Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1938 Snow White Cut-Out Dolls, Whitman No. 2185

Paper dolls have been around for quite some time, the first being produced in Europe during the mid-eighteenth century. However, they didn't become popular in the US until the 1920s. With the onslaught of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Golden Age of paper dolls had begun. The average parents couldn't afford much. Yet they could still buy their children inexpensive figures made of paper.

The doll clothes and accessories are usually separate and often attached by use of folding tabs. Due to their fragile nature, vintage paper dolls have become rare and are a highly sought-after collectible.

One of the first Disney Snow White doll sets was produced by Whitman Publishing Co. of Racine, Wisconsin. "Copyright 1938 by Walt Disney Enterprises, Hollywood, Calif." The box contains "8 cut-out dolls and 10 large sheets of dresses, etc."

Set no. 2185.

Side and end panels.

The dolls include Snow White in a rag dress and the Seven Dwarfs without their hats or jackets. They're made from stiff paper stock (although not too heavy--more like a thin card stock). Each comes with a small wooden block for a stand.

The ten sheets of costumes are on a thin paper stock, each packed with dresses, jackets, accessories, and a few animals. Finding an uncut set today is not easy.

Snow White transformed...

Here's a closer look at the dresses, jackets, and accessories...

Photos courtesy of the Michael Filippello Collection with additional scans via raquid.
Doll artwork copyright Disney.


  1. Looks like Prince Charming got the shaft on this set! What a great collectible.

  2. What a marvellous old piece of ephemera , I have a similar piece in my collection , I'll have to send some pix!

  3. Dave... Prince? Oh yea, there's a prince in this movie? Poor guy, he always takes a backseat.

    Wobble...Yes, please send pix. Am interested to see. Thanks.

  4. It´s so beautiful your blog. Congratulations! ^.^

  5. AWESOME Piece!! Funny how the faces are a wee bit different than in the movie. Now all Disney merchandise like toys, books etc. that are produced feature exact likeness to the characters in the movies. It's refreshing to see licensed art like this!!

  6. Do you know the value ? I just got the set minus the box ? How would you preserve? I was thinking having them framed with correct paper ?

    1. Hi Danny. Sorry, I don't know the value. Yes, I would say framing is certainly a good way to help preserve your pieces. Thanks for writing and congratulations on your find.

    2. I also have this set from my childhood. It has been framed. I was also wondering if anyone knows a value for these paper dolls.

    3. Don't know a monetary value, sorry.