Item # 452R - Vintage Pre-1940's Wisconsin Dells Skookum Doll

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sold out

Item # 452R - Vintage Pre-1940's Wisconsin Dells Skookum Doll

119.95

Vintage pre-1940's and possibly as old as pre-1924 Skookum Doll. The doll was evidently sold as a souvenir at Wisconsin Dells which is noted on the moccasin with a souvenir sticker. We've added notes from Wikipedia about qualities to determine the age of the doll. It has the paint decorated moccasins with wooden legs and the carved face (not plastic). We've pulled back the shawl slightly to show the head stuffing material. The shawl is wool (Pentleton?) with a flannel cloth skirt.

The doll stands 9" tall and measures 4 3/4" across pony tail to ponytail. She weighs 2.6 ounces. I'm not an authority on Skookum Dolls, but I would say she's in excellent shape for her age!  $119.95

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Skookum doll was a Native American themed doll, sold as a souvenir item in the early 20th century. Although considered collectible, they are not authentic Indian dolls, as they were designed and created by a white woman, and quickly mass-produced. 

Mary Dwyer McAboy (1876-1961), of Missoula, Montana learned to carve apple head dolls as a child from her mother.  According to an account by McAboy, her mother had sold apple dolls at church socials and sewing circles. Mary Dwyer had worked as a schoolteacher before marrying Frank E. McAboy in 1909. Her husband died of tuberculosis four years later, in 1913.

 A product that began as women's handicraft had rapidly shifted to factory production with mostly male workers. From that time on, the dolls were manufactured by the H.H. Tammen Company in Los Angeles, and distributed in the east by the Arrow Novelty Company in New York City. Starting in the 1940s, the faces were made of plastic. McAboy supervised production of the dolls until she retired in 1952.

One method of determining the production date of the dolls is by studying the footwear. For example, the earliest dolls from around 1913 had moccasins made of leather. By 1918, the moccasins were simulated with suede applied to wood, and painted designs. By 1924, they were molded of composition material, and by the 1950s, the dolls had plastic feet. Production of the dolls ended in the early 1960s. (excerpt from Wikipedia)