Costume Dolls


I took some new photos of the costume dolls after I rearranged them all. I like them because they are so colourful but also because many of them are childhood dolls or have a story.

Asian dolls

This group are various ages. There is my oldest doll in the faded blue costume. I got him when I was two. Since then, I’ve collected several of these cloth dolls so that he could have a family. The little girl next to the Merlion is also a childhood doll. She originally had a Thai costume which was made of some kind of plastic stuff. Mum made the outfit she has on now to replace it when it fell apart. The two taller dolls in tubes were brought back from Singapore for me by Naomi. The bald doll on the far right is a hard plastic doll, one of a group I had as a child. She lost her hair while in storage in my old house in Adelaide. The little Japanese doll was given to me by a fellow student while I was studying at TAFE.

Some of these little dolls are by Rexard or their Australian counterpart, Faun.

European dolls

This group are all dolls in costumes from various parts of Europe. The Dutch ones are probably my favourites. There are two childhood dolls hiding in the back.

Childhood dolls in I think costumes from Italy, China, Sweden and Russia

Here is another group of Faun/Rexard dolls. The two in tubes are Fijian dolls I think that the one next to them is meant to be Maori. Slightly out of focus is one of my favourites, an Indian lady in a Sari. She is a cloth doll on a wire armature.

Lady in a sari
historic dolls

This group includes one of my favourite childhood dolls, Anne Boleyn. That’s her in the blue dress. I remember saving up to buy her with my pocket money. I think she cost me about ten shillings back in 1964-65.

Many of these dolls are not in good shape. Their hair, which is mostly mohair, needs fixing or their clothes need repairing. One of the Faun dolls needed to have an arm reattached but luckily that’s just an elastic band. Easy.

I don’t really go looking for these dolls but every now and again at a doll show or market I might see some or Naomi does and as they are usually cheap, we might get a couple. One costume doll I’d like to have is one of those Flamenco dancer dolls that were so popular in the 60s and 70s. This sort of thing.

Buete, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

11 comments

  1. Loved your Costume Dolls piece, it made me smile.. what is the background on the two tiny houses photographed with your dolls?They’re also pretty cool.

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    • the Tudor style house with the historical costume dolls is a music box. I think I bought it myself. I’ve had it a long time. The little wooden Tyrol house is a money box. That does have a story. Naomi and I were each given one by mum’s two elderly cousins. I only met them a couple of times. Two sisters living together. Neither had ever married. They lived in a flat in Merton, south of London. They must have been a stone’s throw from the Pedigree factory although I didn’t know that then.

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    • It is. I think that’s what many people don’t understand about collecting or just having a lot of knick knacks like we do. It’s not about being materialistic. It’s often about the stories.

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  2. I love your travel dolls collection. The dolls with stories attached can be the favorites of a collection – even if they don’t have a lot of monetary value. I too have a collection of travel dolls that were mostly collected when I was a child in the late 70’s and early 80’s. My dad traveled a lot for work and whenever he went overseas, he would bring me back a travel doll from that country. When people found out that a collected international dolls, I started receiving dolls from other friends and family too. I have several dolls vey similar to some of your dolls (mainly the European dolls). I also have 2 of the Spanish Flamenco dolls. I got one from my dad when he went to Spain on a business trip in the late 70’s and I got my 2nd one when my mom and I went with him on a business trip to Spain in 1980.

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