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The Golliwogg Character: Historical Icon or Racist Symbol ?

by SevenGables (04/01/08).
golliwogg
golliwogg
golliwogg

Created in the 1870s by Florence Upton in England, the Golliwogg was a caricature used in advertisements all over Europe. It seldom appeared in the United States, however.

It was made into a doll by Steiff of Germany in 1902. If you have one of these dolls today it could be worth upwards of $10,000.

Here I have featured a 1922 Le Golliwogg perfume bottle by Vigny of Paris in its original box. It is a cross- collectible for perfume collectors and black memorabilia collectors alike. It has a value upwards of $350.00.

This bottle was promoted in its day as a cute and endearing creature for the lady’s dressing table with its fluffy seal-fur top. The rest of the bottle is glass with a black glass figural stopper. The details are hand-painted enamel.

Golliwogg tends to evoke different reactions today. The doll and the bottle are reminders of a time when racial predjudice and stereotypes were alive and well. But they remain highly prized by collectors all over the world.

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