Bruckner Topsy-Turvy

Name:  Bruckner Topsy-Turvy

Made by and When:  Albert Bruckner, circa 1901

Material:  Cloth

Marks: Bruckner Doll (tag on the back of bodice)

Height: 12 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Lithographed hair and facial features; the Black doll has a smile with teeth; the White doll’s lips are closed.

Clothes: Dressed identically in a blue and white shared gingham skirt, separate bodices for the separate torsos, and matching bonnets

Other: Topsy-Turvy dolls are also known as double-sided dolls because two dolls share the same torso with the head of one doll covered by the full-length, shared skirt. The dolls are legless. Flipping the doll to one side or the other exposes the hidden doll and hides the previously exposed doll.

Albert Bruckner Topsy-Turvy dolls are the most popular commercially produced versions that date back to the late-1800s. Bruckner applied for and received a patent for Topsy-Turvy dolls in 1901 after which “all Bruckner dolls were then stamped, “PAT’D JULY 8th 1901” on the lower right neck edge.” (

The following poem appeared in an Albert Bruckner’s Sons advertisement for a No. 2 “Tu-in-One” doll:

“Turn Me Up
Turn Me Back
First I’m White
Then I’m Black”

Gallery (Images and description courtesy of and Alderfer Auction.)

View another Topsy Turvy installation 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, 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. 

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.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: