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This item sold on December 31, 2012.

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This cute Scottish boy doll, dating from the 1930s, has a very happy expression on his face, complete with dimples! He measures just shy of 8” long, and has a Norah Wellings tag on his foot (Made in England by Norah Wellings). He has a black velveteen shirt and feet, plaid kilt and stockings, a lace jabot and a mohair sporin. His face is cloth over molded stiffened felt and his head swivels. His fingers are indicated by stitching. His side-glancing blue eyes and other facial features are hand painted with oil colors. His face is slightly dusty/dirty, but he is in fine condition for his age – he’s at keast 80 years old! There are no rips, tears or separation of the threading. 8” High.


About Norah Wellings and Her Dolls

The celebrated doll maker Norah Wellings., was born in Shropshire, England, in 1893. Although she left school at the age of 14 to help her mother look after her invalid father, she was tutored at school and studied with the London School of Art via correspondence. She learned sewing, needlework, dressmaking and gardening. Following the death of her father in 1919, Norah worked at the Chad Valley Toy Company for seven years where she was a chief designer, leaving in 1926. She was very close to her older brother Leonard, and together they decided to establish the Victoria Toy Works Factory. It was a humble beginning. Starting with just seven employees, the company’s first success was the presentation of a specially-made doll to Queen Mary which brought much-needed publicity. After running a stand at the 1927 British Industries Fair in London, Wellings gained a reputation for high quality and workmanship which led her dolls to be sold in a number of high-end department stores such as Harrods. The factory moved premises, and grew to employ around 250 workers at the peak of their success.

The Victoria Toy Works company produced a range of sailor dolls known as the ‘Jollyboy Sailor’ in 1929, and continued to manufacture them until 1959 when the business closed down. The dolls were sold aboard ocean liners as souvenirs, with each one featuring the name of the company or the liner on its uniform. They were produced in a wide range of different sizes, and today are popular with collectors due to their variety. In addition to sailors, Wellings created soldiers, airmen, and exotic South Sea islanders.

After 30 years in business together, Norah Wellings lost her brother Leonard when he died in early January, 1959. She continued running the factory for several months, but on September 4 of the same year her employees were given two weeks notice. Not wanting to sell her designs, and also not wanting them to be left for somebody to use, Norah created a huge bonfire and burned everything – her tools, the designs, and all the unfinished dolls. Everything went. The completed dolls and toys were given away to different societies and institutions.

Norah spent her retirement painting, gardening and cooking at the home Leonard had built for her. She passed away in February 1975 at the age of 82, leaving behind thousands of cheerful little faces in the form of her delightful cloth dolls.

Information taken from Lifestyle.com, Wikicollecting.org and Ocean Liner Collectibles by Myra Yellin Outwater.

Norah Wellings Scottish Doll

Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1930s
  • Materials: cloth, velvet, wool, cotton
  • Feedback: 11 reviews
  • Ships worldwide from California, United States
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