The "English Doll"

Johann Ludwig Stahl1794/1794

Nuremberg Municipal Museums

Nuremberg Municipal Museums

Cardboard, rag paper. Europe's first luxury printed fashion magazines with color illustrations appeared at the end of the 18th century. The popular medium gave rise to a new kind of toy, the dressable doll with a paper wardrobe. First developed and introduced in London, this great-grandmother of the Barbie doll appeared on the German "catwalk" for the first time in 1791. Friedrich Justin Bertuch's Weimar "Journal of Luxury and Fashion," an ancestor of the lifestyle magazine, sang the praises of these "English dolls" as a "new and very agreeable invention." By January 1793, Nuremberg painter, engraver and wax sculptor Johann Ludwig Stahl was announcing not only a female dressable doll but a male one, both with fashionable attire, in his "Intelligence Sheet No. 1 (Supplement to the Journal of Luxury and Fashion)." This rare, creative example from the Toy Museum documents an important branch of Nuremberg's luxury paper and toy manufacturing industry from around 1800.

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  • Title: The "English Doll"
  • Creator: Johann Ludwig Stahl
  • Date: 1794/1794
  • Provenance: Spielzeugmuseum Nürnberg
  • Type: Etching and copper engraving