This is a pair of outstanding antique Victorian-Edwardian C. 1900 or earlier African American/Black folk art cloth dolls. Actually these could even be more mid 19th C. Around the Civil War time with the military type top of the little boy doll.They have been stored in a box for quite some time and the back of their heads show it by their cute flattened kinky picaninny hair. Their bodies are firmly stuffed with what appears to be horsehair.
I can see a little of it in a tiny opening on the little boys underarm. The little girl seems a little softer so may be stuffed with sawdust. I don't however want to cut into her to find out for sure. The faces are covered with a sock like fabric that has heavily faded over the years.
If you look at the photos of the little girl you can see the comparison of the colors above and below her neck. I cannot see under the clothes as they are sewed to the doll.
The little girl is 16" tall with an arm spread of 15". She has a 9 1/2 waist. Her face is primitively embroidered and a tuck made for the nose.What I can see of them are covered in a very fine soft black cotton fabric. Her little dress is cotton. It is hand stitched to her body at the waist and bottom of her bloomers. The clothes could be removed and taken off by opening these two spots. If you look at the photos you will be able to see the difference the red color between the outside of her dress which is faded and the inside next to her bloomers. Her dress also has a few spots and as I have indicated some fading. The rest of her is good. The boy doll measures 14 1/2" tall with an arm spread of 9 1/2". His waist is 8 1/2. His red top appears to be an early worn down wool but could be cotton His hands are made with thumbs in them giving a mitten look. He too has a lot of fading on his face compared to his neck area that wasn't exposed to light. He also has a few spots in this area. He is VERY firmly stuffed with horsehair and the fabric covering the horsehair on the pants is a type of cotton almost with a cotton velvet feel. The clothing on the little boy initially looks like it was stitched on a machine. However under magnification it is all hand stitched then turned inside out and stuffed. If you look closely at his top you will see some dots that give you a military feel.
I think there may have been something on top of these dots like a decoration of paper or something. He has a very old faded blue band around his neck.I have included a piece of red fabric that matches the little girls dress that was pinned around on top of the band. The little boys clothes are completely stuffed and closed up with sewing except a tiny spot under each underarm. Hair is a kinky black wool typ yarn and is all applied to the head by hand by someone that stitched it all to the back of the head with old brown thread which is done with rather big stitches. The back of the heads are darker than the fronts. No question these were made at the same time by the same person.
As a pair with their age and wonderful faces and bodies they very rare. Wish I knew more about who made them. Please see all photos and feel free to write with any questions. A wonderful primitive pair of early African American Black dolls to add to your collection.
The item "TWO AFRICAN AMERICAN BLACK FOLK ART RAG DOLLS ANTIQUE EARLY WONDERFUL PAIR" is in sale since Friday, July 28, 2017. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\Black Americana\Dolls & Bears".
The seller is "flapperal" and is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Colombia, Panama, Jamaica.