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Monday, March 3, 2008

Vintage Kokeshi

My aunt Ruth lived in Japan in the 1950s when her husband was in the Army and was stationed there. She sent us back some cool things from Japan, including this pair of kokeshi dolls. These hand-painted wooden dolls are vintage noddler kokeshi, probably from the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture. These dolls were produced for tourists, and I think this pair is considered a wedding pair. They are wearing ornate kimono. I have always loved these dolls, and have used them in my artwork in the past.

Last week I went a little kokeshi-mad and started searching on the internet for more like these. I plan to create a kokeshi pattern line for gift wrap, fabric, etc. I started bidding on all these kokeshi dolls on ebay. I can see how collecting things like this can easily become an obsession. Luckily, for my bank acount, I lost out to higher bidders.

These dolls are considered "vintage" because they are mid-century (20th century.) So am I. I am definitely feeling a little "vintage" today, having had an MRI done on my knee, where I have worn out the cartilege.

5 comments:

Linda said...

I like it that you went a little kokeshi-mad.

"a kokeshi pattern line for gift wrap, fabric, etc"...what a great idea.

The last paragraph is so funny, except for the worn cartilege part. Can anything be done about that? Hope so.

Dorothy Reinhardt said...

Yes, they are multiplying here. I just love these dolls. They're so decorative.

Not much can be done about the missing cartilege. Once it's gone, it's gone. I'm working on it.

carol eldridge said...

I love them they are so cute...I think that is a great idea...sounds like you are going to end up with a nice collection.


cute cute!

cute is in!

best,
carol

Yearn to travel said...

No need to explain, I just read this post. i love these little dolls and i can see them as a great line of paper products. Different but very in in a retro kind of way. I think I might have to start collecting these little gems as well. You might be competing with me on e bay.
Medelise

Dorothy Reinhardt said...

Noooooooo! If you want to bid on them, we'll have to coordinate so we're not running up the prices for each other.