Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Italian Vintage Dolls Of Luigi Furga

The doll factory of Luigi Furga was established in Canneto, Italy in 1872 and originally manufactured waxed papier mache masks. The company then followed the steps of other doll manufacturers and imported bisque doll heads from Germany. However, World War I disrupted their importation of bisque heads from Germany that they decided to build their own porcelain factory for their doll manufacturing ventures. Furga’s dolls rivaled the ones made in Germany and they soon included pressed-felt dolls. The company also ventured into manufacturing vinyl and hard plastic dolls. The pressed-felt and the bisque dolls were initially exported to Brazil, South America, and England. Eventually, it exported their dolls to the United States. Furga had been doing well with its doll manufacturing business that it produced over 25,000 dolls each day. Here are some common features of Furga dolls: Hard Plastic And Vinyl 1) Babies – Vinyl head and limbs or all-vinyl, doll body made of cloth; jointed at the hip and shoulder; sleeps eyes; rooted hair; closed or open mouth; and generally marked with “Furga/Italy” or “Furga”. 2) Lady – combination of vinyl and hard plastic or all-hard plastic; wig or rooted hair; open, slightly open or closed mouth; typical markings: “Made in Italy/ Furga” or “Furga”. 3) Child – vinyl head and limbs or all-vinyl; cloth body; jointed at hip, neck, and shoulder; closed mouth; rooted hair; typically marked with “Furga/Italy” or “Furga”. Bisque And Composition 1) Dolly Face or Character Baby – Jointed composition body; wig, sleep eyes; slightly open mouth with teeth showing; bisque socket head; typical markings were a stick figure inside a box, “Furga, Canneto”, “Furga, Italy”, or “J. Oglio B28”. 2) Character Doll – composition head or pressed-felt mask with mohair wig on, painted facial features, cloth body, typical markings were: “Furga Italy” or with hangtag printed with “Luigi Furga & C., Made in Italy”. The following are some popular dolls made by Furga: 1) Cappuccetto Rosso (Red Riding Hood) – A 17-inch walker doll that had a removable 4 feet walking mechanism and can walk when pushed. 2) Tonia (1964) – It measured 15 inches tall and had rooted hair on its vinyl head. Its eyelashes were also made of rooted hair and it had sleep eyes, slightly opened mouth with teeth showing, and its jointed body was made of hard plastic. Markings: “L Furga Made in Italy” 3) Elisabetta (1960’s) - This 15-inch doll was made of all vinyl and had rooted hair and open mouth with teeth showing. It also had real lashes with big sleep blue eyes. Markings: “Furga, Made in Italy”

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