Friday, June 20, 2008

Xanthos Kontis Dolls Appear on Ebay

I was browsing the current historical doll offerings on Ebay the other day and came across several historical dolls produced by doll artist Xanthos Kontis in the 1950s. What caught my attention was the facial detail of the Benjamin Franklin doll and the felt coat with painted details. Several years ago I purchased a Benjamin Franklin doll that looked very similar to the one offered on Ebay except the coat was burgundy colored. The Ebay vendor that sold me the doll said it was a doll produced for the country's bicentennial in 1976 but maybe they were mistaken.

I searched the internet looking for more information about Xanthos Kontis and didn't find anything except more listings for other dolls he produced like the Father Knickerbocker (a character from a Washington Irving novel), at right and Thomas Jefferson and Father Juniper Serra, below). All I could find about the man (??) was a Pittsburg obituary for someone named Xanthos Kontis Contaridis dated November 4, 1994. This could be the right person based not only on his name but that one of the dolls offered on Ebay is a portrait of William Pitt - a historical character rarely encountered. It would be natural for a historical doll artist to produce a doll of the local favorite son. If anyone has any additional information about this doll artist I would be interested to learn more.