The Dolls of Our Grandmothers

11-12 2006 Kultura English
obálka čísla

If you are wondering what to give to your daughter, granddaughter or to any other little miss in your life, you might get inspired by visiting the Museum of the City of Prague at Florenc (Museum hlavniho mesta Prahy) to see what toys our grandmothers used to enjoy.

Three collectors of dolls made this exhibition possible: Alena Dolezalova, Hana Hodkova and Iva Jihlavcova. Most of the dolls are 50-150 years old.

Toys in the form of little figures were apparently very popular throughout the ages. They were found in old graves in Egypt and in old Greece.

Familiar Smiles

There are so many dolls here, dressed in various clothes and costumes, but their little smiling faces seem to be pretty similar regardless of their ages. It seems that most of them were made of porcelain by the firm Armand Marseille in France.

Clothes Make a Doll. The little figures are dressed in all sorts of clothes- simple house and play clothes to elegant party dresses full of bows and ribbons, silk and lace. Often the dolls are adorned with necklaces and earrings and have elaborate hairdos. There are very few boy-dolls here.

A Little History. Most china dolls were made in France and Germany (by the firm Gotschalek). Dolls made in the Czech lands before 1918 were marked "Made in Austria" and came from the towns of Slavkov or Dubi.

There are also dolls made of fabric or of celluloid - those are mostly from America or Germany and produced after 1890. The celluloid dolls are very fragile and it is amazing that so many were preserved over the years. Children loved them because they floated in water and could be taken along into the tub to "take a bath."

There are also some "international" dolls here- Japanese, black, etc.

Also other toys that belong to the dolls are exhibited; e.g. doll carriages, beds, cradles and dishes. Also doll furniture and toys for dolls! It is a beautiful world for little girls- full of charm and fantasy. And it might inspire mothers and grandmothers to search at home for fabric remnants and dress up a doll in a new garment for the holidays.

Museum Hours:

Tuesday through Sunday from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. Closed December 24. and 25, and also Dec. 31. and Jan. 1, 2007.

Martina Fialkova, Translation by Marie Dolanska

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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