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Object Name Doll
Date ca. 1920s
Description Sailor boy doll. Molded felt head with molded and painted facial features and a blonde wig (possibly mohair or silk). Cloth body. He is wearing a blue two-piece sailor suit (the front of the suit has faded to purple) with a white collar and black tie; and a red wool cap with a white pompon in center. Overall height is 18 inches.
Acquisition Gift of Mrs. Adolph Hefty
Ownership and History Manufactured boy dolls are not a rarity, but they are certainly less common than dolls that portray girls and women. This doll bears a great resemblance to the very popular felt-head dolls that were being produced at the time by the Lenci firm of Turin, Italy; the Lenci dolls were so successful that many other doll manufacturers started to produce similar models. Based on some of the details of this doll, most notably the painting of the eyes and eyelashes, it appears that this doll was made by Raynal, a French firm founded in 1922.

This doll has the side-glancing eyes that were sometimes seen in dolls from the 1920s and 1930s. It was a popular design convention in those decades, used not only by dollmakers but by fashion models as well.

This doll was owned by a Staten Island boy named Adolph Hefty (born in 1926). It was said to have been sent to him as a gift from France, and the doll's clothing is said to represent that of a French sailor.
Earliest Date 1922
Latest Date 1930
Maker Raynal (attributed)
Subjects Dolls
Lexicon Sub-category Toy
Associated People Hefty, Adolph Jr.
Catalog Number T03.0385
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, 2012.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.