Mothers have always tried to provide their children with something to keep them occupied while important chores are being completed. Cloth dolls came into being when man started making his clothing out of woven fabrics. With the leftover pieces of material mothers would stitch together a doll and give it to her child as a companion.
With time professional doll makers began using more plush fabrics and embellished the doll with smiling faces and clothing that was removable by the child. The faces were first drawn on with inks and later painted on the finished doll. To enhance the beauty of the doll velvets and silks were used for faces and bodies as well as gowns or aprons.
In the middle of the nineteenth century toy manufacturers began mass production of various types of this doll. The patterns were generally printed on the fabric and included facial features. They were then cut out, stitched together and stuffed with cotton. At this point hair and clothing were added to some. Others had the hair and clothing printed directly onto the pattern. During the 1880s some manufacturers made the doll from hand sewn worsted fabrics and employed people to hand paint the faces onto the completed forms.
One version of the rag doll that has been around for decades is Raggedy Anne. She was rescued from an attic and used as a prop for a father while entertaining his daughter. Later he put the adventures of Raggedy Anne into print and she became an instant success story. She was later partnered up with her pal Raggedy Andy and the two of them are still a popular item for children today.
A new version of doll was created in 1920 in Europe. It was a fabric doll made with a wire frame that allows it to be posed in different ways and used as a decorative piece for the home. These became very popular because of the wide variety of colors, fabrics and designs that were used in making them. They were made of the highest quality materials and advertised as being not for children to play with.
The Art Doll is currently a very popular product as well as a project for people who wish to create their own designs. Most are caricatures of real people dressed in the most outlandish clothing available for the theme of the doll. Part of the charm they hold is the use of many different mediums when making them. Some artists use beading, paper and paints when putting the finishing touches on their creations.
An antique doll can be a valuable possession and may bring a lot of joy to it’s owner. Before embarking on this collection you need to study and gain intimate knowledge of the field. The market for these pieces is wide open and the only way to be sure you are getting a real piece of history is to know the subject matter as well as you can.
Factors to consider include clothing, the type of face used or if it is painted whether it is the original paint or has been touched up. From there you need to determine if the proper paint, stitches and fabrics have been used to refurbish the doll. If you do not know how to determine these things it may be wise to have the doll evaluated by a professional to help you find the true value of your prize doll.
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