Happy 1st Birthday!
Dig Antiques celebrates it's first birthday this week. It has certainly been a year of growth. During our first year, Dig Antiques completed over 70,000 searches for country, folk art, Americana antiques and decorative arts.
Each month we have seen an increase in the number of visitors and completed searches - thank you!
Searching on Dig Antiques
With over 300 antique websites included in the search engine, there is so much to choose from. Remember, the more specific you are in your search phrase the more targeted your search results will be. Not sure how you can control your searches? Read this search help to learn more.
Shops at Dig Antiques
We now have thirteen Shops listed. Have you checked them out?
Have you been looking for a way to sell antiques on the web? Tired of eBay and the listing and commission fees? It's easy and all yours! Open your Shop today and be selling tonight! Learn more here.
Already have a website? You still may want to open a Shop for additional exposure. You can include a link in your Shop Profile back to your own website.
Amish Dolls and Stuffed Animals
There is something charming and enduring about Amish dolls and stuffed animals - and there seems to be an increased interest in them. Currently, searching on Dig Antiques for Amish will yield a total of 266 matches, Amish Doll results in 98 matches and Amish Dog results in 42 matches. Click the links above to bring up the latest search.
Amish dolls are well-known for having no face but the exact reason for this is unknown. One common story is that a young Amish girl was given a doll by her teacher. When she brought it home, her father replaced the doll's head with an old sock. He then told her that "only God can make people." Since then, according to tradition, all Amish children have played with rag dolls that had no faces. Whether this specific story is true is not known but the general belief that faceless dolls stem from the Amish rejection of photographic images or likeness of themselves is a prevalent explanation. Around the same time that the Amish were making faceless dolls, other dolls on the American frontier were also being made of corn husks, old scraps of clothing and even wooden spoons and clothespins wrapped in cloth. Pioneer dolls, which were often known as rag dolls, also did not have faces so it's possible the Amish dolls evolved from the same tradition.
The clothing on Amish dolls reflects the same simple style as the Amish traditionally wear; black with bold, unpatterned, monochromatic colors in cottons, linens and wools, without frills or embellishment. Dolls may also have several layers of cloth over the head and body since dolls that became too dirty or worn out would be completely covered with a new piece of recycled muslin cloth. The dolls are typically tightly stuffed cotton filling or old rags, straw was only very occasionally used.
Amish stuffed animals also were very popular toys for Amish children. The stuffed animals vary in sophistication based on the maker. The most common stuffed animals are the ones you typically find on an Amish farm - dogs, cats, horses and rabbits. But, Amish families loved to visit circuses and zoos so as a result you can also find elephants, giraffes and camels. Like their clothing, Amish animals were made from solid colored materials, often from used wool or cotton clothing or bedding. Some animals were completely made by hand but many were made on treadle sewing machines (first patented in 1846), turned right side out, stuffed and finished by hand. Stuffing could be straw, rags, seed cotton or cotton quilt batting. Sometimes wood, metal or wire was used to give structure and stiffness to the animals as needed. Upholstery fabric was frequently used from 1920 to 1940. The Mennonites also made very similar stuffed animals although they were often made from striped or calico patterned fabrics.
Here are some good reference articles:
- Made by Loving Hands: Amish Children's Clothing, Toys and Quilts, Exhibit from the Riffe Gallery, 2001. Not a lot of text but some great pictures!
- Amish children’s clothing, toys displayed, The Lantern, June 2001
- Why Don't Amish Dolls Have Faces?,eHow, Tracy S. Morris
- The History of Faceless Dolls,Linda Walsh's Blog
- Amish Dolls - Cloth Doll Creations UK
- The Anne Lewis Collection of Amish & Mennonite Stuffed Animals, Jim Weaver, Antiques & Collecting Magazine, July 2005. (Cannot find this published on the web but we have a copy and it's a great reference!)