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Item of the day: Kewpie Dolls

Kewpie Dolls are in the limelight again, over a hundred years after their first appearance in the 1909 edition of Ladies Home Journal. Their creator, Rose O'Neill first drew them in a comic strip in the mag, not realising that the little characters would lead her to fame and fortune. The name Kewpie comes from ‘Cupid’, and the originals were made of hard plastic. They are collector’s items today and the cheeky expressions and big, bright eyes of the Kewpie Doll seem to hold a nostalgic fascination for many a modern fan. The Kewpies that have become trendy in the 21st century are not made of plastic, however – ceramic and porcelain figurines are stealing the show. Our favourite of the Kewpies available locally are Malva’s porcelain variety in turquoise, cerise, chartreuse and milky white. The dolls are mounted on colourfully patterned blocks to be easily and playfully displayed. Malva’s Kewpies are created in East London for the Durban store by Decorative Details. The figurines are handmade by the local community, thus providing employment. The patterns on the chest of the Kewpies are hand-drawn by these talented craftsmen, who are all acknowledged with an individual portrait on Decorative Details’ website. The Malva Pop-Up is behind Spiga d’Oro, 200 Florida Road, Morningside, Durban. Contact owner Lauren Wallett on 084-308-2024, via or follow her on Twitter for Malva news.