Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Black Dolls from Around the World - Switzerland

Dolls by Heidi Ott, a Swiss-born artist, are featured in this, my final blog on black dolls from around the world.  I own only seven dolls by this artist, one of which is not African American or black, but dark in comparison to other European dolls.  Their images and  descriptions follow:

Tom, Baby Harry, and Saddie

From their hand-painted eyes, to their realistic facial expressions, great detail is realized in Heidi Ott's dolls. Part of the "Little Ones" series, Tom, Baby Harry, and Saddie were made during the late-1990s. They have vinyl heads, arms, and legs with stuffed knit bodies.  Tom and Saddie have vinyl breast plates.  The larger dolls are 13 inches; Baby Harry is 9 inches.  Tom and Saddie have black, rooted human hair.  Baby Harry's hair is molded.  Their feet remain as they arrived from the artist, bare, but they wear their complete original outfits. 

Saddie and Tom close up

Baby Georgia (BG) from the year 2000 is a lug to carry!  She is 29 inches and weighs at least 10 lb... at least.  BG has a brown, human hair, afro-style wig that has a few tiny braids throughout.  The braids were originally accented with fuchsia beads that I replaced with white beads.  This big baby is from the "Dreamkid" series.  She holds her vinyl "Dreamkid" teddy bear.  BG has a male counterpart whose name is Samuel (owned by a fellow collector).  See his pictures below. 

Samuel by Heidi Ott, photo courtesy of Phyllis Schlatter

Samuel has painted hair.  He has been nicely redressed by his mom, Phyllis.

Lucie, a tan-skinned Heidi Ott Original doll is made of vinyl with stuffed, stockingette body.  She stands 17 inches and holds a vinyl and cloth 7-inch baby.  Lucie wears her original outfit and replaced shoes.  I have been unable to document her (possible 1990s) year of manufacture.  Purchased at an estate sale for $15, Lucie has been one of my doll children since the summer of 2005.  After purchasing Lucie, an identical doll was offered on eBay with a buy it now amount of $299. 

Ott's Will and Ellie (made in China/distributed by Dayton Hudson Corporation) are from 1996.  These 18-inch (American Girl-style) dolls are made of vinyl with stuffed knit bodies.  They feature natural textured, brown kanekalon wigs; brown sleep eyes, and smiling mouths with two upper molded teeth.  They wear their original clothes.   (I added Ellie's glasses) A target exclusive, their original retail was $35.

According to Heidi Ott's "under construction" website,  she currently makes miniature child dolls

More links to Heidi Ott dolls:
Close up of another collector's Ellie
Two Heidi Ott babies
Another Lucie
Another Miniature Child Doll


It has been fun reacquainting myself with dolls in my collection that for years have gone without a glimpse or without a thought. Writing this month's themed blog allowed me to provide some much needed, undivided attention to the featured dolls and to learn a little more about them. I enjoyed the process. I hope you did, too. 

Do you have dolls that long for your attention?