Thursday, 22 October 2009

Wooden Dolls

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Kelli


I received my first Kokeshi doll (the large black one at the back of the group) as a present, when my son Sam was living in Japan. They are traditional dolls that originate in Kokeshi and they are made locally out of wood. Each doll has a pedigree and a name that means something.

Harry and I eventually went to Japan and after a lovely holiday staying with the family, I bought a few more dolls to add to the collection. My original one had looked quite lonely on its own. These dolls were being sold all over the place in Japan.

From then on, whenever my son came back to visit, he bought one or two Kokeshi dolls and my collection grew!
When I first started collecting these dolls, they were virtually unheard of where I live but I am surprised to see that many local shops now sell them. The Orient has certainly arrived in my city in a big way!

I have always been interested in Babushka dolls ............ Russian dolls that fit one inside another. When I was little I had come across a set when I visited someone's house and it seemed fascinating to find one doll inside another doll, inside another and so on until the tiniest one emerged. They were really exotic and unheard of in my locality.
These dolls have also stormed our city and there seems to be no need to go to Russia to get a set of them now. Most of mine came from charity shops, though some have a doll or two missing from inside!

Have you got a collection of anything that you want to share?






Photostory Friday is hosted by Cecily.

40 comments:

Ryanne said...

I am not a collector of things myself, but those are beautiful...both types of dolls have their own beauty!.

Emily said...

I always thought Babushka were really cool. I actually collect music boxes...my grandmother started my collection when I was a little girl and now I have them from all over the world and a few that are antiques too!

Thumbelina said...

You've quite a little collection there! I love the russian dolls. I used to have a couple as a youngster... must see if I still have them somewhere!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, I've got some, too!!! I collect a lot of everything!!! But I must stop...or soon there will be no more room for me in the house ;-) Thank you for your warm words today, Maggie!! Sending you much love, Janine XO

RNSANE said...

Your kokeshi dolls are lovely. I am fond of all things Japanese and visited there for five days a few years ago when my jazz singer friend was appearing for three months at the NY Bar at the Park Hyatt. While there, my forensic nurse colleague and I met with our Japanese counterparts from all over the country, who came to Tokyo to have lunch with us. They were trying to set up sexual assault treatment programs in their country. A few months later, they came to San Francisco for five days and I took vacation and took them to programs all over the SF area. Next thing I knew, Sherry and I were flown to Japan, all expenses paid, for a week, to teach about forensic nursing, child forensic interviewing, etc, in four different cities. Such an honor!

Many years ago, on a cruise, I spent twelve hours in St. Petersburg, Russia - on the 4th of July. A little ragtag band, played in front of the Hermitage - all sorts of U. S. songs - incredibly good - they brought tears to our eyes. Vendors were selling the matryoshka dolls which, according to Wikipedia are sometimes incorrectly termed "babushka doll" (grandmother doll) in English. The origin of this misconception is uncertain, and there is no no equivalent in the Russian language. I bought several of these inexpensive sets as the ones in the regular shops were way out of my price range.

lakeviewer said...

I HAD a collection of hand-made rag dolls that I passed on to my grandchild when I retired. I don't think she loves them the way I did!

SandyCarlson said...

I have a few matryoska dolls that I am fond of. I have many more fabric dolls made by family that I treasure for their beauty and for their story.

Teacher's Pet said...

I love your dolls! In July, when we go back to Waynesville (North Carolina) I will remember to get one or two for you. They have the Folkmoot....arts, crafts, historical events, dancing from around the world, and I've seen these dolls there. What a 'happy' collection you have.
Concerning collections...I have to add an 'aside' to that. Research indicates that gifted people tend to collect things...not all people who are gifted 'collect'...but most gifted people 'collect.' Just wanted to 'throw' that in there!
Yours is lovely. Many hugs and smiles to you, Maggie May.
Love,
Jackie

Mary G said...

Gorgeous dolls. I collect puppets and some dolls, presently squirreled away until the granddaughter is a bit older.

Suburbia said...

My Tall Girl loves the Japanese dolls, her collection is only 3 at the moment, they are quite expensive here and possibly not as authentic as yours.

Valerie said...

An interesting topic and a lovely collectioin. I have a set of Babushka dolls. Like you I was fascinated with them as a child. I had to go to Russia to get mine ... do you think it takes the shine off things when they are so freely available?

Nessa said...

Those are lovely and adorable collections. I collect little, tiny things and things butterfly related.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I collect everything, much to the dismay of the Hubby and the military that has to pack it all every couple of years. Your doll collection is lovely, isn't it amazing how we can find things without ever leaving our homes anymore? There's a place here that carries the Babushka dolls in every shape and form.

Marguerite said...

Such a nice collection of dolls you have. I collect seashore items. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comment.

Bina said...

Very nice dolls! I've never heard of the first set, but I have heard of the second set, just have never seen them in person.

I collect animals, and if I could, I would have WAY more of them!!!

kaye said...

I think your doll collection is very interesting. My friend also collects Russian nesting dolls. I can't think of anything I collect except children . . . and they have a way of becoming non-children over time. If you want to come on by and meet Jack I’m home.

Rose said...

I've never heard of Kokeshi dolls before, but these are so cute! I always was fascinated by the nesting dolls when younger; as you say, they are much easier to find locally nowadays. I'm not much of a collector, though I love angels and have several pieces of Blue Willow dishes. After we moved several years ago, I've been trying to downsize the number of knicknacks I have. I seem to accumulate too much stuff:)

Michelle said...

I loved seeing what people collect. The Kokeshi dolls are so much fun!

Happy PSF!

If you want to visit my PSF: http://michelle-onecraftymama.blogspot.com/2009/10/psf-last-minute-costume-idea.html

Shellie said...

All I collect anymore is dust. Those are two great sets of dolls! Love them.

Hilary said...

I've not see the Kokeshi dolls but I did have a Babushka doll from a Russian friend. They were also quite available around Montreal. I also used to have a small collection of Portuguese "good luck" roosters.

http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/product_images/C8910req.jpg

Fun post, Maggie. :)

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Nice collection of dolls. I have always like the Russian dolls too.
I have a collection of Elfquest comic books.

Tiaras said...

when we lived in china I bought all kinds of Babushka dolls for my daughter - she still loves them

cheshire wife said...

I had not seen Kokeshi dolls before but I can see the attraction. I don't seem to collect anything in a particular. I just seem to have one of everything!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

My husband travels all over the world, so I have some of the Japanese dolls as well as the Russian Babushkas. I wrote a blog post about my collections.

scrappysue said...

they're gorgeous! i have a thing for russian dolls myself!

Pastor Sharon said...

Hey there,
First of all, thank you for your kind words on my post today. Also, as I am looking at the pictures of these wooden dolls, I recognized the round shaped ones (red, yellow and black) I think from Russia. We have a set just like those! Wow.

Wendy said...

I used to have a set of those Russian dolls too, when I was a girl. I think I must have passed them on down to my younger sisters. I like your Japanese dolls. They're unique!

I don't really collect anything, except a few years ago, I started buying cabbage patch dolls. They reminded me of the ones I bought my daughter 25 or 30 years ago now. So, I have a room full (well about 10) of cabbage patch dolls and I don't really know what to do with them. I gave 2 away as gifts, but I don't want to part with the rest.

Chris said...

Wow, I love your collections! The dolls really are works of art!

latree said...

I am such a messy one. I would never succeed collecting anything.
you are cool!

err... for your info, I have post the story I told, here

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

What a neat collection! Thanks for stopping by today. :)

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Maggie I too was fascinated by the Russian dolls as a child. My ex brought me one back from a business trip to Russia and I still have it today. Your total collection is great. I have a great collection of Swarzkopf crystal animals - there is just something about them that makes we want to collect them and yet I consider myself not to be a collector! Superb post.

St Jude said...

Dragons, I have them all over the house. Oh and books of course.

Mickle in NZ said...

These dolls are so beautiful, and and I expect they are lovely to hold and handle - wood is like that.

And what a lovely treat you have with these dolls for your dear granddaughters, an extra special treat for them to be allowed to handle the dolls (under supervision!)


Care and love, Michelle and ....... oh dear, Zebby is snoring again, soundly sleeping

(silly Mickle - Zebby is a cat = sleep, sleep,sleep)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Thank you, Maggie for all your lovely words...and for your friendship!!! You are a true treasure!!! Much love to you this day and everyday!! Janine XO

Eddie Bluelights said...

Great Dolls Maggie - always seems to be one more inside then another one inside . . . ~ Eddie

Maggie's garden said...

What a unique collection! I've never seen the Japanese style dolls before. Love them. How long did it take to collect all of these cute dolls? Thanks for showing them to us.

The Things We Carried said...

I have a collection of Raggedy An books by Johnny Gruelle. I adore them!

I colleccted the Russian dolls for my oldest daughter. They always intrigue me.

Your JApanese dolls are darling. I love whimsy!

Working Mum said...

My daughter has a lovely babushka doll that my mum bought her in Prague, but I live in dread of her losing the tiny one in the middle!

I collect postcards. May blog about it one day. I have about 600 now.

The Green Stone Woman said...

Some people mistakingly think I collect anything to do with cats, so I do have some cat items in the apartment, but that's okay, I don't mind. I don't really like to collect things, because they take up space and become dusty and have to be cleaned all the time.

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