“Winsome Winnie” is a lovely paper doll from Raphael Tuck’s 1894 Artistic Series. She has three dresses with matching hats and a patented neck design that enables her clothes to have a perfect fit!
This set of “Winsome Winnie” paper dolls is especially special because it includes nearly 40 handmade crepe paper outfits. The set once belonged to a child named Miss Martha Levan Mussina who lived in Williamsport, PA during its golden age. At one time this small city, nestled in the hills of central Pennsylvania, had more millionaires per capita than any other place in the world due to its booming lumber business. Mussina would later become an artist of note in the area. One can tell by the detail she put into the crepe paper doll clothes that even as a child she showed great talent.
The Original Paper Doll Artists Guild offers this brief history of the Raphael Tuck company’s paper dolls:
Beginning in 1866, Raphael Tuck is perhaps the best known manufacturer of antique paper dolls. The company began “by appointment to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Fine Art Publishers, London,” and soon opened branch offices in New York and Paris. Their first paper doll was a baby with a nursing bottle, patented in 1893. Tuck’s German manufacturing facilities were destroyed by bombing in December 1940 and all records, plates and documents were lost. Tuck dolls are easily identified by the trademark and series name and number on the back of each piece. A trademark style of this company is a set of paper dolls with many costumes and interchangeable heads. Tuck also made “regular” paper dolls. Some of their titles include Sweet Abigail, Winsome Winnie, Bridal Party, My Lady Betty, Prince Charming, the popular Fairy Tale series and many more. Tuck made paper dolls several years into the twentieth century.
I sold this one-of-a-kind set to a buyer in France. I hope you enjoy the photos!