Yankuba by Philip Heath

Name: Yankuba, A World of Children series

Made by and When: Philip Heath for Gotz, 1994

Material: Vinyl head, shoulder plate, lower arms and lower legs; cloth upper arms, cloth from the waist to above the knees

Marks: PSH is incised in the back of the shoulder plate.

Height: 21 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Dark brown loosely curled wig, brown glass crystal stationary eyes with applied upper eyelashes and painted lower eyelashes; full lips with open mouth, and four sculpted and painted lower teeth

Clothes: Original clothes of cotton print earth tone shirt and matching balloon pants, bare feet; the accessory, a wooden drum, is not shown.

Other: Sculpted by Philip Heath and made in Germany by Gotz in an edition of 500, Yankuba, the third doll in A World of Children series, represents a boy from Africa. Yankuba has two different Gotz hangtags (a paper tag and a heavier cardstock hangtag). The cardstock hangtag includes Philip Heath’s biography up to the time the doll was produced, which reads,

“Gotz presents: Designer Dolls

“I was born in 1948 in Stoke on Trent, England. The city is the centre of Ceramics Industry in England. In 1964 I studied Art at the College of Art in Stoke on Trent and in 1966 Ceramics at the West Surrey College of Art. In 1970 I became Head of Ceramics at the Malvern College, Worcestershire, where I taught for 15 years. In 1985 I resigned my teaching position and established a doll studio and gallery in Malvern, Worcestershire. In 1989 I left England to live in Virginia, USA. In 1990 I moved to Antwerp, Belgium, where I established in 1992 my new studio and gallery with coffee house ‘The Dollmaker’.

“I wish to make dolls which express an emotional quality, which is the reason that the portrait theme is particularly interesting to me. In studying each face carefully, I hope to make the finished doll ‘speak’, and I try to recreate some of enjoyment I experience during the initial sculpting of the complete figure.”

Philip Heath died November 28, 2011, in Worcestershire, United Kingdom.


Yankuba stands 21 inches tall.
Yankuba, a 21-inch vinyl African boy by Philip Heath. #PhilipHeathdoll, #artistvinyldoll, #Gotzdoll
The open mouth exposes four sculpted and painted lower teeth.

See photos of another Yankuba with drum here.


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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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