My Search For Russian Dolls...
Near the bottom of this page - there is a form you can fill out to share your doll interests with others, along with pictures.
...The Epic Movie Dr. Zhivago
was probably the beginning of my long romance with Russian history. Shortly after reading the book and perusing the libraries for the history of this gigantic nation, the search for Russian dolls began.
14" Tagged Russia"
I vigorously began researching the land and its people. The library hosted many books with reference to the revolution and though the intrigue of Anastasia and the ill fated Russian royalty piqued my interest temporarily, the lavishly costumed ladies of the Tsar's court did not satisfy the need to better acquaint myself with the people of Russia.
The unexpected purchase of some early 20th century National Geographic's provided the photos of the people which I had been seeking. The people of the villages, the "peasants" (farmers) and the traditional dress of old Russia.
"Peasant Boys and Viazon Village Girl"
At that time I had never seen a doll from Russia or the then Soviet Union and lived in an area where one doll show a year was very unlikely to be the source of discovery.
The existence of the cold war did not hinder the quest, as the Russian Dolls sought were souvenir or travel dolls, created to be taken out of the country as a reminder of the mysterious land that had been visited.
The beginning of my search for Russian Dolls occurred during the period in which the "Antique Trader" was the only real source for treasures by mail order. Responding to an ad which only advertised the item as "Russian Doll, 14" tall, $65.00", the adventure had begun.
It was love at first sight! The arrival of the "Mordwa Woman" was only the first of many Russian Dolls I purchased from a lady in Connecticut who quite often purchased these dolls for resale.
The exquisite cloth Russian Dolls with molded stockinette faces are an unforgettable tribute to the unknown craftsmen of the vast melting pot of Russia or the Soviet Union. Carefully painted faces reflect the versatility and cultures of the various regions. The attire, carefully and firmly secured, is colorful and detailed.
14" Village Boy-Russia"
There is usually a cloth label sewn discreetly under the top layer of clothing. These are printed in ink...or written by hand. Through the passage of time, moisture sometimes blurs or deletes all information on the small piece of cloth. Differences in spelling of the same region...even the frequent use of "Rossia" instead of "Russia" is not uncommon. Some are bearing the label "Russia"...others state "Soviet Union".
14" Ryasan District Woman"
If you ever have any doubt that these wonderful dolls are only fantasies in the creators mind, you have only to gaze at the photographs in the old Geographic's. It is as if the captured shadows of the past have leapt from the pages into the form of the Russian doll. The people of Russia are vested well in the cloth images that will forever represent their mystical heritage.
Beginning with the small 4" dolls that have a plaster or composition coated face and wire armature bodies, through the appealing tea cozies, to the rare 24" Russian ladies with legs similar to bed dolls...here they are! I hope that providing theidentification of region or description may assist others enticed into the world of Russian dolls.
eBay has a rather large set of listings of vintage Russian dolls for sale, if you are interested in a purchase, or to find values, if looking for values, it is necessary to register with eBay.
Pictures provide what words fail to describe.
A splendid accessory for any collector of Russian dolls is a map produced by the National Geographic Society. First published many years ago as a supplement to an old geographic magazine featuring the Soviet Union, copies may be obtained by shopping on ebay. Perhaps even a note to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. can provide a direction in which to obtain this lovely map.
information about the map and vintage Russian cloth dolls for
Doll Collectors can be found by clicking here.
And More From The National Geographic Map
Probably the best place to look for present "doll and accessories" value is on the Internet, primarily the auction sites--my favorite is eBay...in the completed Russian Dolls section of eBay is where you can browse the past 30 days of completed auctions of Russian dolls and accessories. On the left side, in the box named "Display", you can select "Active Items" to see the "Russian dolls and accessories" presently up for auction.
Also, if you have a doll or doll accessories you would like to find out about...eBay is the place to start...in the Dolls and Bears Category, just type in what you have in the search window just under "Dolls & Bears" on the left, and "Shazam", there appears a list of present, up for auction items--in the "Display" box on the left select "Completed Items", a new list will appear, displaying completed items going back for 30 days.
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eBay is a great wedsite for "value" information about dolls, or most anything else for that matter--however, in order to see what something has sold for, registration is required, so if you are looking for past sales of any particular doll, please register
Welcome to "Show and Tell" for early Russian Dolls Dolls!
We all love to share. If you have photos and information pertaining to these historical Russian Dolls, please fill in the form below to "Show and Tell" your favorite Russian Dolls. We all have interest in how they were located, the use of materials in their clothing and anything else you would like to share with other avid collectors.
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What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Russian folk art dolls
I have no email/'net account...so don't know if you'll get this..... I found 15 miniature (about 3 inches tall) Russian dolls at a thrift shop for 6$ …
Beautiful Doll from the 1930s possibly Russia
A friend of mine has asked me to try and identify this doll that was given to her mother when she was a child in the early 1930s. I can't find one …
Female Russian Doll
Hi I bought this beautifully crafted porcelain Russian Doll at a Garage Sale. I was told by the owner that it has been in the family for many years …
Dolls question Not
I purchased a few of these Soviet Union cloth dolls - they stand about 14.5" tall, in excellent shape, from an estate sale. I purchased them for $75 …