Petitcollin Dolls

Name: Petitcollin Dolls

Made by and When: JouetsPetitcollin, circa 1990s

Material: Celluloid-type plastic, jointed at the arms and the legs only

Marks: The larger dolls are marked with the raised number 25 on the upper backs; the baby has a raised number 8 on its upper back. The African Mother and Father have Petitcollin hangtags that bear an illustration of an antique white Petiticollin baby doll.

Reference/Item Numbers: #2025705 (swimmer), #2025740 (African father), #2025741 (African mother and baby)

Height: The swimmer and the African father and mother are 10 inches tall. The baby, sold with the African mother, is 3-1/2 inches tall.

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Sculpted hair, painted eyes, closed mouths; all dolls have deep complexions and ethnically correct facial features.

Clothes: Petit Colin swimmer, item #2025705, wears a light and dark blue striped antique-style swimsuit, has a light blue terrycloth towel, and red inflatable lifesaver.

African Mother, African Father, and Baby: A boubou is worn by the separately-sold mother and father dolls.  Mother wears a headwrap; Father has a Kofi of the same color fabric as the boubou.  The baby is nude.

Other: On their boxes, the dolls are identified by name as Petit Colin (swimmer), Boubou (African father), and Boubou & bébé (African mother and baby). Written in French with English translation, the English text on the back of the swimmer’s box reads:

Hello, my name is Petit Colin.  I am a true Petitcollin doll.  I was born in Etain, in the Lorraine region of France.

I come from a very large family of dolls.  I was made in France with a lot of care.  I was hand-decorated in the traditional manner.  My skin is soft like the skin of a real baby.  You can take a bath with me.

Petitcollin was founded in France in 1860 and has made a variety of celluloid dolls since 1912. Better known for its wide variety of white dolls, the company has made black (Hindou) versions as well as Asian dolls and those with the deepest complexion like the examples in this installation that are described by Petitcollin as genuinely black (Negri) dolls. According to a Wikipedia entry, in 1995, Vilac acquired the company, which became known as SARL Jouets Petitcollin (



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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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