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About Kewpie Dolls:
dolls have been a popular toy since they were first introduced more than 100
years ago. What started as just a small cartoon quickly became one of the first
mass-produced toys in the world. In its long history, the Kewpie doll has been
played with by children, adored by adults, and used as an icon to represent
several brands and groups. People collect the dolls because they enjoy looking
at their cute faces, but also because they want to hold on to a piece of
history. With so many dolls to choose from, it can be hard to decide which ones
to add to a collection. By learning about the origins and background of the
Kewpie doll, an enthusiast can put together a collection that accurately
represents the Kewpie
Origin of the Kewpie Doll
doll first made its appearance in 1909 in
illustrations drawn by Rose O'Neill and printed in "Ladies' Home Journal." The
Kewpie Pages became increasingly popular, and O'Neill began producing Kewpie
Kutouts, which were paper dolls printed on front and back that were accompanied
with stories. Due to increasing popularity and demand, figurines and models of
the Kewpie were made from this illustration in 1913. Joseph Kallus was the
sculptor who put together the first three-dimensional depiction of the doll. The
name "Kewpie" is derived from the name "Cupid." This name was chosen because of
the doll's resemblance to the Roman God of Love. The Kewpie doll has been
continuously manufactured since its introduction in 1913.
Kewpie Dolls Throughout Their History
Kewpie dolls were first manufactured in Germany, but their production was moved
to France and Belgium after World War I broke out. Several well-known German toy
companies produced the Kewpie doll, including Kestner. The dolls were made of
bisque and celluloid until 1949 when the first plastic Kewpie dolls were
During this era, several Japanese companies were also
doll replicas. These companies did not have
a license to produce the patented dolls, so they are not official Kewpie dolls.
Many of these dolls are still sold in secondary markets, and although not
official, they are still sought out by Kewpie doll collectors as a piece of
history from this era in Kewpie doll history.
Kewpie Dolls as a Mascot
The Kewpie doll was extremely popular during the early
1900s, and its image was used in advertisements, logos, and mascots around the
country. In particular, the Kewpie was chosen as the mascot for Hickman High
School in Missouri in 1914. To this day, they are still known as the Hickman
Kewpies. The Kewpie hamburger
restaurant also chose the Kewpie for its name and logo in 1923. The logo
features a Kewpie doll wearing a chef hat and holding a spatula. The restaurant,
still in existence, was named an all-American icon.
Kewpie Dolls to Promote Women's Rights
Though Kewpie dolls were mostly collected and adored
for their cute appearances, they were also used to promote noble causes
throughout history. Rose O'Neill was known as the "Queen of Bohemian Society,"
and she was a prominent figure in the women's suffrage movement. Through her
career she met with women's groups, and the Kewpie doll was also dressed in a
way to battle for women's
rights in the US.
Kewpie Doll Description
Kewpie dolls come in a variety of sizes, and have been
made from many different materials in the more than 100 years that they have
been in production. Typically, Kewpie dolls range in size from two inches to 12
inches, but some were as tall as three feet. While originally made from bisque,
Kewpie dolls were also made from celluloid,
wood, plastic, vinyl,
While there have been a few variations in the appearance of the Kewpie doll
throughout its history, it has managed to keep the same basic look over the
years. The earliest dolls featured straight legs and an upright body as a solid
piece. They had moveable arms that were attached to the body at the shoulders.
The Kewpie doll's head is perhaps its most recognizable feature. Kewpie has
three tufts of hair that are molded as part of the head. The dolls has chubby
cheeks, a small smile, and large, round eyes. Very distinct and short eyelashes
are painted above the eyes.
Most of the earliest Kewpie dolls don't have any distinct markings or signatures
from the toy manufacturers. Collectors can look for O'Neill's signature on the
bottom of one of the feet. Additionally, some dolls featured a red and gold
paper heart on the doll's chest or back. Knock-off Kewpie dolls that were
manufactured in Japan during the early 1900s have "Made in Japan" markings on
Other Kewpie Doll Items
Because of the popularity of Kewpies, many other items
in addition to dolls were manufactured for fans to enjoy. Collectors can find a
large selection of new and vintage Kewpie products including: plates,
and pepper shakers, coloring books, cards, jewelry, ornaments,
Additionally, Kewpie doll fans can find a large selection of crafts to
make to go along with their dolls.
Kewpie Doll Clothing
Kewpie dolls are most commonly sold with no clothes on, but some are dressed in
clothes as a celebration of a holiday or to promote a certain brand, event, etc.
Kewpie dolls are also a dream come true for hobbyists who like to sew, knit, and
make clothes. These dolls are easy to dress, and hobbyists can find kits to make
their own clothes for Kewpie. Collectors are also able to find a large selection
of clothing that has been handmade specifically for Kewpie.
Kewpie Dolls as Collector's Items
Many collectors are willing to pay high prices for the
less common and much older Kewpie dolls that were made from bisque. Signed
Kewpiesthat have an original signature from
Rose O'Neill are also worth a lot and sought after by avid collectors. Dolls
with unusual features or features that were produced for a short amount of time
are also favored. Examples of these would be Kewpie dolls with glass eyes rather
than painted eyes or dolls with jointed legs.
Collecting Kewpie Dolls on eBay
eBay is an online marketplace that brings together
Kewpie doll collectors from all over the world. You can browse through the
categories to find the dolls that you want for your collection. To get started,
go to the Dolls
and Bears category. From here, go to Dolls, By
Type, and Kewpie to
see what's currently available. You can also use the search bar at the top of
the page or the Advanced
Search feature for a more refined search.
Make sure that you sign
in to your account or register for
a free account to bid on an auction or use the Buy It Now feature.
Kewpie dolls were one of the first mass-produced toys in the world, and retained
their popularity for more than a century. The cute, naked dolls with three tufts
of hair and chubby cheeks have been adored by children and adults alike. People
who admire the dolls put together collections of Kewpies to show their love and
adoration. Since many of the older dolls are highly sought-after and rare, they
can sell for a high price in the secondary market. Before putting together a
collection of Kewpie dolls, collectors should learn about the history and
appearance of the dolls to choose items for the collection that accurately
represent the history of Kewpie. Whether looking for vintage or modern Kewpies,
collectors can find a large selection of the dolls on eBay.
Emily's Gifts & Collectibles
Salt Water Taffy Kewpie Doll
For Collectors Book Description Conceived and given life by artist Rose
O'Neill, the beguiling Kewpie is one of the most recognized and loved creatures
of modern times. In this book, a wealth of Kewpie collectibles come alive
as author John Axe guides collectors through the origins of this beloved winged
creature and how this translated into dolls, art, figurines and much more!
Included in this story, is the warm partnership between Joseph Kallus and
Rose O'Neill and the role Kallus played in conveying O'Neill's two-dimensional
original artwork of Kewpies into three-dimensional dolls and figurines. This
collector's reference details many aspects of the creative process including
the numerous forms and materials through photos and never-before-published
illustrations. As they celebrate their 90th anniversary, see Kewpies come
to life and the magic they have in capturing our hearts! "Kewpie" is a registered
trademark, used under license with Jesco Imports Inc.
Dolls and Art With Value Guide Since there aren't many available reference
books on the subject of Kewpie dolls, you may want to consider adding this
volume to your library despite its limitations. The title led me to expect
a reference book that would assist me with evaluating Kewpies for the purpose
of resale. Unfortunately, a large portion of the book is devoted to the history
of the development of the Kewpie and their creator. The content is also very,
very limited. It really just includes dolls with a couple of other pieces
such as a cup and saucer and a neck kerchief (without prices); there isn't
really any "art" to speak of, either listed or valued. It does have an index,
however it's primarily organized by the owner of the pieces, not by the actual
pieces. Also, the values are not listed with the illustrations. They are located
in a chart at the back of the book, which is organized by the item name, size,
material, type, year made, manufacturer and current price. Unfortunately,
the names don't really correspond with the actual items and it's difficult
to determine which items the chart is actually referencing. Again, there aren't
many Kewpie reference books available, so this one isn't completely without
value, just don't hope for anything comprehensive or easy to use.