Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pretty in Pink

When we first took over our inn I found this precious piece of art hanging in the powder room, of all places!  I put her away until I had time to clean the frame and glass and find the perfect place for her to sit, where she can show off her pretty pink dress.  Pretty in Pink, as I like to call her, is actually a paper doll!  I wish I knew her history but unfortunately, I don’t, nor do I know how old she is.  Her face, hat, arms, legs and shoes are paper.  I am aching to know if she has a full paper body but I don’t dare open the frame for fear of causing damage to her.  Her dress is actually made of pink ribbon and lace.  Someone, spent a great deal of time and love creating her.  She is intricate, delicate and lovely!

Pretty in Pink
I remember as a child spending hours playing with paper dolls.  Did you know Barbie and Ken were paper dolls at one time?  They really are a work of art, these dolls.  I did a bit of research and discovered there is actually a paper doll convention each year, who knew?!  And to my absolute delight, I found a paper doll of Abigail Adams. Now, this lovely little paper doll looks nothing like our country's 2nd first lady, but the style of dress is era-appropriate.  Truth be told I would love to add this set to my Abigail Adams collection. Hmmm, I just may have to seriously think about the possibilities!

A little dolly history ~
Paper dolls have been around as long as there has been paper. Faces or other objects were applied to the paper and they were used during religious rituals and ceremonies in the Asian cultures many centuries ago. The Japanese used paper for Origami, artful paper folding, and dating back to 800 AD they folded paper figurines in the shape of Kimono. Balinese people made paper and leather into puppets since before the Christian Era. Other cultures around the world have had paper formations or paper art, including in Poland, where they were called Wy'cinanki. These early types of paper figures differ from typical paper dolls today, as no clothes were made to be used with the dolls.

In Europe, particularly France, the first paper dolls were made during the mid-18th century. The paper was jointed and they were called pantins meaning dancing or jumping jack puppet. They were intended to entertain adults and spread throughout high society. They were drawn or painted like people with fashions for each doll. These were more similar to contemporary Western paper dolls. Rare hand-painted sets of paper figures dating to the late 1780s can be found in some museums today.  Vintage paper dolls with hand-painted artwork are becoming increasingly rare due to paper aging issues. They have become collectible, and the prices for mint uncut sets can be between $100 and up to over $500 for a sought after title. (Wikepedia)

Since there is a little bit of child in all of us here is a link to a free paper doll template.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful lady you've got there. I still love paper-dolls and I even have some books with them to this day. The books I have are mostly Victorian ladies and their clothes. Since dressing in that style is just not practical today it is FUN to look at them and imagine the possibilities.