My name is Carole. I am passionately fond of dolls and have been collecting them since around 1957. I now have approximately 1900 from all over the world, including different Regional dolls and dolls from quite remote places. Some of them I have bought from different countries on my travels and some have been brought back for me by other people. I have also bought some privately and also off eBay.
Over the years dolls have been made with lots of different materials such as clay, wood, wax, bisque, porcelain, etc., and other natural materials such as seeds, feathers, and palm leaves.
It is interesting to note that also over the years the borders of some countries have changed and also the name of some of the countries such as Persia (Iran), Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) so this is also a way of learning a little about the history of some countries.
I have often been asked how I know where a particular doll is from. First of all I must say that I don’t know them all, but apart from the obvious way of a name being on the dolls clothing or on their box, facial and bodily features are also a clue to their origin. The Marin Chiclana dolls from Spain are easily recognisable by their daintyness and their pretty smiling features. The large feet of a Maria Helena doll from Portugal and the side-glancing eyes and raised eyebrows of a Lenci doll from Italy are also a clue to the origin of the doll. The fabrics used for their clothing is also another clue. Some countries often dress their dolls in certain fabrics which you will get to recognise in time. An example of this is the silky striped fabric with a pattern of dots and dashes in the stripes on Turkish dolls and the hand woven woollen fabrics on Scottish dolls etc., so the longer you have been collecting world costume dolls the more you will get to know which country they are from, so happy hunting! Carole.
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