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With the exception of the kimono mentioned above, these paper figures do not fit our definition of paper doll because they do not include costumes for the figures presented.
Examples of the first true paper dolls have been found in the fashion centers of Vienna, Berlin, London and Paris from as early as the mid-1700s.
It may be a figure of a person, animal or inanimate object.
The term may be extended to include similar items made of materials other than paper, such as plastic, cloth or wood.
Those who love babies, children, pretty ladies, animals or fantasy figures will find their favorite subject in paper doll form.
And what woman (or man) over thirty does not remember paper dolls as the cheapest, yet most fascinating toy of childhood?
It's just a flat paper object, but it has such enormous appeal that it will provide a lifetime of pleasure!
For historians, paper dolls and their costumes provide a broad look at cultures around the world.
Paper doll royalty and political figures provide opportunities for sleuths who love digging in odd places to unearth their treasures.
It's memories like this that bring many adults back to the subject as collectors seeking the sets they played with as children.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of digging in a box of assorted papers and suddenly finding in one's hand an exact replica of a childhood toy.
In France in the mid-1700s, "pantins" were all the rage in high society and royal courts.
This jointed jumping-jack figure, a cross between puppet and paper doll, was made to satirize nobility.
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History of Paper Dolls Copyright 1999 Judy M Johnson Publishing and distribution of this article requires approval from the author. This article first appeared in "The Doll Sourcebook." Updated by Judy M Johnson December 2005.