Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Baps Dolls Of Frau Edith Von Arps

The German Baps dolls were made to represent fairytale characters.  These Baps dolls were created by Frau Edith Von Arps from the 1940’s to the 1960’s.  Edith initially started selling her dolls door to door until demand for her dolls increased.  Other Baps dolls were created to wear traditional German costumes by region as souvenirs.  These handcrafted dolls were made of fabric and its facial features were carefully painted.  The cloth covered doll head was sewn with floss cotton hair and its armature body made of wires was covered with felt.  Fine stitches completes the seams and the dolls were then clothed with fanciful outfits.  A great deal of craftsmanship was given to these dolls as its facials features were finely detailed even with its small measurement.

Another unique thing about these Baps dolls was that these were made to stand by using weighted metal for its feet.  Thus, the dolls can stand on its own even with its cloth body without the help of a doll stand.  With its tiny height of approximately 4 to 5 inches, these dolls were easy to love and collect.  There is even a Little Boy Blue Baps doll up for auction online wearing a blue colored overall carrying a heart-shaped red sling bag.  The fabric doll head was made with yellow straw hair and topped with a hat while its weight metal shoes were painted white with a striped white and red pair of socks to accent it.  The doll even had a tiny pal of about 2 inches in height.

There was also a “Mary Had A Little Lamb” doll created by Edith that wore a pink long-sleeved dress and her brown yarn hair was nicely placed with a yellow hat.  Mary was also accompanied with her two lambs as she carried a tiny book with real paper pages in it.  Not only were her accessories intricately done with details, Mary’s facial features were also finely embroidered including the accents on her dress.  A theatre set with various BAPS character dolls was also created with a shadowbox stage.  It was made around the 1945 to 1955 

In 1950, a great turn of events led to the discovery of the Bap dolls by the couple Bob and Ruth Morrell.  During the Korean War, Bob and Ruth Morrell were sent to Baumholder, Germany to serve in the Quartermaster Corps.  In that small village, they met Frau Edith Von Arps from whom they purchased 25 of her Baps dolls.  The couple was so inspired by the dolls that when the Bob and Ruth returned to the United States they created a theme park patterned after the fairytale dolls and called the park “Story Land”.

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1 comment:

  1. You can learn more about the BAPS dolls and their makers and the book about them at