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The Ruth E. Aten World Doll Collection: Europe

This list, with accompanying photos, contains dolls from various areas of Europe.

Eastern Europe

EEur1. Hungary. Hungarian Doll. 7 ½“ Detailed dressed with ornate hat, gold pleated skirt with white pleated apron, red boots, red crossed shawl with fringe. Given by Linda Degh (faculty) from one of her many trips to Hungary.

Hungarian Doll

EEur2. Slovakia. Mother and Child Corn Husk Dolls. 6” Beautifully crafted mother and child corn husk doll carrying bale of straw. Given by Zsuzanna Cseleny (student). 2002

Mother and Child Corn Husk Dolls, Slovakia

EEur3. Poland. Wooden Doll. 7” Cloth dress, red shoes, jointed with blonde fiber pigtails. Mark: “made in Poland.”Given by Ruth Aten. 1973

Wooden Doll, Poland

EEur4. Doll Spinning Wool. 6” Cloth doll dressed in elaborate and detail traditional costume of a yellow scarf and a black pleated skirt with colorful trim. The doll is hand spinning wool.

Doll Spinning Wool

EEur5. Russia. Hand Painted Nesting/Stack Doll. 6” – 1 ¼” Set of 5 nesting dolls. Mark: “To Ruth From Russia with love, Lily.” Given by Stephanie Knox (student). She wrote, “The doll I gave you is directly from Russia. Dr. Lily Golden, she signed the bottom of it for you.  (I had asked her last year to bring you back a Matrushka doll the next time she went to Russia). She’s a very special person and her daughter is the equivalent to Oprah Winfrey in Russia (she has her own television show which broadcasts throughout Russia and Europe). You’d love Lily. Anyway, enjoy the doll.” 2001

Russian Nesting/Stack Dolls:  Description taken from World Community Market.Net. “In Russia making wooden objects, which fit inside each other, have been a tradition that has carried on for centuries. Over the years the objects evolved from figurines to dolls. These dolls were made and painted by Russian and Ukrainian craftsman.
     In the late 19th century these nesting dolls were given the name of "matreshka" or "matryoshka" The name of these dolls stem from the root word "maternity". In old Russia these dolls were passed down from generation to generation with each generation adding a bigger doll to the set. It is believed that this family matreshka is suppose to keep good luck and peace in the family.
     Matreshka dolls can be very small with only 2 pieces on up to over 40 pieces. They can be very simple and inexpensive or they can be very detailed and very expensive where the most expensive dolls are purchased as investments by investors.”

Hand Painted Hesting/Stack Doll, Russia

EEur6. Russia. Hand Painted Nesting/Stack Doll.  5” Painted red scarf, green striped dress. Set of 5 dolls. 

Hand Painted Nesting/Stack Doll, Russia

EEur7. Russia. Hand Painted Nesting/Stack Doll. 3” Red scarf with flowers on dress; set of 3 dolls. Given by Ruth Aten.

Hand Painted Nesting/Stack Doll, Russia

EEur8. Russia. Hand Painted Nesting/Stack Doll. 4” Painted black with strawberries; set of 4 dolls.

Hand Painted Nesting/Stack Doll, Russia

EEur9. Bucovina, Romania. Wooden Doll. 6” Hand painted wooden doll with red scarf carrying pitcher with Dutch shoes. Mark: “Romania/Bucovina.” Given by Mary Ellen Brown (faculty). 2000

Wooden Doll, Bucovina, Romania

EEur10. RussiaRussian Doll with Fur Hat. 4 ½” Small souvenir doll with fur hat and red shirt with gold trim.

Russian Doll with Fur Hat

EEur11. Southern Russia. Russian Woman. 8” Vinyl doll in traditional dress with long black braided fiber hair. Head cover over gold dress with brown vest.  

Russian Woman, Southern Russia

EEur12. Prague. Czech Rod-Marionette. 8” (doll). Carved wood  marionette on a metal rod with white robe and black and gold trim. Given by Kurt Hartwig and Lisa Gildehaus (students). Kurt describes doll: “Traditional style Czech rod-marionette The figure of Death is very common in Czech puppetry, and usually articulated as female – the Czech language uses masculine, feminine, and neuter (like Spanish, for example), and SMRT, ”death” happens to be feminine. – It’s kind of a variable character, sometimes malevolent, sometimes more like a force of nature, so reactions to it/her tend to be trickster-like in the first instance, and resigned in the second.  Depends on the plays.” 2001

Czech Rod-Marionette, Prague

EEur13. Warsaw. Wooden Angel. 8” Carved and painted wooden angel holding flowers.  Bottom: “E. Skidinska, Kutno 94”  Given by Mary Ellen Brown (faculty). 1994

Wooden Angel, Warsaw

EEur14. Leningrad, Soviet Union. Hemp Doll. 9 ½” Doll’s hair and dress made probably of a fiber like hemp and decorated with brocade trim and colorful rick-rack. Doll has a wood painted head, stuffed upper body with dowel and stand. Given by Mary Beth Stein (student). Mary Beth did her dissertation research in the Soviet Union and actually witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. 1988

Hemp Doll, Leningrad, Soviet Union

EEur15. Poland. Polish Doll. 12” Polish doll dressed in traditional clothes. Doll has stuffed cloth body and composition head with blond fiber braided hair. Doll is very old. Given by Ruth Aten

Polish Doll

EEur16. Russia.  Russian Dancer. 8” A popular Russian souvenir doll. Cloth stuffed body, plastic head, fur hat with loose booted legs. Box included.

Russian Dancer

EEur17. Poland or Romanian. European Woman. 6” Small plastic souvenir doll. Doll is dressed in traditional outfit with brocade trim on pleated skirt and apron over a white laced top. Head is covered with an embroidered scarf. Given by John Johnson (faculty). John purchased this doll at a garage sale. 1998

European Woman, Poland or Romania

EEur18. Poland. Polish Girl. 13 ½” Old stuffed doll with detailed traditional dress with head scarf and print skirt. Doll has blonde fiber hair, plastic face and white cloth shoes. Given by Ruth Aten.

Polish Girl

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Northern Europe

NEur1. Simple Handmade Doll. 8” Hand-sewn stuffed fabric doll. Given by Mary Ellen Brown (faculty). 1990s

Simple Handmade Doll

NEur2. Denmark. Danish Doll. 7” Plastic detailed dressed doll. Black silk dress with brocade trim and red pleated apron, Black hat with brocade and lace trim. Written inside skirt: “Danish Handmade, Amager Brudedragt.” Given by Ruth Aten. 1978

Danish Doll

NEur3. Latvia. Wooden Doll. 3 ¼“ Hand painted lath carved dowel doll with detailed painted plaid skirt and blonde fiber pigtail. Given by Inta Carpenter (faculty). 1990s

Wooden Doll, Latvia

NEur4. Latvia. Wooden Doll. 8” Hand painted  wooden ball head with blonde braided fiber hair.  Dress is red woven striped skirt with white shawl. Doll has a head band and a necklace made of embroidered cord. Given by Inta Carpenter (faculty). Inta’s parents emigrated from Latvia and she would make many trips there to visit family and do research. 1990s

Wooden Doll, Latvia

NEur5. Norway. Moose. 9 ½” Stuffed moose with knitted sweater and socks. Given by Sandra Dolby (faculty) from a trip to Norway. 2001

Moose, Norway

NEur6. Girl Dolls. 4 ½” Set of two small girl dolls in traditional dress. Both dolls have white tops with brocade trim shirts. Dolls were purchased at a flea market. Given by Ruth Aten.

Girl Dolls

NEur7. County Fermanagh, Ireland. The Lady Grey Mumming Doll. 16” This doll is the character from the mumming play, The Grey Lady that is part of the Irish Christmas Mumming. The Grey Lady is a man dressed in lady’s clothes, grey jacket and dotted grey skirt. A hat covered with pink netting hides the male face. The doll was made for and presented to Henry Glassie in a ceremony in Fermanagh honoring his book, “All Silver and no Brass”. A small book describing the mumming event is attached to the doll. Given by Henry Glassie (faculty). 2000

The Lady Grey Mumming Doll, County Fermanagh, Ireland

NEur8. Finland. Burlap Girl. 9 Hand made stuffed burlap doll, embroidered face, woven blue pattern burlap dress, twine hair and knotted arms. Tag: “Handmade in Finland, Ella Maija Laitasala. Given by Mary Koske (student). 1986

Burlap Girl, Finland

NEur9. Latvia. Wooden Girl. 5” Painted wooden doll in traditional dress with long blond fiber braids. Dress has white fringed shawl and red skirt. Given by Inta Carpenter (faculty).

Wooden Girl, Latvia

NEur10. Newport, Gwent, Wales. Girl Holding Basket. 8” Plastic Souvenir doll with black fiber hair, black hat, white lace scarf, white lace apron over plaid woven skirt. Given by Jane Kennedy (friend). 1996

Girl Holding Basket, Newport, Gwent, Wales

NEur11. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ullapool Scotland. The Regimental Scottish Piper. 12 ½” Porcelain doll in traditional uniform of the Royal Bagpipe Guard. Fur hat, black jacket with gold trim, plaid bottom, carrying bagpipes. Doll in original case: “The Regimental Scottish Piper; Royal Porcelain Collection”. Given by Julie Heath (student). Julie writes, “For Ruth, From Julie, Bought in Ullapool Scotland, the ferry port for the Western .., Ullapool is a little town on Scotland’s northwest coast”. 1990s

The Regimental Scottish Piper

NEur12. Sweden. Swedish Doll. 10 ½” Small Swedish souvenir doll in Swedish national costume. White blouse, yellow skirt with blue flowered trim. Given by Tom Walker (student). 1991

Swedish Doll

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Southern Europe

SEur1. Abruzzo Region, Italy. Female Italian Doll. 7 Italian Doll from Central Italy. White felt scarf, lace top, red skirt, blue apron. Given by Giovanna Del-Negro (student). 1994

SEur2. Florence, Italy. Wooden Pinocchio Doll. 4” Markings: “Master Geppetto.” Given by Carol Rice (IU Mailperson). 2003

Wooden Pinocchio Doll, Florence, Italy

SEur3. Italy. Male Playing Bagpipe. 7” Painted figurine, green jacket, brown hat with orange sash, orange pants. Given by Guy Hardy (student). 1990s

Male Playing Bagpipe, Italy

SEur4. Greece. Male Greece Doll. 7” Plastic male doll in traditional costume. White pleated shirt, red top and hat with black tassel. 

Male Greece Doll

SEur5. Porto Cervo, Sardina, Italy. Sardina Woman. 12 ½” Straw braided body, walnut head. Traditional dress made of burlap that has been decorated in crayon or colored pencil design.  Given by Sabina Magliocco (student). Sabina wrote, “Bought in: Porto Cervo, Sardina (Italy)—woman in costume from Nvoro area—.“  1986

Sardina Woman, Porto Cervo, Sardina, Italy

SEur6. Crete, Greece. Male Souvenir Doll. 7” Cloth male doll in traditional dress: blue suit, gold trim vest and black boots. In package with tag: “Souvenir From Crete." Given by Maria Hnarki (student). 1999

Male Souvenir Doll, Crete, Greece

SEur7. Athens, Greece. Greek Herdsman. 14” Handmade molded male, machine embroidered black vest over cotton plaid shirt, green sash with chain, white twill pants, traditional black shoes with pom-poms. Doll has painted face, mohair hair and wearing a hat, carrying herding stick and plaid pouch. Purchased by Ruth Aten on a trip to Greece. 1978

Greek Herdsman, Athens, Greece

SEur8. Seville, Spain. Bull. 4” Black bull with spears in back. Tag: “Made in Spain." Bull was given by Judith Neulander (student). 1998

Bull, Seville, Spain

SEur9. European Doll. 9” Plastic souvenir doll in traditional dress, black hat, red dress with lace and brocade trim. Given by Margaret Neal (Ruth’s Aunt). 1998

European Doll

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Western Europe

WEur1. Belgium. Belgium Girl. 4 ½” Plastic souvenir doll in traditional dress with apron that says “Belgium." Given by Hande Birkalan (student). 1997

Belgium Girl

WEur2. Switzerland. Blonde Swedish Doll. 5 ¼“ Plastic souvenir doll with green hat; felt skirt and yarn pigtails. Our dog chewed on the doll a littlePurchased by Bob Aten on a business trip to Switzerland. 1978

Blonde Swedish Doll

WEur3. Holland, Netherlands. Holland Girl. 17” Plastic doll in traditional dress. Fiber blonde braided hair with white lace bonnet, blue open and shut eyes, moveable arms and legs. Black felt top and apron over striped flannel skirt. My Aunt Margaret found this doll at a garage sale. Given by Ruth Aten (probably made in the 1970s).

Holland Girl, Holland, Netherlands

WEur4. Switzerland. Boy and Girl. 4 ½” Boy and girl doll with wooden heads and bodies and yarn hair in traditional dress.

Boy and Girl, Switzerland

WEur5. Christmas Angel. 1 ½” Very small angel carrying basket of fruit and Christmas tree. This was the very first doll given to me from a student. Given by Phil Nausbam (student). 1982

Christmas Angel


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