Friday, June 27, 2008

{my li'l kewpie doll}

Remember my post about things that reminded me of my Great Grandma Nanny? Well, I've been thinking about her a lot lately. Andrew and I are still unpacking a few things, and I recently unpacked the box of fragile items. The first thing I pulled out of the box was my little ceramic kewpie doll (pronounced q-pee). I don't remember how old I was when Nanny gave it to me, but I thought the doll was lovely. Nanny told me that when she was a little girl, her father traveled a lot, and after one of his long trips, he brought her back this Kewpie as a gift. He made sure to get the little doll with a suitcase and umbrella since he traveled so much. I was thrilled that Nanny would give her to me. Growing up, Kewpie was always proudly displayed on my hutch. When I would dust, I would take great care holding her, as I gently wiped the dust off her little suitcase and blue wings. About 10 years ago the Antique Road Show came to Salt Lake. My parents were big fans of the show and had some antiques of their own that they wanted appraised, so the day of the show, we made the trek downtown and stood in line all day with other people who were as anxious as we were to find out how much our treasures were worth! When we finally made it into the huge convention center, I proudly held my wonderful, little Kewpie doll out for the antique appraiser to look at. The entire day, I had daydreamed about what would happen. "My, my! You've got quite the treasure here young lady!" I imagined they'd say. Then they would get me ready to be on TV and tell me in front of the camera, that my Kewpie was worth millions. I held my breath waiting to hear what she would say about my antique, but my dreams were quickly shattered, and I was left disappointed. The woman barely looked at it. She told me it was a replica, probably from China, and said it was worth about $20. Super. We all left pretty disappointed we didn't get on TV and that none of our treasures were worth tons of money, but I still knew my Kewpie was special. She was still priceless to me. Over the years I have tried to find another like her in antique stores, but with no luck....until today.

Like I said, after I pulled her out of the box and displayed her once again on my side table, my curiosity about her arose. Was she a replica? If she was, why did she have all the markings on the bottom of the little suitcase she carries? I decided I needed to do my own research. After many google searches, I came up empty handed. I kept searching "kewpie with suitcase" and "ceramic kewpie with umbrella and suitcase". I finally searched "traveling kewpie" and found what I was searching for! This is what the website had to say about her:
Darling 3 1/2" all bisque action Kewpie "Traveler" dating from the early 1900's. This Kewpie has painted features with side glance eyes, watermelon smile and pink rosy cheeks. The Kewpie is hold a black umbrella with brown handle and the other hand he's hold a large brown traveling case. Fully marked with black "C" and incised O'Neill and 4916 on the bottom of the case. Also has a number incised on one foot looks like "93". Overall condition is excellent I find no damage or repairs. Kewpie's forehead does have a little group of tiny black specks in the bisque and a couple of areas where the paint was dripped by the artist....one on the foot and a little bit on one wing. These flaws were caused in the manufacturing since these were mass produced, these flaws are commonly found.

This is the doll that was on the website I found.

I was thrilled! My Kewpie matched this description to a T ! Everything lined up- the height, the hand painted features, and what sold me was the black "C", incised O'Neill, and the 4916 that was on the bottom of the case. This site was asking $325, but I don't plan on selling her- ever! I always knew she wasn't a replica, and now my thoughts are confirmed! Thank you Nanny, for giving me such a treasure! She's still priceless to me!

My little Kewpie Doll


11 comments:

lifeinredshoes said...

So sweet, and to you she's worth a million!

Katie said...

These types of things have no monetary value. I'm not wording that right.. I guess what I mean is it could be worth $1000 to some stranger, but because of who gave it you, it's worth millions to you.

My Grandma is 88.. she's in the point in her life where instead of buying gifts for occasions, she's starting to give away things around her house. I dream of some of the things she might give me.. things that I've grown up with. I secretly hope to get a certain something, but would never say it in fear that she has someone else in mind.

Anyway, seriously.. I'm sentimentally challenged.

The Badgers said...

How cool is that! Mike's Grandpa collects paper weights, and has given us two of them. These ones are not worth much however, but priceless. I know exactly what you mean.

Lisa K said...

I LOVE Antique Roadshow!! I'm so jealous that you got to stand in line and try to be on the show - even though it didn't work out for you. Joe and I already know what we're going to take when they ever come back to UT! =)

Sarah Marie said...

Aww...what a neat story- and that's so sweet and special that your great grandma nanny gave you the Kewpie! It's adorable. I love that it's a little traveler. Kudos to you for your fine research! Of course you should never sell it!

Alyssa Bateman said...

What a cute little doll! I love finding stuff like that they have such good memories! How are you doin?

Alyssa Bateman said...

She is purdy! Yeah, I was so excited, getting stuff in the mail is a big deal for me lol. So when there are opportunities to get free stuff in the mail you bet i'm gonna send in for it. I know, even better that its a bag, and it is guaranteed it will get used.

Alyssa Bateman said...

I love the ipod nano too! Yeah the turquoise one is way cute too, that would have been my 2nd choice. Yeah, I am way lucky to have a sister. She's the best! It was awesome to go to Sweet Tom's I love it there! I was babysitting for some people who I am their only sitter because their 2 year old is very attached to her parents and cries for anyone else, and so I am their only sitter because Chloe feels comforatable around me and they really only trust me to do it now. She is a labor and delivery nurse at the new IHC hosp. so she had to do a 12 hr and he had to go to work at 5:30 so I was there in between him leaving and her getting home.

Barry said...

I tell ya what... those things are cute, yeah, but something about them creeps me out.

cathycan said...

What did I tell Ya!! I knew it! But more than the monetary value is the sentiment! since your dad also traveled alot when you were little it really meant something. Just be sure it is anchored so wont be knocked over etc. Might be fun to somehow put her in a shadow box type frame.

paintballing66 said...

Shan, I am not going to lie, that is probably one of the creepiest things ceramic doll I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot of creepy ceramic dolls.