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.
Went out of town through this past weekend, which really put me behind in the posting. I'll be leaving again first week of November, so I wanted to make sure I posted some eye-candy for the interim and I should also be posting more stuff this coming weekend. Been working on trying to get the download-able .pdfs completed (and fighting with the format).
Until I can post those and get some new material up, you will just have to enjoy this gorgeous Worth gown from 1893. I don't love the 90s because of the crazy leg-o-mutton sleeves, but some of the dresses are still quite beautiful.
Note to self: Maybe if I just stopped fretting about writing something and posted pretty pictures I would be able to update more often.
But in the spirit of trying to do this right. I have for you today an embossed chromo-lithographed paper doll probably from the early 1890s. Royal subjects were very popular and this one is Kaiserin Augusta Victoria of the Hohenzollern Portrait dolls produced by W & S. The seller of this doll notes that "The same doll is shown on page 13 of Marta K. Kreb's book The Royalty of Paper Dolls and a copy is reproduced in that book as a centerfold." I have that book and this is entirely true
This is an image of the original, however, and it sold on eBay this year for $67.68 (seems like a bargain price to me!).
The doll was accompanied by four gowns, one jacket, and two hats. The doll measures 6 1/2" from the top of the head to the tip of the toe. It's interesting that the original does not include the square base pictured in Kreb's book.
Today a doll that testifies to America's unending fascination with the foreign royals: a doll of the Czarina of Russia with a veil and traditional Russian costume. Also, the inclusion of a dressing screen described as a "piece of furniture" on the back of the doll (I didn't post the verso here). This is one of many dolls produced by McLaughlin's Coffee and was found on eBay. McLaughlin produced these dolls mostly around the turn of the century. Based on the costumes, this one was likely created in the early to mid-1890s.
For fashion plate Friday I have two lovely things to offer from two distinct periods.
The first, to the left is from the Revue de la Mode (obviously a French fashion journal) from it appears to be 1886 (that seems right given the style of the bustles ~ my eyesight is kinda killing me at this point so it's hard to read the tiny faded print in the lower left.
I love the gold and green dress most, but the evening gown with the satin or velvet bodice and then the contrasting gold overskirt and purplish flowers. It works, I guess, but this is one of those places where I just know my sense of color is "off". I would never imagine deliberately making such a combination!
The other image for the day comes from 1837 and shows various women in evening or mourning dress. Because mourning was such a huge part of the culture, it's always interesting to see how women tried to make it fashionable as well (within reason, of course ~ ostentation would have been grossly boorish).
It's also interesting to note that black was actually popular in fashion during various periods, which helped alleviate it of its reputation for being the color of mourning. Though we still associate it with funerals today, it's also known as common party or cocktail wear: that "little black dress" for any and all occasions.
The good news is: it's 2011 and with a new year comes a new opportunity to get things off to a good start (renewal and all that). The bad news is: my home internet problems continue, alarmingly, and though I wanted to post while I was on break, I was not able to. So it may be that I can only post when I am at the university and have time. Boo on that, but it's better than nothing, right?
Anyway, today's offering is a little McLoughlin dog from the late 1800s. Victorians were no less ridiculous about their pets than we are today and generations of lap dogs and "ratters" such as this adorable little doggie were made to endure foolish dressing up at the hands of their mistresses (and some masters, I'm sure). Anyway, this doggie is a tad more anthropomorphic, since she's got a lorgnette. Either way, she's hilarious.
I have resolutions for the new year, but I am in a dash to post this, so they will have to wait until I have more time. As a consolation I offer this lovely little play piece, a French theater from 1890 in the collection of Eric G. Bernard, which is on display at the Bruce Museum. To see more amazing images of 19th century theaters, check out this fabulous link!
What's this? Another post so soon? Could it be a sign of the apocalypse? No, it's just Veteran's Day and I couldn't let it pass without posting something patriotic.
This is a paper doll set from about the turn of the century by Raphael Tuck featuring a patriotic theme (including an Uncle Sam outfit!). The others are uniforms for cavalry, infantry, and the navy. These uniforms are all in the style of what was pretty common by the end of the 19th century (American soldiers still wore blue), and the navy uniform in particular hadn't changed since the early part of the century.
Although the doll is a bit stiff (being at attention), this is a nice set and was auctioned off last year some time at Morphy's. I had downloaded so many interesting vintage paper dolls from that auction and have scarcely begun to post them! Anyway, the resolution on these isn't the greatest, but they are nevertheless nice to look at.
This veiled mourning dress is from a round robin (how fun!) collection featured online by Klein. It seems like deep mourning of this kind was already beginning to fall out of fashion at the end of the century. The "modern" age had everyone looking forward, moving faster, and spending a year in black as a widow was a fading ritual in mainstream American culture. Too much sentimentality for the new era, perhaps. Advances in medicine, too, had made death a little less common (and therefore more morbid) than it had ever been.
The idea of a paper doll round robin seems like such a cool thing. OPDAG features one every quarter in their Paper Doll Studio publication (for which, sadly, my subscription has lapsed). We should have a round robin online!
I am still organizing content to fill here, but hello in the meantime! I am using this first post to set up the tagging feature. It's my goal to add new content at least twice a week, so even though this probably won't be a "daily", I hope you will subscribe to the RSS Feed and check back regularly!
One of the things I hope to focus on here is paper doll men, which I think are highly underrated and underrepresented in the paper doll world. So while you can expect to see an array of beautiful dresses, expect to see even more frock coats, military uniforms, and other contemporary occupational wear.
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