Summary

Note: This object is a derogatory depiction of a particular cultural group. Such depictions are not condoned by Museums Victoria which considers them to be racist. Historical distance and context does not excuse or erase this fact.

Alternative Name(s): Golliwog

Small doll made of black wool, reminiscent of the golliwog style doll.

Part of a dolls' house, built around 1920 by Neil McArthur for his much younger half-sister Elizabeth (Beth) Twycross, born in 1917. Neil made the doll's house out of found materials including cigar boxes; he also made many of the furnishings in the doll's house. Some of the contents of the doll's house may date back to the 1860s, played with by ancestor Charlotte Twycross; most date to either the 1920s or the 1940s-50s. In the early 1950s the donor was given the spruced-up doll's house as a birthday present by her parents. In later years her own daughter later added items, although she wasn't allowed to play due to its fragility.

The original 'golliwog' was a character created by Florence Kate Upton in the late 19th century, inspired by a 'blackface' minstrel doll which she found in her aunt's attic. Depicted in Upton's book's as a type of rag doll, the golliwog dolls were a popular children's toy in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia, into the 1960s and were made both commercially and at home. Golliwogs have fallen out of favour around the world in all kinds of commercial areas, from toys to children's books to foodstuffs as they are inherently racist.

Physical Description

Small doll made of black wool. Red stich details, with red, yellow and black band around its waist.

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