Celluloid Kewpie doll. They were made from 1913 on.
Kewpie dolls and figurines are based on comic strip-like illustrations by Rose O'Neill that appeared in Ladies' Home Journal in 1909. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early twentieth century. They were first produced in Ohrdruf, a small town in Germany, then famous for its toy manufacturers. They were made out of bisque and then celluloid. In 1949, Effanbee created the first hard plastic versions.
Their name, often shortened to "Kewpies", is derived from "cupid", the Roman god of beauty and – as Eros is the Greek version of Cupid – erotic love. The early dolls, especially signed or bisque, are highly collectible and worth thousands of dollars. The time capsule at the 1939 New York World's Fair contained a Kewpie doll.
Many other articles were made using their images, for example, coloring and poem books, stationery, cups, plates, curios, etc. Kewpies should not be confused with the baby-like Billiken figures that debuted in 1908.
This particular style of doll was awarded as a carnival prize and often collected.
The Kewpie doll is the mascot of Kewpee Hamburgers, a chain of fast-food restaurants originally founded in 1923 in Flint, Michigan by Samuel V. Blair under the name "Kewpee Hotel Hamburgs".
Since 1914, it has also been the mascot of Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri.
Kewpie Corporation is a Japanese food manufacturer, famous for its popular brand of Japanese mayonnaise sold in plastic squeeze bottles with a Kewpie doll logo.
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