In the middle of the 20th century, French doll maker Bernard Ravca earned fame from the handmade dolls he crafted of fabric. He created his dolls of cotton over a wire armature, fitted the heads with a covering of silk stockings, and dressed his creations in realistic wardrobes. He perfected the techniques of soft sculpting, using a well-placed stitch and deftly applied paint to create memorable faces and figures of political leaders, well-known actors and actresses, and anonymous inhabitants of France's provinces. Ravca created dolls to decorate the rooms prepared for Princess Elizabeth's visit to Paris in 1938, and his award-winning dolls earned him a chance to display his dolls at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Ravca remained in New York when France fell to the Nazis, and he met and married another doll maker, Frances Diecks, whom he married in 1943. For more than two decades, the Ravcas combined their talents in making and exhibiting their doll art.


  • Title: Doll
  • Date Created: 1924-1971
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Type: Collector Dolls, Dolls from the Thirties and Forties
  • Medium: cloth, stockinet, paint, fabric, metal
  • Object ID: 80.4695
  • Artist: Bernard Ravca

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