Name: United Children of Our World Dolls
Made by and When: John Nissen, 1990s
Material: The larger dolls, Muhammed and Fatou, are vinyl with doe suede upper arms, upper legs, and bodies that are foam stuffed. The smallest doll is all vinyl
Marks: Muhammed – ©John Nissen (on the head), ®UNITED / CHILDREN / OF OUR / WORLD / NO. 344143143/37/1200 / MADE IN DENMARK / BY DAN HILL PLAST (on the back); the number 37 is smeared, but Muhammed’s accompanying pamphlet indicates he is #37 in the edition.
Fatou – ©John Nissen (on the head), ®UNITED / CHILDREN / OF OUR / WORLD / NO. 342343/171/1200 / MADE IN DENMARK / BY DAN HILL PLAST (on the back)
Smallest Doll – ©John Nissen (on the head)
Height: Muhammed is 29 inches tall. Fatou is 27 inches tall. The smallest doll is 14 inches tall.
Hair, Eyes, Mouth: All have rooted short black curly hair, brown inset eyes, applied upper eyelashes; and closed mouths.
Clothes: Muhammed wears Egyptian-inspired clothing and a turban. Fatou wears a Gambian-inspired dress with a five-pouch leather amulet, silver bangle bracelets—the earrings were added—and a cloth headwrap of the same fabric as the dress. An African-print dress, a multicolored beaded necklace, and a yellow headband are worn by the smallest unnamed doll. All dolls have bare feet.
Other: John Nissen’s United Children of Our World doll series represent children from around the world. Muhammed represents an Egyptian boy. Fatou is a girl from Gambia. The smallest doll was probably made for the play market. Its country of origin is unknown. Muhammad and Fatou were made in a limited-edition of 1200 dolls. Muhammed is #37 of 1200. Fatou is 171 of 1200. A brief bio of John Nissen reads as follows:
“Although the ‘United Children of Our World’ is John Nissen’s first doll project, he is no stranger to sculpting the human face.
“In 1947 he began a long and distinguished career as a sculptor at the Royal Danish Porcelain Company, one of the finest porcelain makers in the whole of Europe.
Finding a love for the lines of the human face, in 1960 he became chief designer for Hindsgaul, the largest manufacturer in the world of window mannequins, and in 1973 he started his own mannequin company.
“…The ‘United Children of Our World’ is John Nissen’s original concept. Each doll has been thoroughly researched and accurately represents the characteristics of the country or region portrayed. Authentic costume designs by Else Madsen add to the beauty of these lovely creations…”
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