The Unique Approach Of Albert Bruckner’s Cloth Dolls

One of the ingenious methods of handcrafting dolls in the past can be seen in Albert Bruckner’s creations. His dolls were produced in 1901 and the dolls were made of molded mask which was the product of Bruckner’s familiarity in lithography after spending several years in Gray Lithographing Company ラブドール通販 . He was originally into lithography which was a common printing process in the past in which stone and wax are primarily used to set ink on fabric and paper.

Albert Bruckner’s knowledge on this printing process was then applied to his doll creations wherein he got a patent for such idea on July 8, 1901. Bruckner was then known to create dolls for the Horsman Company with their Babyland Rag Doll line. In 1905, the popular character dolls in the line were Betty and Topsy which measured around 12 inches. The model was called topsy turvy as the two are sewn together in the torso area just like Siamese twins.

The topsy turvy pair of dolls which Bruckner was inspired from the Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel entitled “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” wherein a character was named Topsy. The topsy turvy doll was also included in Babyland Rag Doll catalog in 1907. Today, these dolls are sought-after collector’s items that are characterized by molded mask face with lithographed image on it. The character, Betty, has Caucasian features while Topsy has African-American features. Topsy has braided black pigtails and a red headscarf to complete her neat get-up. Betty on the other hand, wore a cream and read dress with a bonnet on her lithographed hair.

Bruckner employed the same technique of printing on his dolls from 1901 to 1930. The topsy-turvy dolls were the most popular since it was like a 2-in-1 doll in which you get another character once you flip the doll upside down. The other doll’s head and torso can also just be covered by the dress or the skirt that is neatly sewn in the middle. Later on, the doll was then called Tu-N-One. Other dolls that came out were fairytale characters such as the Little Red Riding Hood. Dollypop was another cloth doll with lithographed face and hand-painted features was patented in 1925. The dolls were also sold in famous department stores such as Macy’s and F.A.O. Schwartz.

Collectors will find some of Bruckner’s original doll creations in auction sites online. Most of his dolls were part of the Babyland Rag Dolls by the Horsman Company and these usually measures within the range of 13 to 28 inches. The typical characteristics of Bruckner’s dolls are those that have flat and simple embossed painted faces with mitten-like hands. Dolls in good condition with labels still intact can cost $179 to $250 in the market today.

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