Friday, July 1, 2011

Big Eyed Dolls

It all started many years ago with a doll on a pink sewing box! When I came across this fabulous find, I remembered the doll from my childhood and of course was instantly drawn to it because of the sewing box!

below images from the web
It sits on a shelf on my work table in my studio...I was lost in thought when my eyes landed on it...and I thought...who was the maker of this pretty little doll?

These big eyed dolls were made in Korea and Japan during the 1960s and 1970s for the American market. 

The doll’s bodies are constructed of wire skeletons surrounded by Styrofoam and/or cloth, with each finger being armatured. Many are mounted on a wood or plastic base so they can be nicely displayed.

Also differentiating them from most other dolls is the fact that their faces are painted on. I love the ones with the stockinette overlay! Big surprise- cloth!

"The dresses are often elegant period pieces, with big hoop skirts and plenty of lacy frills, although their catalog includes such a wide variety of themes and ethnic styles, including a few "mod" ones that have proven to be the most elusive and most sought after."

One of the most well known was manufactured by the Bradley Doll Co. 
(as in Milton Bradley) also known under Artmark and Treasured Dolls as these dolls above.I have also found a few manufactored under Herman Pecker Dolls as these dolls below.

Their most defined charateritic is their oversized head and big eyes...made in Japan... hummmm....reminds me very much of today's Japan's animé art and the ever popular ball jointed dolls (bjd)! 
History doesn't repeat itself,
at best it sometimes rhymes.
Mark Twain


  1. I love these dolls, my Grandmother collected them when I was little...Funny how the BJD's and Anime follow the same look...

    Blessings Kelsie

  2. I know- now I think that I will HAVE to collect a least a few!!!;)

  3. I have one of these dolls. She's a lamp. Something about those big eyes.

  4. Lovely post. Leslie - I enjoyed it immensely!

  5. very nice! i have 3 of the bradley's dolls i love them :3 i want more

  6. I collect ABJD's (Asian-Ball-Jointed-Dolls) and came across two of these Korean dolls in the thrift store and was perplexed and in awe of the style and attention to detail in their outfits. The wig was the same make as those that I buy for my BJD's and when I looked at the base I saw made in Korea and it got me so curious!

    I took a photo, googled the image and found this wonderful blog entry :)
    I had guessed by the look of how they were mad and the Betty Boop style face that they had to be from the 60's and I was on the right path it seems haha!

    I have 2 girls, both are in lovely victorian dresses with a spanish look to them if that makes any sense? They are both with hats, one has a parasol and one is emerald green and the other ruby red. I'm so curious about them though and wondering of their worth?

    1. Hi Yazmin,
      I only collect and unfortunately can't tell you the exact value of your dolls. My guess is they are probably in the $10-$45 range. The doll market goes up and down, my best information I can tell you is to watch them on ebay and match your dolls up to ones that have sold. I love them and for me the value doesn't matter (for now)!


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