Paper Doll

paper doll

Collecting Paper Dolls
Executive Summary By Narcissa Summerfield and Annette Jensen

Snip, snip, snip with the scissors; around the base, along the curves and finally the last snip. The dolls, clad in colorful swimsuits, stood near by awaiting the final cut of their wardrobe. Are you old enough to remember the joy of ? Paper doll collecting needs very little room for storage only rivaled by stamp collecting for minimal space required. The dolls are an inexpensive pleasure that is not a lost art. Many of the outfitted dolls were designed for adult entertainment with stages included. Magazines would even offer paper dolls within their pages. The popularity of paper dolls was not lost on the marketing branches of several industries during the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. Some dolls required the addition of coloring which kept many children busy designing their own fashion couture. The dolls included inanimate objects and animals too. Popular dolls that were available over the past two hundred years included royalty, public leaders, movie stars, fantasy fairy tale style characters, family groups, stuffed animals and even cherubs.

Publishers took advantage of the love of the paper dolls and created complimentary dolls for some of the comics. The publishers encouraged people to submit original ideas for the clothing / costume designs for the comic characters. The public popularity waned during the 1960's with the rise of the three dimensional fashion doll industry but that has not deterred many from creating and collecting paper dolls. Dig a little deeper and do a search at, or and you will find many very talented artists still creating beautiful pieces of art. The search will even provide you with many free resources for starting you paper doll collection.

paper dolls

Vintage Paper Dolls - The Beginning

In Pioneer America, vintage paper dolls were a valuable treasure since paper was limited. You were given a paper doll, maybe two. The paper doll provides a very broad look at the cultures from all around the world. The most obvious were the vintage paper dolls representing royalty and for the children of royalty.

Paper dolls first appeared in the 18th Century in Paris, during the reign of Louis XV. On the other side of the English Channel, proper British printers printed the paper dolls. They would mix fun and virtue by printing stories with morals and values, on flat sheets of paper, and that comprised the dolls. Vintage paper dolls were then produced as a beautifully lithographed full-color collection. It was from that era the paper doll was invented.

In 1866, an artist named Raphael Tuck, was perhaps the best known manufacturer of the vintage paper dolls. The trademark style of this company was the set of vintage paper doll costumes and interchangeable heads. There were dolls representing actors from the theater, stage, opera and even television. The time when the vintage paper dolls were the most popular was during the 1930's to the 1950's. Collecting vintage paper dolls is exciting and can be done very inexpensively. Venture back in your memories of sitting down with your paper dolls, playing with your friends. Now you will be able to relive those memories with your vintage paper dolls collection.

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