Grouping of three (3) Door of Hope Mission dolls: 1st item: Young female doll with braided hair, dressed in traditional Chinese blue and white two piece cotton outfit with pink trim. Old paper hangtag tied on neck reads "Chinese Lady". 8 3/8" H. 2nd item: Young male doll with short hair, dressed in traditional cotton robe with Mandarin style vest. 8 3/4" H. 3rd item: Older female doll dressed in two-piece silk outfit with headwrap and bound feet. 9 1/4" H. All first half 20th century. Note: Western Christian missionaries opened The Door of Hope Mission in Shanghai in 1901 in an effort to keep destitute young Chinese girls from being sold into social or domestic slavery (volunteers at the Mission included future Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning author, Pearl S. Buck). Sewing was among the marketable skills taught at the Mission, and each young woman was paid to make a traditional Chinese costume for a "Door of Hope" doll. The dolls' heads were created out of pear wood by local carvers and their bodies were stuffed with cotton. There were about 2 dozen recognized models made, representing a cross section of authentic Chinese life, and each doll could take several weeks to a month to complete. The dolls were then exported and sold to help finance the Mission's work. The Japanese invasion of Shanghai in 1937 and the Chinese Communist Party's rise to power threatened the Mission and eventually ended production of the dolls. Condition: All with light surface grime to clothing and wood faces, otherwise very good condition.
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