Thursday, July 6, 2017

Kokeshi. Dolls

Wooden Kokeshi :

Are dolls that have no arms or legs, but a large head and cylindrical body, representing little girls or/and boys. I love these unique little dolls.  

Kokeshi Doll from my own collection.

Dating back to the early 19th century and originally from northern Japan. They may have had a spiritual significance representing a wish for a healthy child. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and an enlarged head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face. The body has a floral design painted in red, black, and sometimes yellow, and covered with a layer of wax. The bottom is marked with the signature of the artist.
There have been individual artists and families that make these little wooden dolls for generations.  They have long been a cottage industry with the little handmade dolls being sold to tourists visiting Japan.  Each artist has there on unique style and design.  These handmade and artist signed Kokeshi are sought after and can command a good price.  Like everything many are now produced by companies and do not have the quality of workmanship and painting as the ones made by the families.  I personally own about a dozen of them.

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