Collectibles: The Kewpie Doll

Do you remember the collectibles known as Kewpie dolls? Find out some interesting information about these cute little dolls!

The Barbie doll is undoubtedly one of the most popular, if not THE most popular doll in the history of dollmaking. There are many other dolls that have made their way to fame. Some of these dolls amaze and amuse their little owners by crying, drinking from a baby bottle, walking, talking, opening and closing their eyes, and wetting a diaper.

Other dolls have made their way into the halls of doll fame without performing any tricks at all. Their looks alone endeared them to people and made them want to buy this certain doll. And, buy them they did! In the early nineteen hundreds,these dolls were so popular that everybody bought them and any item that had their likeness and name on it! They were also, at one time, a popular doll to win when you visited the local amusement park and played games for prizes!

What were these fast-selling wonders? The Kewpie doll, of course! They started with an American artist by the name of Rose O'Neill who originally designed the Kewpie doll. True or not, it has been said that she wanted to design a doll that would be loved by everyone who saw it. So she set to work and designed a doll that resembled a chubby child complete with a tummy that stuck out. She also added tiny blue wings, a single shock of hair, and designed its hands so they were webbed. The Kewpie doll was also noted for its impish smile and eyes that are turned to the side. Her creations were called Kewpies because of the strong resemblance to pictures of Cupid. Cupid is the mythical matchmaker who carries bows and arrows. He supposedly brings two people together in love because their hearts have been struck by his arrows.



Kewpie dolls were originally made of porcelain, plaster or plastic. They ranged in size from very small to about a foot and a half tall. The original Kewpie dolls were later designed to look like many different occupational workers. These dolls included gardeners, musicians, soldiers and many others.

There are still collectors today who cherish and collect Kewpie dolls. You might find an original doll at an antique store or at a collectors' show. Be wary, though, before you decide to become a collector and spend quite a bit of money on a Kewpie doll that is supposed to be an original model. Any doll that you are considering purchasing should be in at least reasonable good condition. Dolls that are in poor condition can be restored. just like any other kind of antique, but unless you are willing to pay out additional money to a professional to have it done, it may not be worth your initial investment.

The original doll of yesteryear can be recognized by two distinct features. One feature is that it has Rose O'Neill's name on its foot. The second feature is that an original doll bears a red and gold heart on its chest. Kestner and Jesco were just two of the companies that produced these dolls at one time. The effanbee doll company still produces and markets the Kewpie doll in various forms today.

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