To judge the sizes the girl with her bow measures about 4-1/4'' tall. These appear to be in good to excellent condition as pictured. They each have some paint wear that could be touched up if desired. She does have a crack around her neck. We can't tell if she was repaired or not.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The ''Golliwogg'' (later ''Golliwog'') is a rag doll like, children's literary character created by Florence Kate Upton in the late 19th century. The Golliwogg was inspired by a blackface minstrel doll Upton had as a child in America. At one point it was very popular in Europe and as a result has become a collector's item. However, the image of the doll has become the subject of heated debate. One aspect of the debate in its favor argues that it should be preserved and passed on as a cherished cultural artifact and childhood tradition, while opponents argue it should be retired as a relic of an earlier time when racism against black people was blatant.
Upton moved to England with her family when she was fourteen. There she spent several years drawing and developing her artistic skills. In order to afford tuition to art school, she illustrated a children's book entitled ''The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg''. The 1895 book included a character named the ''Golliwogg'', who was first described as ''a horrid sight, the blackest gnome'', but who quickly turned out to be a friendly character, and is later attributed with a ''kind face''. A product of the blackface minstrel tradition, the character was classic ''darkie'' iconography. The Golliwogg had jet black skin; bright, red lips; and wild, woolly hair. He sported red trousers, a shirt with a stiff collar, red bow tie, and a blue jacket with tails, all traditional minstrel attire.
Upton's book and its many sequels were extremely successful in England, largely because of the popularity of the Golliwogg, which became the generic name for dolls and images of a similar type, spelt ''golliwog''. The golliwog doll became a popular children's toy throughout most of the 20th century, and was incorporated into many aspects of British commerce and culture; for instance, some of Enid Blyton's books feature them, often as a villain and sometimes as heroes. Upton's Golliwogg was jovial and friendly, but some later golliwogs would be sinister or menacing characters. The Black and White Minstrel Show, a blackface musical show which ran for many seasons on UK television and stage, had performers of all races blacked up more as golliwogs, with white ringed eyes, as in the original Minstrel show tradition. The golliwog contributed enormously to the spread of 'darky' iconography in Europe. It also made its way back across the Atlantic in the form of children's literature, dolls, children's china and other toys, ladies' perfume, and jewelry.
British jam manufacturer James Robertson © Sons used a golliwog called Golly as its mascot from 1910, after John Robertson apparently saw children playing with golliwog dolls in America. Robertson's started producing promotional Golliwog badges in the 1920s, which could be obtained in exchange for tokens gained from their products. In 1983, the company's products were boycotted by the Greater London Council as offensive, and in 1988 the character ceased to be used in television advertising. The company used to give away golliwog badges making up different sets, such as playing jazz instruments, or with sports equipment, or other such themes. The badge collection scheme was retired in 2001.
Robertson now denies any link between Golliwoggs and black people in a statement reported by the BBC. Virginia (Ginny) C. Knox, previously brand director for Robertson's and now Chief Operating Officer of the Culinary Brands Division of RHM, told the Herald Newspaper in Scotland in 2001 that the decision to remove the Golly (Golliwogg) symbol from Robertson's jam and marmalade jars was taken after research found that children were not familiar with the character, although it still appealed to the older generations. ''We sell 45 million jars of jam and marmalade each year and they have pretty much all got Golly on them,'' said Ms. Knox. ''We also sell 250,000 Golly badges to collectors and only get 10 letters a year from people who don't like the Golliwogg image''. Today, Robertson's Golliwog badges remain highly collectible, with the very rarest sometimes selling for more than £1,000, and even comparatively common and recent badges being worth £2.00–£3.00.
After the publication of Upton's first book, the term ''golliwogg'' was used both as a reference to the children's toy and as a generic, racist term for blacks. In Britain and her colonies, ''golliwogg'' perhaps became ''wog'' a racial slur applied to dark skinned peoples worldwide, including Africans, Italians, and other Mediterranean people, Native Americans, Middle Easterners, Hispanics, Aborigines, and Indians. In the 1950s, issues of Rainbow (comic) (and its spin off, Tiger Tim) featured short strips of a venue called ''Darkie-town''. Although the strips had black police officers and interacted with white characters with little to no offensive language from either party, speech bubbles did show the ''Darkie-town'' natives talk in stereotypical Caribbean like accents. In the early 1980s, revised editions of Enid Blyton's Noddy books replaced Mr. Golly, the golliwogg proprietor of the Toytown garage, with Mr. Sparks, to the outrage of many parents of a generation who identified it as racist iconoclasm.