Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fortune-Telling Dolls

I have not been able to find a great deal of information about Fortune-Telling Dolls, but I know that I'm smitten. From what little I have gathered, the dolls were mainly popular in France in the nineteenth century.  The heads and upper body were usually bisque, porcelain, or wood. The fascinating part of the doll is that the skirt was made of hundreds of handwritten fortunes. In one doll,  the upper half spun and where her hand pointed at the end of the spin was the fortune for you. The dolls were used as a game and solely for amusement. Prices today appear to range from $500 to $1,500 dollars. 

1880 Fortune-Teller Doll
German Wooden Doll
Grodnertal Wooden Doll
Detail of Grodnertal Wooden Doll
Nineteenth Century Fortune-Telling Doll
Jacob Petit Fortune-Telling Doll
In the early twentieth century, a more mass produced Sibyl Fortune-Telling Doll appears on the market. Some are made of paper only and some are dolls that you had to assemble yourself.




I also found a modern day version of the Fortune-Telling Doll by artist Ulla Norup Milbrath. Her blog has detailed photos of how she made it. 

Madame Crow Fortune-Telling Doll

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