Thursday 3 December 2009

Faces from the past

Any idea who this little girl is? I came across this quirky Christmas decoration over at the ever-excellent Ancient Industries last night and was intrigued. It's actually part of an adorable set of five ornaments.

Any warmer? Well, these sweet cherubs were hugely popular in North America in the 1930s. Born in 1934, the Dionne Quints are the first quintuplets known to survive their infancy. They are the only female identical set of five ever recorded. However, their story is not a happy one. Four months after they were born the Canadian government withdrew their parents' custody, deeming them unfit, and proceeded to turn the five girls into a huge tourist attraction, later creating "Quintland" drawing in almost 3,000,000 people between 1936 and 1943!

Funnily enough these five girls have now appeared in another of my favourite online shops Labour and Wait. This time Marie, Yvonne, Emilie, Annette and Cecile are smiling away on quintuplet cut out and make paper doll books (reasonably priced at £7).

I've seen these before in France but had no idea they were reprints of sets like this dating back to the late 30s

From what I can gather, two of the quints are still alive and although these dolls have great retro appeal, the story behind them is far less enticing.

* Found via RetrotoGo


  1. Ohhh, I had so many of this paper dolls when I was little! and paper houses too, and villages...nostalgia;) Thank you for this trip to the past!

  2. Paper dolls I love. The story is too heartwrenching for these ones though... Funny the beauty there can be in tragedy!


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