Cloth Dolls (c. 1951-1976), ILEA object No. W464l. Photograph reproduced courtesy of Ben Mullins. Photograph © University of the Arts London. University of the Arts London does not hold copyright over the object presented.

Cloth Dolls

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  • Held within the Camberwell Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) Collection, this Cloth Doll toy family is comprised of two grandparents, two parents, two children, and two infants, representing one cis-male, and one cis-female, from each generation. 
  • The dolls date between 1951 and 1976.
  • Designed and manufactured by Margarete Cohn (1985-1991) of Grecon, a Germany company which relocated to London in 1940, these cloth dolls are comprised of wire frames covered in textile pieces.
  • The doll’s frame can be manipulated to create different bodily positions, but do not have the ability to stand alone.
  • Once sold in luxury retailers including Harrods, Hamleys, and Liberties, these dolls were associated with upper class and wealthy families.
  • Child therapists often utilised Grecon dolls to allow children to illustrate domestic situations and express their feelings during therapy sessions.
  • Each doll’s attire may suggest the societal norms and expectations of each family member given each family member’s gender, race, and social class. 
  • Cohn retired in the 1980s, after Grecon struggled to compete with the exponentially growing doll market following the industrial revolution, and the rise of companies such as Mattel (Barbie’s manufacturing company).

Instruction Guide Credits: Script Writer: Chenxin Yang, Ellie Honeyman, Qi Qi, Tian Li, Yetong Wu, Yixuan Zhang; Voiceover: Qi Qi ; Film Recorder: Chenxin Yang; Hand Model: Tian Li, Yixuan Zhang; Video Editor: Yetong Wu, Yixuan Zhang; Photographer: Chenxin Yang; Photo Editor: Tian Li

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Additional information

Object Name

Cloth Dolls








Margarete Cohn


Not Specified

Object Number


1 review for Cloth Dolls

  1. Moogz

    “does not have the ability to stand alone”

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