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
This 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
large nation, the search for Russian dolls began.
I vigorously began researching the land and its people. The library hosted many books about 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 acquaint myself with the people of Russia better.
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
The existence of the
cold war did not hinder the quest, as the Russian Dolls sought were
souvenirs 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 a "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 bought these dolls for resale.
The beautiful 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, deliberately and firmly secured, is colorful and detailed.
"A 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. Over time, moisture
sometimes blurs or deletes all information on the small piece of
cloth. The differences in the 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"
"A 14" Ryasan District Woman"
If you ever have any
doubt that these beautiful 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
leaped 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 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 the identification 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 toys for sale, if you are
interested in a purchase, or to find values if looking for costs, it
is necessary to register with eBay.
what words fail to describe.
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 get this lovely map.
There is more information about the map and vintage Russian cloth dolls for you.
Doll Collectors can be found by clicking here.
And More From The National Geographic Map
Probably the best place to look for the 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.
Click here to return to the Top of the Russian Dolls Page
Click here to return to the Antique Doll Advisors Home Page
eBay is an excellent website for "value" information about dolls, or most anything else for that matter--however, to see what something has sold for, registration is required, so if you are looking for past sales of any particular doll, please register.
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.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Cute 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$ …
A 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 …
A 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 …
Russian Dolls question Not rated yet
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 …