Monday, May 12, 2014

Who Am I? Black Brevetatto Doll from Late 1950s


I received the above photo attached to an email from someone seeking to know the identity of the above doll.  Portions of the email are shared below:



Hello.

My mother has a beautiful, storied doll and maybe your books contain reference so we can know more about it. It's the black Brevettato doll, which blinks its big blue eyes. In the pic, the doll is sitting on my mother's sofa.

It was probably made in the late 1950s. In the early 1960s, it belonged to a German girl [who lived] in the south of Brazil. [The girl's mother] decided to give it to my mother as a gift.

Do any of your books include reference about that kind of doll? If so, which one should I buy?

Best,

M.

Upon request, M. supplied the following additional photos:

This close-up shows the missing paint from the doll's face.

The "voice box" is in the lower portion of the abdomen.  On a white, still unnamed version found on the Internet, the voice box was marked "Made in Italy."

When in a lying position, the doll's blue sleep eyes close.
M. added:

During years, decades, my grandmother kept the doll hidden away from potentially destructive hands of the boys my mother had. Now she returned the doll to her, just recently. My mother wants to restore the paint on its face, but she wants to do it the right way. 

None of my books (those written by me or others) reference dolls made by Brevettato.  Based on the information provided and cursory Internet searches, what I know is that white versions have been made of this approximately 65-cm (25-inch) circa 1950s hard plastic doll with voice box and blue sleep eyes.

This white doll, marked "Cares," whose shoes were marked "Mod. Brev. 9 Milano," appears to use a similar, if not the same, head sculpt as M's mother's Black version. 

Brevetatto is an Italian word that means patent.  I believe the doll was made in Italy, but other than that and the information M. provided, I know nothing else about this lovely doll that bears a striking resemblance (except for the blue eyes) to the doll "Numa" used in Alfred Hitchcock's "Where the Woodbind Twineth."

Do you know this doll's ID?


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4 comments:

  1. What a wonderful treasure. Sorry I can't help with the doll.

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    1. Thank you for reading it, Brini. Hopefully someone will be able to shed a little light on this doll's ID.

      dbg

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  2. I don't know this doll, but I think she's beautiful. I recently researched Africans with blue eyes and that's what I thought about when I saw her. http://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com/2013/02/blacks-with-blue-eyes-natural.html Good luck finding out who she is.

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    1. Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for sharing the link to the blog about dark skinned people with blue eyes. Their dark skin and blue eyes combination is interesting. I can't say that I like or dislike it, but it is interesting.

      I do have some blue-eyed dark skinned dolls in my collection made around the same period as the doll in this post. All were made in the United Kingdom. I don't think an American doll company would have ever given a dark skinned doll blue eyes as openly racist as the country was prior to the 70s.

      dbg

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!