Thursday, January 8, 2009

International Dolls

I found this 18" Ichimatsu doll at a local shop. At first, I was just drawn to her smooth, pale face and childishly hand-stitched kimono. I didn't know anything about this type of doll before I started looking her up on Google. She is an average tourist doll, circa 1930's, probably purchased dressed only in paper clothes--which she still has on underneath. A child was supposed to dress her as she chose after receiving her. She has human hair that looks like it might have been trimmed up a bit by whoever owned her. She has a hollow molded wood composition head and limbs covered in gofun--which is a crushed shell and glue mixture that looks translucent when dry. Her glass eyes are set in before the coatings of gofun are applied and then the layers are cut away to reveal her eyes. She has a surprise in her stomach that one website alluded to--a squeaker. Pushing gently on her abdomen produces an airy squeeeak. Very sweet.

Here is a little bit closer to her face. Some of the fabrics used to create her clothing are disintegrating like the red material just beneath her chest wrap. I don't know how to conserve this, other than to leave it alone.

I wish I could say that I owned this Czech doll--but I don't. :-) It is a picture from a book I found remaindered at a used bookstore called "World Colors Dolls & Dress" by Susan Hedrick & Vilma Matchette. It is a beautiful book published in 1997 featuring dolls, in color, from all over the world with very good descriptions and many picture postcards showing real people wearing similar "folk" dress. It is yummy!

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