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Antique Group of 6 Skookum Dolls, 1913s

About the Item

A Skookum doll was a Native American-themed doll, sold as a souvenir item in the early 20th century. They are all in different sizes. The last photo shows the dimensions (inch) of each doll, W (width) x H (height) x D (depth). The original labels (SKOOKUM (BULLY GOOD) INDIAN )are attached to the bottoms of the leather shoes. One method of determining the production date of the dolls is by studying the footwear. For example, the earliest dolls from around 1913 had moccasins made of leather. By 1918, the mocassins were simulated with suede applied to wood and painted designs. By 1924, they were molded of composition material, and by the 1950s, the dolls had plastic feet. Production of the dolls ended in the early 1960s. History: Mary Dwyer McAboy (1876-1961), who was from Missoula, Montana. In 1909, Mary McAboy began to market apple head dolls dressed in Indian costumes and achieved rapid commercial success. According to McAboy, her career as a doll maker began when she made an Indian village which she displayed in the window of a grocery store. Vaudeville actress Fritzi Scheff was performing in Missoula at the time, saw the display, and purchased it for "actual money". McAboy duplicated the display, which also sold quickly, and she then began selling increasing numbers of the dolls. She publicized her growing business through western newspapers, and arranged a display at a women's suffrage office in New York City, gaining press coverage there. A product that began as women's handicrafts had rapidly shifted to factory production with mostly male workers. From that time on, the dolls were manufactured by Harry Heye Tammen in Los Angeles, and distributed in the east by the Arrow Novelty Company in New York City.
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 14 in (35.56 cm)Width: 4 in (10.16 cm)Depth: 3.5 in (8.89 cm)
  • Materials and Techniques:
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
    1910-1919
  • Date of Manufacture:
    1913s
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. There are a couple of chips on the noses, please see the photos.
  • Seller Location:
    Norton, MA
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU5848239302122
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