Dolls, as a playful object, have been documented since the earliest times. Traces of it can be found in the Egyptian tombs, in the sarcophagus of a little girl where a doll with a cloth body and wooden head was found, but anthropomorphic terracotta shapes have also been found in Greek tombs of the fifth century that suggest a game for little girls. During the Roman era, the dolls,
I'm no longer just a game for little girls,
but also a gift to be dedicated to the deities on the eve of the wedding. In modern times the dolls are produced by local artisans, real artists, the famous puppets of Flanders, but also by toy factories, especially in Germany.
Before the 900s, the dolls were mainly of German and French manufacture. These are both rigid and articulated dolls, made with different techniques and materials such as wood, paper mache, biscuit, or with a one-piece head in rigid material and body in fabric. In 1909, however, a real revolution took place thanks to the intuition of the German Franz Reinhard who proposes a doll with newborn features, thus begins the successful production of "b b s de caract re", dolls with very natural facial expressions and interchangeable heads. The best productions of the time were made by the SFBJ, Soci t Fran aise de B b s et Jouets of Paris.
A few years later in Italy the Lenci dolls, made of pressed cloth by the homonymous company from which the dolls take their name, of pannolenci, became popular. These are dolls for girls from wealthy families, who can not only afford such objects, but who also have the opportunity to play at a time when even the youngest were working in the house and in the fields. Since 1930 the celluloid doll makes its appearance, with much more accessible prices. The dolls feature defined prints, beaded hair and paintings, well-turned limbs and a range of spare dresses. In fact, this is the fun of girls, playing with dolls equipped with layette, emulating their mothers in the care of their younger siblings.
During the 30s, the "France" and "Marianne" with a princely wardrobe were among the most coveted models of SFBJ dolls. Among the major international producers, in addition to the aforementioned SFBJ, we note Cuno and Otte Dressel, German, who manufactured dolls in wax, biscuit and papier m ch . The Pierotti, Londoners of Italian origin, created wax dolls of excellent quality and of great value today. In Italy, among the largest producers are Furga, which manufactured dolls in wax and later in biscuit, Elena Konig and Enzo Scavini who produced Lenci dolls in Turin in 1920 which had an extraordinary success.
The "author" dolls were therefore reserved for wealthy users, especially in the period between the two wars. Today they have become coveted collector's items, although in Italy this practice is more common among collectors of modern dolls, starting with the Barbie.