world. The amazing thing is, that despite the fact that it is so popular; it is only about 100-110 years old. Some of the returning Russian prisoners of war brought a Japanese figure of a high-quality nature, bold headed elderly man. This doll consisted of some other figures nestled one inside of another. This doll was made of 7 figures. There was a legend that the first doll of this type was made on Honshu Island where an unknown Russian monk came from. Although matryoshki dolls are famous all over the world, books about them are extremely difficult to find. If you were to look at sites devoted to Russian souvenirs and art, you will see that the different stories about nesting dolls are very opposing. This is so because the authors of sites had no trustworthy proof on this subject of the Fairy-Tale Matryoshka.

articles courtesy of ThinkQuest Education Foundation Library



by Martha Checkett

Throughout the years, children have played with a variety of "dolls". They were made from every imaginable substance including wood, clay, corn cobs, plaster, and a wide range of other materials including cloth. The focus here will be on the dolls that are made from various types of cloth, fiber or fabric. Many of the dolls designed and manufactured in France, Germany and other European countries in the 1800's were not actually intended as play dolls. Their china, glass or wax heads and bodies could not withstand a child's constant attention. These fancy dolls were carefully preserved and revered by their owners. Many remain in collections today. However, it was the all cloth doll that was tucked under an arm or hauled around by one leg and loved until they became "real" as described by the Skin Horse in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit.

A cloth doll consists of a fabric skin and stuffing. Facial features are embroidered or painted on with ink or stained with natural dyes, or in some cases, in primitive cloth dolls there may be no face at all. Early dolls, were made from animal skin, corn shucks, cotton fabric and other soft materials. Stuffing might have been straw, leaves, feathers, fabric scraps, left-over thread and yarn or cotton batting.

The pattern or design of the early cloth doll was very primitive and crude, usually consisting of two identically shaped body pieces. The front and the back were exactly alike before hair, facial features, and clothing were applied. Today this simple type of doll is called a Pancake Doll which describes the flat construction. Sometimes, arms and legs were added to a head/body torso. This is still considered a "pancake doll" as it describes the head and face.

Clothing was made from fabric scraps left from sewing for the family. These early dolls might also have been dressed in leaves or other naturally found material. Most dolls were made for little girls, and resembled their owners. Boy dolls were rare. The doll's clothes, in early American times, would have been similar to what was worn by women and little girls in those days including under garments, petticoats, a long dress and probably a pinafore, apron and a bonnet. Doll shoes and stockings might have been sewn or painted on.

A doll was a precious possession to a little girl in early America. It probably accompanied her everywhere she went, especially to bed. Little girls may have had just one doll during her childhood and it was often her only companion until she went to school. Soft cuddly cloth dolls were faithful friends, good listeners, confidants, bedtime companions, and tea party guests for many children in the past and still are considered important to children today.

In more recent years, there has been a increase in the interest in cloth dolls by adults. Many mothers and grandmothers started doll making with a toy for their children and it has developed into a very dignified, elaborate art form. There were few famous cloth doll makers throughout history. In the 1840s, Izannah Walker, who made cloth dolls with a primitive or folk arts look, was one of the first ones to produce cloth dolls and patented her dolls in 1873. These dolls are very much in demand by collectors.

Freelance artist, Johnny Gruelle created a distinctive, whimsical design for a doll named "Raggedy Ann", which he patented and trademarked in 1915. He achieved fame in the arena of juvenile book illustrating and as the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy eventually became known as "The Raggedy Ann Man." By the time of his death in 1938, Gruelle's Raggedy characters, dolls, and books were known throughout the world.

In Europe the cloth doll was being produced by the Lenci Doll company. In the early 1920's the dolls were marketed as "Scavini Dolls" after their creator, Elena Scavini. In Turin, Italy, a cloth producing center, she and her brother began making cloth dolls to supplement their income during the war. They found that wool felt could be molded under pressure and was readily available even during the war. In 1937 the Garella family succeeded the Scavinis in running the company and still control it today.

About the same time in Germany, doll maker Kathe Kruse began producing cloth dolls with a head made from papier mache and covered with stockinet cloth. Although Kathe Kruse dolls are no longer made this way, she is also known for creating what is known as the Waldorf Doll, a simple, soft, huggable play doll both manufactured and hand made from a similar pattern and adored by children around the world.

In the early 1970's another cloth doll phenomenon was born. Using the quilting talents learned from his mother, Eula, and information gleaned from a dog eared book from the library, 21 year old, Xavier Roberts began to experiment with a German folk art known as "needle modeling". He realized that this technique, later known as soft sculpture, was similar to the technique used in creating the beautiful quilts. He started out making wall hangings and animals, but eventually tried the human form, using his nieces and nephews as models. Stitching and stuffing the figures, he created what he called Little People. He said they had been found in the cabbage patch. Mothers used to tell this tale to their children when they would ask, "Where did I come from?" Each one was different as he formed their faces with a stitch and a tuck and painted eyes. He began to sell them at gift shops and county fairs and came upon the idea that these special little people should be adopted rather than sold. This ideas was a stroke of genius and appealed to many of his customers. He created an elaborate fantasy world for his kids and eventually bought an unused clinic which became Babyland General where these Kids are still being adopted by faithful parents, both young and old, today.

Ultimately, with the popularity of his elite and rather expensive Cabbage Patch Kids soaring, Xavier branched out to modern industry to make a more affordable version to be marketed to children. These were made with a vinyl head but still maintained the soft sculptured body. Both forms of the Cabbage Patch Kids are still currently on the market.

Many of the folks who enhanced the cloth doll's importance over the years have come from modest beginnings. This was the only sort of doll their limited funds would allow. Whether it was a young man with a dream or a mother with a young daughter, cloth dolls have made a great impact on people of all walks of life and maintain a solid place in doll history.

This article is located at:
Martha Checkett



Kewpie dolls and figurines are based on illustrations by Rose O'Neill that appeared in Ladies' Home Journal in 1909. These illustrations, which incorporated words and pictures with the recurring Kewpie characters, are considered to be early versions of the comic strip medium. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early 1900s. They were first made out of bisque and then celluloid. In 1949, Effanbee created the first hard plastic versions.

Their name, often shortened to "Kewpies", in fact is derived from "Cupid", the Roman god [1]. The early dolls, especially signed or bisque, are highly collectible and worth thousands of dollars. The time capsule at the 1939 New York World's Fair contained a Kewpie doll.

Many other articles were made using their images, like coloring and poem books, cups, plates, curios, etc. The incredible success of these characters made their creator rich and famous. It's a rare example of a woman making it in the media business at such an early date. Kewpies should not be confused with the baby-like Billiken figures that debuted in 1908.

The Kewpie doll was mentioned in Anne Frank's diary. She received one on her first St Nicholas Day in the Annex from Miep and Bep.

A "Kewpie Doll" is also a derogatory term for a short person. Like many now-unfavorable terms, using "Kewpie Doll" to slight a short person originates in medical literature. Although use of this term is discouraged when working with affected individuals, this reference can jog the memory of a health care provider to recognize a serious medical condition. Children with a "Kewpie Doll" appearance should be screened for growth hormone deficiency.
1. V & A Museum of Childhood


More dolls articles and information will be added on a regular basis, with many articles
about cloth dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, and American dolls.
Last Updated: 22 Mar 2010 09:41:01 PDT home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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