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Pair all-bisque Fumsup dolls

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Posted 5 years ago


(1 item)

This pair of 4 1/2 inch high all-bisque Fumsup dolls came to me through my mother. My grandfather, who was a medical doctor with the Canadian Army in WWI, managed to bring his wife and two small daughters to England despite the hostilities. A note with the dolls mentions the year 1916 and going to see 'Chu Chin Chow'.

The dolls' arms are jointed at the shoulder, thumbs cocked. A green four leaf clover is painted on their foreheads, and blue wings on their heels. The eyes are painted, and their heads bald except for a pony tail painted at the back. They are dressed identically in a short white undergarment with a green overgarment which has wings at the back.

Each doll has a heart shaped green paper sticker on the chest bearing the words, 'British Fumsup Regd Nos' and two series of numbers, 631613 and 359090.

Can anyone suggest a likely manufacturer of these dolls? Also, is it possible to decipher a date of manufacture from the registry numbers?

I appreciate your attention.

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  1. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    I believe they may have been made in Japan . Now sure about the name of doll or that is was a term in another language to mean Kewpie doll. They are modeled after Rosie O'Neills Kewpie which was made from 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. So your 2 dolls were made after 1909 . And I would think several years after Rosie put her's on market . They are precious .
    One that just sold like yours but had they used the work Kewpie Fumsup it may have drawn more collectors . They are priceless with the story along with them and I would cherish them as gifts from your grand parents :-)
  2. stefdesign stefdesign, 5 years ago
    Does 'Fumsup' mean 'thumbs up'?
  3. oxyz, 5 years ago
    Yes, I have read that 'Fumsup' is Cockney slang for 'thumbs up'. This may be part of the role small dolls played as good luck charms for soldiers.
  4. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    Margit Nilsen did a Thumbs up doll for England . Her name was "thumbs up" in 1940's . Good eye Stef I see the slang in fumsup now :-)

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