I remember when I was young, anyone who visited then called Czechoslovakia always brought me and my sister back Czech dolls in traditional folk dress and national costumes. At one time, we each must have had twenty representations of our Czech heritage in the form of colorful kroje and ribbons.
The dolls all had something very specific in common, they were all wearing traditional folk costumes from all of the different parts of the country.
Many doll makers existed and here are a few we discovered.
- Artel Company doll mark Artelpraha (1900s) Prague
- Artel Co doll mark Artelpraha 1900s Prague
- Miss Marcel Giblet dolls 1921-1922
- Adolf Hahn dolls 1897 CK – papier mache and wax dolls
- Rudolf Heinz dolls 1911-1925
- F. Klemperer dolls 1923-1925
- Klosterle dolls 1790-1890+ CK – now in Czechoslovakia, was in Austria
- Gustav Kmel dolls 1906
- Moravia was the Toy Center of Czechoslovakia, Moravian dolls
- Mortiz Resek or Mortiz Rezek 1889-1927+, doll mark MR, doll mold 1895, also in Austria
- Mortiz Resek or Rezek doll mark MR doll mold 1895
- Alois Ullmann dolls 1923 Teplitz- Schonau
- Gisella Weyde dolls 1920-1922
No list would be complete without the co-op Lidová tvorba Uherský Brod. This company was established in November of 1936.
Traditional, typical Moravian-Slovak products of folk art have always been in demand, not just on the home market, but especially abroad. On their second year of existence they won the gold medal at the Folk Costume Exhibition of Moravian Slovakia in Uherské Hradiště. The same year, they won a silver medal at the World Exhibition held in Paris.
In 1940, the company featured at an international exhibition in New York and by then an American and European market was formed, including Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Lithuania as well.
At the time they were founded, they were the only handmade manufacturer of folk costumed dolls and they received their trademark in 1952. They are proud to preserve the tradition of costumed dolls manufacture, and they continue to this day.
Today we’ve gathered images of dolls, old and new, and interpreted in many different ways, and we have decided to share some of them with you.
Newer dolls seem to focus on the then called Moravia part of the Czech Republic, quite possibly because the Bohemian part shifted to modern clothing in the late 1800s and the Morava kroje are much ore festive and decorative.
Believe it or not, I found all of these on eBay!
But if you are interested in new gift dolls, you can contact Lidova Tvorba directly.
Do you have an old Czech doll? Feel free to share your photo in the comments!