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In keeping with NaBloPoMo for February’s theme of “make”, I would like to share a special doll made by my grandmother forty years ago.

In Germany in the early 1800s, wooden dolls (peg woodens) were made with decorative combs carved (tucked) into their hair. These dolls were called “Tuck Comb Dolls” and were very popular for many years. Their heads and torsos were generally turned in one piece on a lathe, and their arms and legs were jointed at the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees, respectively.

I have in my collection a beautiful Tuck Comb Doll, made not in the 1800s, but in 1974, carved, painted, and dressed by my Grammy Buffington in the old style. Her face is beautifully painted, her hair parted down the middle with little spit-curls in front of each ear. And as was typical for this type, her lower legs and arms were nicely finished and painted, with the wood on her upper legs and arms left raw. She wears delightful painted-on red shoes that match the sash on her gown. She also has a fine linen petticoat and pantalettes lavished with lace.

My precious Tuck Comb Doll, carved by DeMurl Buffington in 1974.

My precious Tuck Comb Doll, carved by DeMurl Buffington in 1974.

This close-up shows her left elbow joint and how her lower arm is beautifully painted and smooth, while her upper arm is unpainted raw wood.

This close-up shows her left elbow joint and how her lower arm is beautifully painted and smooth, while her upper arm is unpainted raw wood.

What treasures do you have that were made by family members?

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