Dolls are the oldest toys which are known to the world. There are many theories regarding the origin of the word, but no theory had been able to establish the origin of the word completely. The most acceptable meaning of the word is a gift of God. This is the most acceptable meaning so far because of the reason that there could be no better meaning to the plaything which brings a smile on everyone’s face.
The history of the dolls of the Victorian era is a record of civilization. Most of the people understand dolls as a play toy and nothing else. But a very few of them understands that dolls are not always toys. Dolls are considered as elegant and beautiful toys.
During the ancient times, dolls were the objects of religious cults, beliefs, ideals and magic images. During the Victorian era as well, they were the objects to which were attached the religious beliefs of that time. In the Victorian era, dolls were often given as a gift for special occasions, especially from and to the royal class. The Victorian bazaars were very fond of dolls. They used to be full of a variety of dolls.
Initially, dolls were generally imported from other European countries like the France, Germany and Switzerland. During the Victorian era, the dolls which were preferred were of miniature royalties i.e. representing princes and princesses in their royal outfits.
Next in preference list were the dolls which represented different professions, ballet dancers dressed in tulle and laces, brides and nuns, judges, doctors and nurses, kitchen chefs, sportsmen, soldiers, sailors, famous people etc. but the doll which outrighted every other type of doll was the baby doll.
Dolls of the Victorian era represented the dressing style of that time. Dolls were also known as ladies of fashion. They depict all the dresses prevalent in those times. The outfits worn by these dolls became the fashion of those times. They basically played the role in that time which has been played today by the different fashion magazines.