I recently bought these dolls on Australian ebay from someone in Melbourne. I was rather taken with their expressions - rather sweet and wistful. There are two men, and two boys:
They all have big ears, big eyes, a prominent nose, and very little forehead. The men are bald, while the boys have a tuft of hair in the middle of their heads.
The men are wearing black suits made of a synthetic knit fabric - they have coats with long tails, and white pointed felt collars. Their hands are white, which probably indicates gloves. The boys are wearing blue shorts and white shirts made of the same type of synthetic knit fabric, with green felt braces.
The dolls themselves are made of wood, with the arms and legs joined to the body with wire:
The men are 5 1/2" (14 cm) tall, and the boys are just over 4 1/4" (about 11 cm).
I don't know who made these dolls, or who they represent. Recently, when I was browsing vintage doll listings, I saw some dolls representing cartoon characters, and I wondered if that's what these dolls might be. Do you recognise the characters? Or perhaps even know who made them?
Update: Gil Bomber of Cestina's Dolls Houses has identified these characters - thank you very much, Gil! She says:
"You have here two sets of the iconic Czech puppets Spejbl and Hurvínek (the former used to be known as Špejbl, with the first letter softened to a "sh" sound).
Here is a link to a website with some background information: http://mujweb.cz/spejblhurvinek/england/hist.html and you can find videos on youtube. (Here's a nice one:
Where did you get them from Rebecca? You don't often see them outside the Czech Republic. I have the father but sadly not the son..."
Well, I bought them from an ebay seller in Melbourne. I will ask her if she knows anything about where they came from - I would think most likely from Czech migrants to Australia.