StatCounter Code for Blogger / Blogspot -->

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Collecting Black Dolls

Our June program was on black dolls and dolls of color.  Many doll manufacturers through the years starting in the 1800's have made black dolls in porcelain and other materials, including Bru and other French companies such as Lanternier, Eden Bebe, Jumeau, Steiner, and others.  Many German manufacturers also made black dolls such as Kestner, Simon Halbig, Heubach, K star R, and many others.  Some had black features and some used white doll molds painted black.  They have been made in every material imaginable, including cloth (Martha Chase, Alabama Baby, Bruckner, Steiff, etc.), composition (Effanbee, Horsman, Averill, etc.), hard plastic, vinyl, and rubber.  There are many fabulous homemade one-of-a kind cloth primitive black dolls that are fun to collect, especially the older ones with great character.  Also naturalistic and beautiful modern black dolls are now being made.

Here are 2 old dolls.  The one on the left is a nut (head) doll, and on the right is a bottle doll (bottle covered with same cloth as the dress.  In front are a tiny celluloid Frozen Charlotte and 3 soft vinyl babies.

Here is a Judith Condon (NIADDA) artist doll, all porcelain, dated 1981, dressed by owner.

Three Golliwog type dolls in cloth.  These dolls were popular for years in England, especially.  The features are usually exagerated, and by the 1980's they had waned in popularity with some considering them derogatory to people of color.

A wonderful old handmade doll, very sweet, probably 1920's.

Here are some that were brought for show and tell by members, including Mammy and Miss Prissy from Gone with the Wind, a beautiful Simon Halbig Japanese reproduction by Tom Azuma, and a few black/white topsy turvy dolls on the left.

A few New Orleans rag dolls on the left, black Raggedies, and a black Bye-Lo reproduction.

Here are 2 great cloth dolls on the left, and a printed Wade Davis (son of Aunt Jemima) cloth doll lying down.  Also a Beloved Belindy and stone bisque baby dolls and a composition Bye Lo in front.  

Here is a great old cloth black doll, origin unknown.

She was made by Florence Kegley, an Alabama artist and doll collector (all bisque - heavy).

A French  Paris Unis bisque head doll, very pretty.

Wade Davis printed doll (son of Aunt Jemima), 2 stone bisques from New Orleans, and a celluloid with sleep eyes and African costume and textured hair.

Last but not least, a closeup of the lovely Simon Halbig Japanese bisque reproduction, dressed authentically by Alabama doll maker Tom Azuma.


  1. Hey,Martha Ann,
    I enjoyed going through this unique "Black Doll" presentation an awfully lot. The international component is especially interesting. Thanks for sharing these with us.

  2. David, you had brought up the subject earlier, and I thought the time had come to present a program on black dolls and dolls of color. They tie in with history and politics, giving the subject depth.