The rag doll pictured was made in England by Dean’s Rag Book Co. Ltd. in the 1930s. The Dean family had been in business for a long time before then, starting out in 1711 as a book publishing company, producing rag books for small children consisting of short stories printed on calico. These rag books sold so well that they opened under the new name of Dean’s Rag Book Co. Ltd. in 1903. Building on their success, the company expanded their range with postcards, photo albums, cut-out sheets, rag toys, character toys and teddy bears.
The rag doll pictured is unusual as she is almost life-size. She is made mainly out of felt and is stuffed with cotton. At this time felt was preferred to other materials as it could be stiffened and then pressed over a mould to give the doll features. Her wig is sewn on, her features hand-painted and the Dean’s label sewn onto the bottom of her shoe. The doll is an example of good quality and would have been expensive to buy.