A year after Celia Hazlitt Smith’s “Tabby Cat” known as “Ithaca Kitty” debuted, Ida Gutsell, also from Ithaca, patented her cloth dolls in 1893. In addition to including a printed pattern for a sewn-on costume, Gutsell’s design was revolutionary because it was the first cloth doll to be devised with forward facing feet for realism.
While these lithographed cloth dolls are not as popular as they once were, they still hold a special place in many peoples’ hearts.
An unusual early American cloth doll with his brown complexion, this old boy marketed as "Darkey" was produced by Cocheco Manufacturing from Ida Gutsell designs. This old boy measures about 13 ½” tall, he’s very old, worn with age & play related patina and issues: some dustiness, heavy wear to his fabric, fading to his features & his color especially on his front side, some naive repairing to his underarm & crotch, opening in head, neck & shoulder area where you can see his original old stuffing of cotton batting. Unsure if he can take more repairs. I’d say he’s in reasonably fair condition for his age and looks better in person. Not sure exactly when this doll was made though he is very old & looks it.