On the Quiltart list recently discussion centered round a magnificent quilt Golliville, a winner for workmanship at PQIF. Between outrage over racism and the fact the quilts original design came from a pattern the list has managed to bring out the proper purse lipped puritans and policeman in all of these folks. Few bothered to trace the origins of Gollies and the rules of the show. I too may be flogged by the PC so I will say that the wonderful workmanship belongs to Ruth DuBord and is in memory of the friend who bought her the kit that she adapted to her design.
Gollies were popularized originally in England in late Victorian times when the Roberson Jam owner returned from a trip to the southern states with a cloth doll that he obtained from a freed slave woman. Apparently they made the dolls for their children. He went on to put them on the labels for his jams were they resided until recent times when they were deemed racist. English mothers created their version of the doll from the mid 1800s on. Commercial dolls soon hit the market. Francis Upton then Enid Blyton popularized Gollies and their adventures in books. When i was a child everyone had one. mine protected me and played with me. Sadly he died when he fell in the wash tub. So i started buying them and now have 4 and a wall plaques from Robertsons. My friend Hazel's son had a beauty made by an elderly nursing home resident 30 years ago. He did not want to sell it to me!
Here on the left are 2 commercial Gollies. On the right these two are hand knitted. I bought them from knit shop in Broadstairs, Kent UK in 1980. They were really selling the patterns but the price was right so I bought them. Every year we returned to i went to this shop and bought gifts from the shop. By then they were selling tons of knitted dolls etc. Then in1990 it was gone. I find these two gollies absolutely fabulous.
Gosh by Golli Google has removed spell check!!!