These three 5 to 8 in. Macarena dancers from Spain are by Marin. The bar of soap in center front is scented with Maja, a perfume from Barcelona – my favorite scent.
Except for one, these dolls are all from India. The doll in front is a 7.5 in. seated musician with cloth mask face, and cotton body. L to R in back, we have a 7.5 in. celluloid Saudi; a 10 in. dressed in a rose brocade sari, gold and pearl jewelry, made of vinyl and fully jointed; a 12 in. dancer with plaster head, stuffed cloth body, and wire leg supports for standing, wearing a brocade skirt. Pearl jewelry and glitter trim; and a 9 in. doll, all cloth with mask face.
Peggy Nisbet made her first doll in1952 in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. It was so well received that she continued making them. By the 1970’s and 1980’s her dolls were collected all over the world. Left to right we have the 8 in. 1986 Yeoman Warder from the doll series, Uniforms of Great Britain, House of Nisbet; 1992 8 in. Scottish Girl, Nisbet National Costume series; and 1986 8 in. Palace Guard, also from Uniforms of Great Britain.
The dominant dolls in the center are a pair of 7 to 8 in. prune dolls. These are made of dried prunes threaded on wire, with walnuts for heads. In Germany such dolls were given to children on Christmas morning as a mid-winter edible treat. The 5 in. couple on the left with beautiful details are from the Lalki region of Poland. The 5.5 in. couple on the right, made of cloth with felt and wool outfits, are from Mexico.
Five of my 1940’s ethnic dolls are displayed here. In the back we have a 7 in. Dutch compo doll, an 8 in. stockinette doll marked “Soviet Union Vovonej girl,” and a 8.5 in. Mexican all cloth girl doll. In the front we have 5 in. and 4.5 in. dolls from China. Their bodies are constructed from padded wire. The heads, hands, and feet are made of clay. The feet have unique embedded wires that protrude in the back to help them stand.
During the 1930’s, 1940’s and later, many dolls dressed in regional costumes were available as souvenirs and many were unmarked. Shown here in the back row is a 6.5 in. bullfighter from Spain, an 8 in. Palace Guard from England, and a 6.5 in. Breton man from France. In front is a 5 in. hazelnut-head witch doll from Salem, Mass. The miniature House of Seven Gables was the title of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous book concerning the witch trials.