When WWI cut off the flow of German bisque dolls to the United States, the Japanese moved into the market, copying German doll heads and all bisque dolls. This family of a mother with her daughter and baby is typical of the dolls produced by Japan after 1921, when the country replaced “Nippon” on its products with “Japan.” Mother, in her homemade green and beige dress with a bold art-deco floral design, has a bisque shoulder head with bisque lower arms and legs. She has a red cloth body and is 7 inches tall. Her little all-bisque daughter is naked, except for a molded blue bow in her blonde bobbed hair, white ribbed socks with blue trim, and red-brown painted Mary Jane shoes. She is incised between her shoulders with “Made in Japan” and the round Maruyama Toki Yamashiro Ryuhei symbol, which resembles an incomplete peace sign, and is 4.25 inches tall. Pudgy little baby brother or sister is also both nude and all bisque, and is 3.5 inches long. This plump infant is incised “Made in Japan 3” and with a mark that resembles that used by the Suzuki Company. Both children are wire jointed at the hips and shoulders. As is typical of these Japanese-made bisque dolls, the modeling and bisque is of rough quality, the complexions are uneven, and the finishing and decoration crude and rushed. Colors were not fired in and show rubs and wear. However, this trio represents an important part of doll history and have their own simple charm. Certainly some little girl long ago loved them. There are no breaks or repairs.
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Antique Treasures from the Texas Hill Country
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