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Nearly as dramatic as the introduction of molded-felt faces was the introduction of the R. John Wright children dolls in 1981. Not only was the medium of felt well suited to a child's form, but in gravitating towards child dolls, the Wrights were continuing an important tradition of doll making. Early twentieth century makers had widely made children their principal subject.
When Susan and John began to consider making children dolls they had been honing their craft making adult Character Dolls dressed in ethnic clothing. But their eyes had been opened by the antique dolls they had been examining - and had begun to collect - and these influences mixed with their own developing style. And so, inspired by the sturdy playful cloth forms of Kathe Kruse and Lenci as well as the realistic German bisque Kammer & Reinhardt child dolls, John began to sculpt what would soon become the Little Children face and Susan began to draft the patterns for a new, more childlike, body.
In designing the first RJW child dolls, the Wrights' could not help but be inspired by their own toddler, Lillian. Indeed, she became one of the Little Children series which consisted of eight dolls: Lillian; Jesse; Tad; Hannah; Becky; Peter; William; and Elizabeth. In the process, the Wrights created their own distinctly late twentieth-century child doll. With their rounded body forms and face shapes and their half-somber/half-smiling expressions, the Little Children managed to suggest both readiness to play and a willingness to share in quiet reflection. Antique doll collectors responded immediately to the evocation of early doll makers implicit in the work, and many found themselves, for the first time, collecting contemporary dolls.
Becky from the original Little Children series stands approximately 17" tall, and is fully jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips. She is constructed of fine wool felt with a molded face, hand painted features, a wig of the finest imported mohair, and felt hands with sewn fingers.
Becky is costumed in an outfit reminiscent of 19th Century Americana. She wears a long sleeved blouse made of cotton calico fabric which includes small mother-of-pearl buttons. Over her blouse, Becky wears a cotton jumper that fastens in the back with tiny dome snaps. Like the other Little Children females, Becky wears a batiste teddy under her clothing. Hand-cobbled red leather sandals and a straw brimmed hat provide the perfect finishing touches. In one hand, Becky holds a miniature handcrafted wooden rake (not shown in photo). This doll is #014 in the edition of 250 pieces.
Becky has a tiny foil "Periwinkle" medallion sewed to her jumper. The Periwinkle tag was only used for a very short time in the 1980's before the brass RJW button was introduced. Becky is packaged in the first-ever RJW deluxe presentation boxes.
The Becky offered here was circa 1983 and comes directly from R. John Wright Archives in pristine as-new condition.
The online purchase price includes shipping and insurance in the domestic United States. For overseas shipping rates, please contact the RJW office. You may also place your order request via phone at 1-802-447-7072. All orders are subject to availability.