Sunday, 7 October 2012

Dolls for an Edwardian Dolls House

Kewpie Dolls, Porcelain Dolls and Paper Dolls as Toys for an Edwardian Dolls House
If, like me, you are the proud owner of an Edwardian dolls house, you'll be keen to stock the nursery with toys suitable for that era. I talked about teddy bears in another post and now here are some ideas for toy dolls.
   In the early years of the 20th century, porcelain headed dolls were replacing wax and wooden ones. They were dressed in miniature versions of children's clothes. Boy dolls were often dressed in sailor suits; girl dolls wore the full outfit from the pantaloons and petticoats to the pretty dresses and white pinafores. Many of the best dolls came from Germany and looked particularly lifelike. My one in the photo was made by Barbara Blowes from Christchurch. 
   A totally different looking doll, not in the least bit realistic, was invented in 1909. The kewpie doll was drawn by Rose O'Neill to illustrate stories in the Ladies Home Journal magazine. With its large eyes, cute hairdo and rounded belly, it couldn't be more different from the traditional dolls.
Scale down paper dolls to 1:12 size
   Paper dolls were popular too. Some were advertisements for products where children could collect a set of dolls and their clothes, as long as their parents kept buying!
   I bought a book called 'Antique Paper Dolls of the Edwardian Era'. It has reproductions in full colour of original paper dolls from France in 1908. I photocopied some of the pages down to 1:12 scale, cut out the teeny tiny dresses and paper dolls and made a little box to put them in. Fiddly, but fun!

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