Name: Pot Doll
Made by and When: Unknown United Kingdom maker, 1930s
Material: Composition bisque-type (pottery) material
Height: 15 inches
Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Black sculpted texturized hair that mimics the texture of Africanoid hair, blue painted eyes, open/closed mouth with full lips painted red
Clothes: Redressed in coral and white gingham overalls, white shoes, white headband
Other: Similar dolls were often dressed in African tribal clothing by European manufacturers with gold hoop earrings inserted in the pierced ears (bored holes near the earlobes).
In 2009, this doll, with its broad facial features, traveled to the US from Stoke-on-Kent, Staffordshire in the United Kingdom. This head sculpt was only used for Black dolls.
Dolls made from the same material are referred to as pot dolls because of their composition bisque-type construct which is similar to pottery. Crudely made, there are visible paint drippings in some areas. Linear indentations are on the front of one of the muscular thighs and on one side of the back. The back is sunken. These are all careless manufacturer’s flaws. Despite these imperfections, the doll maintains a measure of charm.
Other, better-quality pot dolls are attributed to Frank Popper. Popper’s dolls usually bear his initials followed by a number, e.g., FP22. See an example of a lovely Black Frank Popper doll here.
Your comments are valued. Donations aid the initiative to preserve Black-doll history.
If you subscribe to DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ by email, be sure to click the post title in the email, which links to the website to view all text and associated media. Please “like” and share this installation with your social media doll contacts. To subscribe, add your email address to the subscribe or sign-up field in the footer or right sidebar.