Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Little Doll History: A Peek at some Really Old Dolls-the Middle Ages

The antique dolls we love have their roots in ancient and medieval dolls.  From time to time, I'll mention them, just to remind us all of our collecting roots.  The Middle Ages are important in doll collecitng history because during this era more than any other, dolls apparently begin to evovle into children's toys from their previousl lives as idols and Santos.


Also, the Krippen and other Creche figures written about in Antique Doll Collector Magazine first became popular collectibles during The Middle Ages, when wealthy households all over Europe competed over who would have the most elaboratle Nativity.


Below is some relevant information.




Here is a link from the Benaki Museum in Greece. There is a large toy collection there, and a large collection of Coptic art. Marai Argyriades, curator, is a friend of my late friend, Mary Hillier. She has written an outstanding book on Greek Dolls and another on Greek Christmas toys, as well as numerous publications. http://www.benaki.gr/index.asp?id=10104&lang=en


Here is another link to a blog you may enjoy, Medieval and Renaissance Material Culture: http://larsdatter.com/toys.htm



Here is a list of links from this blog which give an idea of the types of toys medieval children had, as well as some pictures. Games were plentiful, and some of the games children played, as shown in the painting of Lucas Cranach and others, portray children with toys and with all kinds of games and dolls of their own. A few dolls and toys have been found in plague pits, tossed in with their hapless owners, and one is described in the novel Missing Melinda, by Jackson.

manfred Bachman shows medeival Leonard's Louts, soldiers on horseback of pewter and other materials, and discusses soldiers and effigies made for funerals and in remembrance which date from the Medieval period. His book is Dolls The Wide World Over

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Here is a bibliography of Medieval toys I found, but see also my book, A Bibliography of Toys and Dolls.

Bibliography:
J. A. Elders, Farmers, Friars, Millers, Tanners; a study of the development of a medieval suburb bases on recent excavations on the site of a Carmelite friary inthe Obertorvorstadt,Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. Unpublished Ph. D. Thesis University of Nottingham 1996 [British Library].

H. Schäfer, Das Karmeliterkloster in der Obertorvorstadt in Esslingen, in: Archäologische Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg 1991, Stuttgart 1992.

H. Schäfer, Befunde "Auf dem Kies". Grabungen südlich des Karmeliterklosters in Esslingen, in: Archäologische Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg 1992, Stuttgart 1993.

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