Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Lizzy's Doll Found Me

Unmarked, black souvenir doll, former childhood doll of Lizzy Z.

This past summer, after her visit to the Eye of the Collector exhibition where she saw my black-doll exhibit, I received a Facebook message from Lizzy Z.   The message, which included the above photograph, read:

My mother brought me this doll from a trip she took when I was a child. I never much played with dolls and kept it for the connection to my Mother. I wondered if you wanted her for your fabulous collection. She is looking for a fine home and I'd like to give her to you. Would you want this doll for your collection? A gift.

I replied:

Hi Lizzy - thank you for writing me and offering me this wonderful doll. If you are absolutely sure you don't mind parting with the doll, I will gladly accept it. Would you like for me to pay postage?

"No," was Lizzy's reply.

Within a few weeks, as promised, Lizzy mailed her former childhood doll to me.

Close-up of the 12-inch doll's smiling mask face

Dolls like Lizzy's (black and white versions) dressed in various costumes were made and sold for the tourist trade throughout the world. As seen here and here dolls similar to this one originated in such places as Poland circa 1950s.  According to this website, mask face dolls date back to the 1920s.  I do not know the year Lizzy received her doll nor the geographical location from which it was purchased.

Dressed as a mammy, this one wears a blue headscarf that exposes the extent of her hair, her black bangs.   She has a mature bosom.  Her dress and apron are sewn onto her body.  Her blue fabric shoes match the color of her headscarf and apron.  The cardboard soles of her shoes have deteriorated from age on one shoe and missing from the other.

I own other souvenir dolls, but none are like this one.  She is a sweet little doll with a "happy disposition."

Lizzy's doll, Lizzy

To always remember her previous owner and her kind gesture, I have named her Lizzy.  Thank you again, Lizzy for Lizzy!




  1. She's adorable!!! With such a gorgeous origin story and then her journey to you. Proves there are still genorous souls in the world. :)

    1. Hi Julius,

      You are so right. Lizzy's arrival and the manner in which she arrived are proof that there are still generous souls in the world. Lizzy came into my life at the right time, too.


  2. What a sweet story! I think Lizzy has found herself a very good home!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Lee. It's wonderful to see a comment from you.


  4. She has such a charming and pleasant face. It was generous of Lizzy to want her doll to go to a good home and I'm happy to know your collection is attracting this sort of attention.
    Thanks for sharing your pictures of Lizzy the doll and the story of Lizzy the woman.

    1. Hi Maricha,

      Lizzy is a special doll. I am honored to have her here incorporated with similar dolls. It seems her smile is a little brighter. :-)



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