Story: Children’s play

Kewpie doll (1st of 4)

Kewpie doll

This celluloid Kewpie doll dates from around 1918. The Kewpie doll, one of the earliest examples of mass toy manufacturing, was developed from characters created by US magazine artist Rose O'Neill. 'Kewpie' referred to the dolls' supposed resemblance to Cupid, the Roman god of love. The first Kewpie dolls were imported from Germany in 1913 and 1914. With the outbreak of the First World War, New Zealand toy shops switched to importing their Kewpies from France and Belgium.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: PC002529

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Peter Clayworth, 'Children’s play - The changing world of children’s play, 1880s to 2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 July 2024)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 5 Sep 2013