antique doll toy


bigdoll by Mitch Young
Via Flickr:
1/6 daguerreotype of little girl with big shoes and a big doll posed by books.

lucilliasheyff  asked:

OMG I LOVE OLD VINATAGE DOLLS! I've always wanted to collect them since my gf adores them, but I was looking for dolls of color and let's be honest. They're either very racist, cost a fortune, or tucked away in a nice doll museum. Any good picture or references of colored dolls?


(sorry this took so long for me to answer)

So yeah, most of the good dolls of color were made by high-end French doll companies and nowadays are likely to cost well over $1,000. I have a lot of conflicting Thoughts about how most of them are in rich old white people’s collections (ranging from “is it racist to be white and only have white dolls?” to “but wouldn’t it be worse to hoard non-white dolls away from collectors of color?”), but that’s probably a more complex issue than I can fully understand.

As for pictures, feast your eyes:

(French fashion doll by the Gaultier firm, 1870s)

(child doll, possibly by Jumeau? 1880s)

(child doll by the Bru firm, 1880s)

(child doll, unknown French firm, 1890s? appears to have some rubbing around her mouth, possibly from being kissed too much by her first owner)

(cloth lady doll, unknown artist, 1800s)

I can’t find any pictures, but a man named Richard Henry Boyd founded the National Negro Doll Company in Nashville in 1911. His purpose, in his own words, was to “teach the people that they may teach their children how to look upon their people. “ He also said his dolls “[were] not made of that disgraceful and humiliating type that we have been accustomed to seeing… . They represent the intelligent and refined Negro of today, rather than that type of toy that is usually given to the children, and as a rule used as a scarecrow.” 

None of his dolls are known to survive today, but they had porcelain heads probably produced in Germany and ranged from $27.07 for a 12-inch doll to $230.12 for a 36-inch model (prices adjusted for inflation).

I’ve always guessed that the French companies made better dolls of color because France’s history of imperialism in the Caribbean and Africa meant that there were many, many families of color in Paris. And somebody finally wised up to the fact that, hey, little black girls probably want black dolls that don’t look like horrible caricatures. 

There were also European-made dolls that represented Asian children, but…you really don’t want to see them. Trust me. You just don’t. They were less “let’s make dolls for Parisians of this demographic!” and more “let’s make hyper-exoticized dolls for white kids to play out Orientalist fantasies with!”

I’m assumihg you meant Western dolls of color, but I’d be happy to do another post about non-Western dolls if you like. However, I’m afraid my knowledge on the subject is regrettably lacking and would mostly come from Google searches.

anonymous asked:

Do a post about no western dolls and maybe a few of your own favorite dolls?

Your wish is my command!

As I said, I don’t know as much about non-Western dolls (or, to be frank, dolls made by people of color outside European society since some of these are made by Native people and that’s literally western). But here are some cool ones I’ve come across.

(Ichimatsu dolls, Japan, early 1900s)

(Inupiat carved ivory doll, Alaska, undated)

(Seminole cloth doll, Florida, early 1900s)

(Ancient Egyptian paddle doll with amazing hair, 2030-1802 BCE)

(vintage African wooden doll, possibly Tanzanian?, c. 1950-60)

As for my personal favorites, I’m a sucker for French fashion dolls of 1850-1880:

(Bisque and wooden doll by DeHors, late 1860s)

(bisque and leather doll by Jumeau, 1870s, from my personal collection)

and the Queen Anne dolls of the 1700s:

(English wooden doll, mid-1700s)