Kewpie dolls are based on illustrations by Rose O'Neill that appeared in Ladies' Home Journal in 1909. These illustrations,which incorporated words and pictures with the recurring Kewpie characters, are considered to be early versions of the comic strip medium. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early 1900s. Bisque Kewpie dolls were the first produced and then the dolls were made from celluloid. In 1949, Effanbee created the first hard plastic versions.
Their name, often shortened to "Kewpies", in fact is derived from "cupid", the Roman god. The early dolls, especially signed or bisque, are highly collectible and worth thousands of dollars. The time capsule at the 1939 New York World's Fair contained a Kewpie doll. The term "Kewpie doll" is sometimes mistakenly applied to the troll doll.
Many other articles were made using their images, like coloring and poem books, cups, plates, curios, etc. The incredible success of these characters made their creator rich and famous. It's a rare example of a woman becoming successful in the media business at such an early date. Kewpies should not be confused with the baby-like Billiken figures that debuted in 1908.
According to the internet, the most searched for are Kewpies from the 1950s, black dolls, bisque versions and Japanese dolls.
What's your Kewpie worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.
|9 German All Bisque Kestner Kewpie Doll Rare Beautiful||09/2021||$1 200.00|
|Rose O Neill Kewpie Dolls Of Three||09/2021||$599.99|
|Marked O Neill All Bisque Kewpie Laying Legs Up Rare||10/2021||$560.00|
|6 Estate Bisque Porcelain Kewpie Dolls||08/2021||$405.00|
|Rose O Neill Kewpie Baby Bundle Doll 12 Red Hair Circa||09/2021||$405.00|
|See all sold items on eBay for more prices||12/2021||$-.--|