Italy (?): Wooden peg dolls – man and woman

Front view
Front view

General description: Large painted wooden peg dolls in traditional costume

Dimensions Both 23.5 x 7 x 7 cm

Date when acquired 2010

Original Date Unknown

Source Flea market in the Bochum region. Present from Fritz W.


Back view
Back view


The body and the neck of both dolls seems to have been lathed in one piece. The heads are made of wooden balls with the growth rings starting in the middle of the nose. The wood is stained brown where the skin can be seen, being slightly darker for the man. The stylised facial features are painted on. The short hair is also painted on, black for the man and a beige-colour for the woman. The heads appear to have been milled separately and are stuck on the necks.

The woman has a long dress on, but the man has two round legs, which have been tooled separately and stuck on the body.


Side view
Side view


The painted-on clothing is in the colours of Italy — green, red and white (il tricolore:  the tricolour) — with black, which makes me think they are Italian in origin but I have seen nothing like them before.

Woman: she is wearing a long skirt in red and black stripes. The black stripes have geometric patterns in yellow and green running down them. Over this she has a long-sleeved, high-necked blouse with a black bodice. The bodice has a red zig-zag at the front. There appears to be a golden brooch painted on the front of the blouse. Over her skirt, she has a green apron with a small bag painted on the right held in place by a painted chain (I think). On the crown of her head is a small round black cap. It is decorated with a red diamond shape with a green open diamond painted on top. A red bow is painted at the back of the cap.

Man: He is wearing an interesting white jacket painted in stripes of red and green. A collar and string-like tie are painted on the neck in a bronze colour. Two black panels are painted on the right and left of the chest, each with three yellow buttons. He is wearing black knee trousers with white stockings and black shoes. The stockings have a red lattice painted on the outside of each leg with a bow on the bottom of the trouser leg.





Background information

I would be happy to get some information as I have found nothing so far.


Source(s) of information

(1.11.7 & 1.11.8)


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