McLaughlin made some strange animal paper dolls in the 1890s (you can see some others if you click "animals" under the categories to the right. But this is probably the strangest I've come across.
I suppose it has charm; makes me wonder at all the creepy dolls and toys that are on the market today that 100 years from now people will wonder about the appeal.
Anyway, this is just one of those quick check-in posts to make sure I try to keep things going. Wanted to post about my current work-in-progress but I haven't worked up the courage for a reveal since it's still very unfinished.
I will say it's doll-related, but in a maybe unexpected way.
I will also say that I am still thinking of tearing down this site (and rebuilding ~ so no, it's not going to just go away). But it's lacked serious focus for more years than I care to acknowledge. I just haven't quite figured out what it is I want to do with it.
Here is a very beautiful German set of dolls that were misidentified on eBay as Edward VII and Alexandra, but they are really Kaiser Frederick III and his wife consort Victoria. The dolls date from the late 1880s and have the most gorgeous color. Paper dolls of German manufacture during this period were quite impressive and royal personalities were a favorite subject (they were the movie stars and the tabloid fodder of their day).
Click on the picture to enjoy the detail!
So much beautiful art out there in the paper doll blog world. Can't seem to focus on my own. It may continue to be a while before I post anything original, though I will try to be regular-ish about keeping up this blog while I sort out what it is exactly that I want to do. Hope you enjoy these posts!
Came across this fun and unusual advertising doll, which is typical of the late 19th Century. These dolls always required assembly and I love all the parts! Wild Ike is a non-copyright-infringing variation on Buffalo Bill & Co., which was at the height of its popularity (fascination with the Wild West would see a precipitous decline within the decade ~ not to be revived again until the advent of television). America was climbing out of a depression and paper toys like this were relatively cheap. It was one of a series for which there were 5 dolls, with interchangeable costume pieces.
Found this example on eBay. I had seen one actually cut and assembled before, but it's really cool to see how it originally appeared on the page. Click the image to see more detail and read all that teensy tiny print!
In other news: I guess I have been gone for a long long while. Been very very busy on other projects and, having not made decisions about what to do with this blog, I guess I have neglected it. Thought about it all weekend, but apparently came to no particular conclusions. There's so much I want to do (with this blog, and in my creative life in general), and since everything is competing for my attention, nothing appears to be getting done.
So I have been trying to set priorities and paper dolls, while still a passion for me that I am not ready to give up, have slid down the exigency slope toward the bottom. Just for the time being. I'm sure as soon as I get organized, I can come back to this with renewed effort.
Be sure to click on the image to see the details on this; it's fabulous! This was part of a larger sheet (of which I will maybe share more later) that recently sold on eBay for about $100. The seller identified it as a McLoughlin, but something about the colors tells me it's foreign, perhaps. There's no marking on the sheet and it's reminiscent of sheets I've seen produced in Germany, but then again, I am no expert in these things ~ it's merely a hunch. I have a resource book that might identify it. When I am not feeling so lazy, maybe I will look it up.
And yes, laziness reigns here at Chez Boots. I am still thinking about what I want to do about my poor dolls. I keep thinking lightning will strike, but it hasn't. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these random offerings.
Totally awesome 1841 set of paper dolls on auction through Theriault's
. Described as "very rare" with a title: Mythologie Pour La Jeunesse
. This set was made in Vienna by H.F. Muller. It includes two dolls (male and female), and 14 stunning costumes representing various Greek and Roman deities. The auction site describes the folio as beautifully marbled with applique on the "mythologie" scroll. This set was intended to be fun and educational and came with a "72 page book, written in both German and French, detailing the writer's purpose: to teach mythology to his children by means of paper dolls with changeable costumes that represent the features of various Greek or Roman Gods."Don't know how much something like this will go for at auction, but it being such a lovely complete set in such nice condition
, I'm sure it will go dear!
Amazing colors! Wish we could better see the male doll ~ his little head is peeking out above the short yellow toga roughly in the middle at the bottom. Click the image to see more detail!
Today, a lovely European paper doll on auction at eBay. Because the title is in multiple languages, it's hard to know its place of origin. I am going to guess German because German is the first language represented on the box. The seller thinks it's French.
Either way, we both agree that it's from the 1850s and it's lovely! Has a few other dresses and some hats, but this is the best representative image and besides, that decorative box is just way cool. Typical of the style of that era, this doll is printed both front and back and pieces like the veil shown here go over the head and around the shoulders; sometimes these designs were wonderfully complex for playthings; but cheap paper dolls were still another decade or so away, so the rich little girls who played with these expected the full monty (so to speak).
UPDATE: This auction ended on 3/9 and netted $431.99!
Scanner still kaput, no relief in sight (it's a tragedy, I know). But I thought I better update with some small thing at least just so you know I have not disappeared off the planet. This is an English set of dolls from the 1860s which I found at Bibliopolis
. And just think! It can be yours for the bargain price of $8,500!Totally insane price, but the set does sound very nice: "
two adult paper dolls are accompanied by ten costumes, including outerwear, elegant evening dress, and a long bridal veil. One gown, fit for a ball, has three tiers of blue satin and white floral lace, and short lace-trimmed sleeves. Wrist-length kid gloves and a fan complete the ensemble. Each of the child figures has four costumes, including a boy's tunic with a tamed squirrel perched on the shoulder. Also included are fourteen hats and two stands for the dolls. All costumes are vibrantly colored and partially varnished and are also two-sided. Housed in the original gilt-trimmed, printed box".Wish they had shared more pictures.
This is a recent auction from eBay that shows a lovely solution for the problem of tailcoats on paper dolls. It's probably from either the late 1890s or possibly just over the jump of the century ~ either way, formal wear had undergone no special changes in the last half of the century. The sorta cutaway morning coat looks more English to me, but was definitely a style in America too.
I used to be a lot more adventuresome with my paper doll construction but that becomes difficult to translate into something that other people can assemble and enjoy and it can be daunting to see something on paper that requires some assembly. I know I have never been real crazy about those hats that require you to paste backing on them.
I am working on a St. Nicholas doll (of course!), but because of his very necessary beard, I am having a hard time deciding whether to make his head a separate piece that needs to be glued on. It's either that or he'll have to be in profile. I guess we shall see!
Today's item comes from Fuji Arts
, an online auction site dealing primarily in Japanese prints. This is a 19th century print of Japanese women in a variety of traditional kimonos. Typical of the style of cut outs in this era, they are created so that the dolls have fronts and backs. It's interesting that "clothing" part to be assembled is the various hairstyles (many of which are similar, it seems).After the East was opened to Western society, there was a pretty big craze for all things "oriental" (hence the later popularity of The Mikado, for example). But these lovely little dolls appear to be made in Japan for a Japanese audience.Can't date them very well, but I am guessing late 1800s.
Click on the Fu
This is an amazing supplement from the Boston Sunday Globe
, which produced numerous wonderful paper dolls and toys at the turn of the century. This was originally posted at an amazing blog well worth checking out called Antique Toy Chest
This is an amazing variety of stand-up style dolls depicting scenes from the literary classic Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It is very interesting to see such a painful part of American History reproduced so starkly (the man with the whip is pretty skeery~ as are the dogs and dying Little Eva), but the educational value of a supplement like this probably cannot be underestimated.Like most of the Globe supplements, this one came with instructions which are not provided here. The instructions were usually about how to assemble the various scenes and descriptions of what those scenes represent.I am tagging this entry "antebellum" because the dolls represent pre-Civil War characters even though this was produced in 1896.