Miriam makeba doll

Monday, December 28, 2015

Kiwiana collection:One of a kind crocheted doll in a beige colour NZ’s cricket uniform made in 1981

      Originally, this was once a small rubber child’s doll played with in NZ in the 1950s. Two decade later, in Auckland in 1981 - this pre-loved rubber doll was recycled – and only the doll head and part of doll bodice were used in the new crocheted version.

     The new doll now has become a cricket player. The doll wears a beige coloured uniform with the brown stripe around V neck sweater and red shoes.
     The beige and brown was the colour of the NZ limited overs team i.e. ‘One Day’ team cricket uniforms worn in 1980s in the so called ”golden age of NZ cricket”.

     The cricket player doll holds a traditional red ball which is historically used in the first class level cricket. The player was crafted in a position he is holding a red cricket ball ready to bowl.
     “One Day” cricket attracted school children to play this game especially in Auckland. Today, cricket is not so popular with school children as it was in the 1980s.
     In the UK in the early 20th century famous cricketers pictures were popular and widely distributed. It all started in 1907 with “Capstan” cigarettes who were giving away a picture of a popular cricket player. For example on the rear of the card of English cricket player Maclaren “Capstan’s” cigarettes picture it read:

     “This picture is No. 33 of a series of prominent Australian and English Cricketers which are issued by manufacturers of “Capstan” cigarettes. Every packet of cigarettes contains a Picture”. Later on in Art Deco time postcards with cricket players were popular.

     Our doll does not identify a famous NZ cricket player. We believe a granny portrayed her grandson. Height 8 cm.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Australian 'Joanna Walker' doll made circa 1948

This is an example of an original Joanne Walker doll made in Melbourne circa 1948. This is very rare doll. We named her Matilda. In our display Matilda is holding a little christmas ornament made in 1940s.
Height 80 cm. The estimated value for this rare doll is $NZ 2500  .

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Anarkali, Indian doll made in 1960

According to Indian legend Anarkali was the name of a slave girl buried alive for having an affair with the crown prince Salim, later emperor Jahangir, who reigned 1605-1627. There are two names legendarily associated with her birth name: Nadira Begum and  Sharf-un-Nissa. This doll was made as a souvenir doll in India and sold to tourists in early 1960s;  starting from August 1960, when Bollywood movie “Mughal-e-Azam” was made. In this movie Anarkali appears as a dancer playing a role with prince Salim. Height 30 cm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Queen Victoria doll by Almar 1950s -1960s

Queen Victoria 1819-1901

Doll mark: Almar doll made in England

Queen Elizabeth I doll by Almar 1950s -1960s

Queen Elizabeth I 

Doll mark: Almar doll Made in England.

Catherine Parr Queen of England doll 1950s -1960s

Catherine Parr
Queen of England 1543 -1547

A Rexard Creation Rexard (exports) LTD. Nrighton-Sussex-England. Design by Odette Arden.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Anne of Cleves Queen of England doll 1950s -1960s

Anne of Cleves Queen of England
6 January 1540 to 9 July 1540.
Forth wife of King Henry VIII  registered design  by A Rexard Creation Rexard (exports) LTD. Nrighton-Sussex-England. Design by Odette Arden.

Catherine Howard Queen of England doll 1950s -1960s

Catherine Howard
Queen of England
 Fifth wife of King Henry VIII  registered design  by A Rexard Creation Rexard (exports) LTD. Nrighton-Sussex-England. Design by Odette Arden.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Mary Queen of Scots by Peggy Nisbet 1950s -1960s

This is an example of very rare character doll. Mary Queen of Scots  "Holyrood costume", Made in Scotland.
Peggy Nisbet model  P/608

Friday, August 28, 2015

Anne Boleyn Queen of England doll

Anne Boleyn doll, height 25 cm.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Queen Elizabeth I porcelain doll by The Franklin Mint 1990s

This is an example of queen Elizabeth I porcelain doll.
Edition: Queens of England Series by The Franklin Mint. Collection 1990s.
Height 45 cm.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Welcome to Mary O'Neill Doll Museum online

The exhibitions are in storage waiting for a venue. We are sorry the exhibitions are not available to see in person.Welcome to Mary O'Neill Doll Museum online . Enjoy your visit!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Steiff type felt dolls made in 1950s, or earlier

This is an example of 8.5 cm tall handmade felt doll - dressed in German Bavarian costumes. Both dolls were made to look like Steiff's early 20 century felt dolls. Our dolls have embroidered face features which makes them different.

The dolls were possibly made in Germany in the 1950s, or earlier and sold as a souvenir;  crafted with recycled round thread box in New Zealand in 1967, or later.

Written information on the box: "Made in England" (stamped); and  priced  in New Zealand currency 9 c a yard (hand writing) - which suggests  that this box  has been imported for retail in NZ. Cents replaced pennies in New Zealand in 1967.

The box itself is functional and helps the dolls to stand in an upright position; it was also designed to give a look of a music box dancing dolls.

Doll hair was made from fine cotton; attached to a doll's head with a very low-quality glue.

We are unsure whether these dolls were made in Germany; however, the "music box dancing dolls display"  was made in New Zealand.

There are more  German souvenir dolls in our collections getting ready for presentation.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Old Sydney Town's British Empire soldier souvenir doll

This is an example of an Old Sydney Town's British Empire soldier souvenir doll. Old Sydney Town was an open-air museum; officially opened on Australia Day in 1975 and closed in 2003.

This souvenir doll wears a colonial solder's uniform; doll was made in 1970s.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rare dolls: Ella Smith's "Alabama baby" doll (Betty Boop)

 Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
     Ella Smith from Roanoke in Alabama crafted her first handmade doll in 1899; known as "Alabama baby" doll [aka Alabama Indestructible Doll]. In the town Roanoke in Alabama, Ella Smith soon started her small doll factory with more than 10 employees.

     This doll is an example of  "Alabama baby" handmade  in circa 1920s. However, this doll has been altered in early 1930 when her black hair was added, and new clothes made to look like a popular 1930s character Betty Boop. Some other small changes were also made.  

     The top price for this doll is US $4000. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rare Toys: Waddling Willie a fascinating clown from Auckland, New Zealand; non-mechanical toy that walks down slopes

 Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
Rare Toys: Waddling Willie - The fascinating clown from Auckland, New Zealand [limited edition].

The box for this toy was made in Auckland - by "The Bakers Cardboard Box Co. Ltd." Auckalnd, NZ,  we estimate around 1962, or earlier.

Instructions for use: "Place Willie on one foot at the top of a slight incline. On releasing him he will walk down the slope in the most amusing manner [Willie is non-mechanical toy]. If he falls over it is because the slope is too steep, reduce it and he will behave himself pe

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A wooden doll from Chihuahua, Mexico

 Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
Rarámuri indigenous people of Chihuahua in Mexico made this doll [Rarámuri were named Tarahumara by the Spanish.]; they speak both Uto-Aztecan and Spanish languages. Most of Rarámuri prefer the semi-nomadic lifestyle in the mountain shelters and caves.

Rarámuri hand carved this doll from a single piece of wood and sold  to a tourist.They also make baskets, necklaces, weaving,designing blankets, and other craft.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Doll made in South Africa named Miriam Makeba; Pata Pata

 Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
This is an example of an ethnic cloth doll made in South Africa; we named this doll Miriam Makeba. Doll Height 1,1 m.


Friday, March 27, 2015

The SFBJ doll brought to New Zealand by UK migrants early last century

 Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
This is an example of the French SFBJ Jameau Bébé doll with composition body. The SFBJ stands for Société Française de Fabrication de Bébés et Jouets. This doll was made in Paris around 1910.

This SFBJ doll was brought to New Zealand by UK  migrants early last century. This 100 year old doll is in a very good condition; original wig, bottom lashes painted; upper lashes.

This doll is Colonial New Zealand doll  history from the UK.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Japanese doll image published on the cover page of the "Gisborne Photo News" 12 August 1970

This is the cover page of the NZ magazine of 65 pages called "Gisborne Photo News" No. 194 published on 12 August 1970.   This issue's cover page showcases a Japanese doll. The page 3 paragraph offers a high- quality cultural commentary  as a description of the cover page:

"The realistic looking doll on our cover this month is really only that. It is one of the exquisite figures in the marvellous collection of Japanese dolls owned by Helen Steere of Daphne Street. The doll, who brings to mind images of the exotic East and Expo '70, is based on the character of Madame Butterfly. The Japanese garden and backing was created through the generosity of members of the Bonsai Society who loaned us the bonsai trees and backdrop".

The Gisborne Photo News  magazine helps us to update this type of Japanese dolls.  According to our research this particular shape of a black painted and varnished black doll stand was used in the Japanese doll making  starting before the mid-1960s.  There are other indicators which determine the age of this Japanese doll e.g. fabric of  kimono, the shape of the toes and shape of fingers etc.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Mary O'Neill Doll Museum Regional Doll collections will be available for viewing online

The Mary O'Neill Doll Museum Regional Doll collections will be available for viewing online. Currently, we are in the process of creating those online galleries for you. Those blog pages will contain the doll images only.
All dolls will be grouped by the continents e.g. African Doll Gallery or geographical areas e.g. Middle East Doll Gallery, in some cases by the country e.g. Japanese Doll Gallery,  Mexican doll Gallery etc.

The specific data regarding the age, manufacturer, and in most cases  the country will not be given before we publish our book on regional dolls. In the meantime, you are welcome to visit our online  galleries especially designed for online visitors where we will give you enough clues to make your visit enjoyable.

You can follow the regional dolls up by their individual numbers e.g. European doll (European Doll Gallery) 2354. The number of doll in each gallery will start with number 1, e.g. European doll 1.

Click on this link to visit our Japanese Doll Collection
Japanese Doll Collection - Online Gallery

Saturday, February 7, 2015

An example of Japanese Fuji Musume blossom doll with wisteria made in 1950s

Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
This is an example of a Japanese Fuji Musume blossom doll with wisteria made in 1950s.
Height 30 cm.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Examples of a Japanese geisha doll with seven hats made between 1950 - 1970

Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
Mary O'Neill Doll Museum

Examples of  a Japanese geisha doll dressed to perform a Hat Dance.
Height: 40 cm (doll on the left made in 1950s). Height: 25 cm (doll on the right).
In one of the doll books written in English this doll was described as Sakura Ningyo.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Examples of Princess Yaegaki Japanese doll made in the 1950s

Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
Examples of Princess Yaegaki Japanese doll made in the 1950s.
Height 28 cm(left) and 38 cm (right).

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

An example of a Japanesse Hime Daruma doll

Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
This is an example of a Japanese Hime Daruma dolls. Daruma was the first teacher, a father of  Zen Buddhism. Both, the Daruma doll and Hime Daruma doll have religious context. These dolls are also used as charms, talisman and amulets for prayer.

This may also involve other practices based on people's beliefs and accordingly to this the Daruma doll may give only one-years protection from evil. There are other implications that may be not be quite clear. Some people who are believers are very careful when dealing with this type of doll.

One of the Zen Buddhist  interpretation of  Hime Daruma dolls as a pair was based on a Chinese  legend. The Daruma doll in red always represents the Empress called Jinguu and the other darker colour one represents the Emperor called  Chuuai. These dolls are sold as a pair and are suitable as a wedding gifts (see the photo).

This type of doll is also known as Princess Daruma of Matsuyama or Matsuyama Hime Daruma. The town Matsuyama is located on Shikoku Island  where the traditional observation of Daruma sunrises and sunsets takes place. Matsuyama is a big Zen Buddhist centre  and a variety of Daruma dolls are traditionally sold during the Spring Festival. Princess Daruma of Matsuyama doll is slightly different from Hime Daruma doll.

Photo: The Hime Daruma dolls. Height 24 cm. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Japanese Awa dancer doll made in 1960

Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
This is an example of a  Japanese Awa dancer doll made in 1960s, or earlier. Kento Ogawa translated for our museum all  information written in Japanese. Height 35 cm.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

An ethnic doll made in Tanzania in the late 1960s to early 1970s

 Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
This is an interesting doll  made in Tanzania some 40 years ago, or earlier.  We were told this doll was given away after the death of Audrey Simpson from Hastings, a retired NZ teacher in Tanzania,who died of very old age recently.
This doll was sold to the Mary O'Neill Doll Museum yesterday.  We were told Audrey brought this doll to NZ in the days when she was working in Tanzania as a teacher, which was  more than 40 years ago. There is no doubt this doll is of that age, late 1960s  to early 1970s. This is  a handmade soft cloth doll,  with  human curly African hair, 
height  50 cm.