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Antique Paper Dolls

Paper Dolls The Fabulous Book of Paper Dolls

At a meeting of the Doll Collectors of America the presidents paper dolls were discussed and several members exhibited Antique Paper Dolls from their collection.

The president read an interesting article from "A Book For Little Girls" printed in 1856. The article was titled "Paper Dolls and How to Make Them".

The article covered early manufacture of gaily colored and sometimes engraved paper dolls costing from a penny a sheet to to as high as fifty cents for hand painted paper dolls. Many had several costumes to the homely home-made affairs where originally was used in overcoming the scarcity of materials procurable for desirable results at no cost to the maker. Long ago, as in more recent times, paper dolls were named for celebrities and noted characters in books.

There was Jenny Lind the "Swedish Nightingale", General and Mrs. Tom Thumb, Commodore Nutt and Minnie Warren, P. T. Barnum's famous circus midgets, little Red Riding Hood, Little Miss Muffet and others from Mother Goose's Rhymes, Mme. Pompadour and many of the French Court favorites. There were lovely dolls representing characters from Grimms Fairy Tales with many paper dolls of American Patriotic design.

In addition to valuable historic paper dolls members brought books about or containing stories and colored pictures of paper dolls. Of special interest was a large number of O.N.T. Spool Cotton paper dolls which had standards. The dolls were colored and dressed in costumes of different countries. Upon the back of each was printed the name of the doll and other advertising matter. Presumably those paper dolls were given to purchasers of O.N.T. spool cotton. What a joy for the child whose mother was an industrious sewer on cloth. There were dolls of the Godey's Lady book period and one was hand painted with an overdress of white lace.

Interest was shown in a display of card board sheets of paper dolls issued by well-known newspapers and magazines. These in many cases by artists of note were designed and colored for reproduction. Most of these dolls came in series including father, mother, children and other relatives. Costumes came with each paper doll, also playthings and animals for cutting out. It took in some instances, two or three years to acquire the whole series. Fortunate are those who had the forethought to save these lovely dolls for the future.

Paper houses and furnishing of cardboard were also created. Newspapers and magazines had weekly supplements of these interesting and now historic furnishings. There were parlor sets on Bristol board, kitchens with iron stoves, pots, pans, kettles, dust pans and brooms, chairs and closets with dishes colored to give illusion. There was a nursery with crib, baby, nurse and many small and useful articles for a child, all of these are dated and in many cases indication where published shown.

We have Shirley Temple. Jane Withers, Charley McCarthy, Show White and the Seven Dwarfs, with Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Pop-Eye the Sailor, all celebrities of the movies. The vogue for these dolls of pure fashion is tremendous. There are also dolls of pure fashion, beautifully designed and colored, as well as baby dolls and dolls who have names like Betsy and Mary-Lou. Today paper doll house furnishings are as elaborate and modern in every respect as the human homes they represent. It is wise to collect these now as only a limited number are printed and new and different issues are constantly being placed on sale.

The paper doll of yesterday like those of today are but inanimate replicas of human life, the fundamentals of play life being handed on from generation to generation, yet always suited to the environment of the times. It is well to remember that a pictorial history of people, costumes, and home furnishings are constantly being told in a collection of well dated paper dolls from any country in the world.

At the close of this meeting the president presented each member with a movable paper known as animated. These paper dolls were in their original envelopes.

Paper Dolls Paper Dolls
Clarks O.N.T. Spool Cotton Paper Dolls
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