Action Kewpie Doll ”Down on His Luck“, ca. 1915

Value (2007) | $4,000 Retail$5,000 Retail

They were on my husband's side of the family. His grandmother had it and gave it to her daughter. And she ultimately gave it to me. I love her and I just want to know more about her.

Okay, well... you sure it's a her?

No. Come to think of it.

Well, Kewpies you really don't know if they're a he or a she. They're one of those kind of things that could be either-or. It's a Kewpie. It was designed by Rose O'Neill. This was made around 1913 up into the 1920s. So it was probably bought in New York as a little gift for her room. It's what they call an action Kewpie because they're doing things. Not just a normal Kewpie standing there. This is an unusual one with the Kewpie with the two baby Kewpies. Very good quality bisque porcelain maybe made by a company called Hertwig. Which was a German company that produced lots of nice little novelty figures. This particular Kewpie, the Kewpie that collectors called Down On His Luck. So I guess he was expecting one baby and ended up with two. If you look around the back, little blue wings. All Kewpies that are real Kewpies have blue wings. No wings, they're not a Kewpie.

Not a Kewpie.

Did you have any idea what you think it could possibly be worth?

Well, I thought maybe $25, I... I didn't know.

Okay, well, originally, when it was new, it was a little novelty thing, made for children. It probably cost no more than 25 to 50 cents. It's in good shape, it's good quality, and if you can find it, it would probably retail between $4,000 and $5,000.


Yeah, really. I mean it's a very rare action Kewpie. So Down On His Luck isn't so down on his luck at all.

Oh, my heavens! She will have... he... it... It will have... will have a place of honor in my home.

Cool. Well, thank you very much.

Well, thank you. Thank you very much, Richard. Woo!

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2007)
$4,000 Retail$5,000 Retail
Orlando, FL (June 30, 2007)
20th Century
December 19, 2011: Richard Wright, who originally appraised this object, died in 2009. We contacted appraiser Marshall Martin for an updated appraisal in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $3,000 - $3,500 (Decreased)

Martin notes that the market for Kewpie dolls, as with many antique dolls, has softened since the taping of this appraisal in 2007.

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