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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A New Peg Wooden

I have added another peg wooden doll to my collection (of two).These dolls were also,  mistakenly, called "Dutch ' dolls," a misunderstanding of "Deutch" dolls, meaning "German" dolls. They were made in Grodner Tal (valley) in Bavaria, which, at times, has been part of Austria and other times part of Germany. They were made in sizes from 1.5" to 17" and I believe that one person painted them all, as they all certainly look "related."  The two dolls I own are both 11.5" tall, and many I've seen for sale are also this size, so I am assuming that perhaps more were made in this size than any other. The dolls were quite crudely made, turned on a lathe,  of wood that reminds me of kindling!  They were always sold without clothing. The paint used contained lead, and, according to an article I have, the woman who painted them used one color a day, so the paint had time to dry overnight.

   I had never seen these dolls before I was shown a couple by a friend, but later, in reading Beatrix Potter's Tale of Two Bad Mice, I noticed one of the doll house dolls was a peg wooden named "Jane." So I named my first pegwooden (below) "Jane," too. She was given to me by my friend, who had two, and she gave me Jane in return for making an outfit for the doll she kept.

  These dolls were often sold in "Penny Stores" in Britain, the equivalent of our "Five and Dimes." Queen Victoria and her governess dressed many of these dolls after characters they saw in plays or operas. I really like these dolls because they are quite simple and  were made to be purchased by "regular"  folks who could not afford the more elaborate china head dolls that were available during the same time period (1850-1900).