Vintage Kitchen Collectibles: Napkin Dolls

What exactly is a Napkin Doll? The first time I saw a napkin doll I had no idea what it was let alone the purpose it had. I simply thought it was a very lovely vintage figurine with slits in her dress/skirt and is purely for decorative purposes.

It wasn’t until I was in a “fancy” antique shop and saw an entire cabinets filled with vintage Napkin Dolls that I paused to stare and admire how gorgeous these were and how complete they looked with napkins tucked into the slits on their skirts.  There were Napkin Dolls made of wood and ceramic. The were some ceramic napkin dolls that had bowls and trays in their arms (for hors d’oeuvres and toothpicks) others had hats on with an opening (candle holder) there were dolls with pretty faces, bug eyes, long lashes, eye shadow and red lips. Dresses had bright colors and were encrusted with jewels and gilt. Some dolls held parasols; others had fans in their hands and flowers. There were even some that resembled Spanish Flamenco dancers.

Just like so many of today’s vintage collectibles and kitschy collectibles, Napkin Dolls were at their hay-day in the late 1940s-1960s and were manufactured in Japan and today; many of these items are highly sought after and collectible.  Many of these dolls are hand made and hand painted. Companies like Holland Mold, Kreiss, Lipper and Mann, and Davar, and Artmark are a that produced napkin dolls. Many are also made in the form of Santa and Angels for the holidays – Christmas. Prices today range from $45-$225 if you are fortunate enough to find a Napkin Doll with her matching salt and pepper shaker ladies!!

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