Rose O'Neill Kewpies that is. Rose was an illustrator in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was her Kewpies that made her famous though. Starting in 1909 they appeared in different publications like Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping as a full page 'comic'. In the Teens, merchandising of the Kewpies started and that's when the first Rose O'Neill Kewpie dolls were made.
I spotted my first Kewpie doll when there was a resurgence in them in the 1970s, and they began to be produced again with the permission of her estate. My Mom started my collection of original Kewpies and later I became more obssessed with the old magazine illustrations by buying them up in the early days of ebay.
Here is a reproduction of one of my favorites. What I love about her Kewpie drawings is that there are so many things going on. Look at the one Kewp up in the tree, the little birds and frog. The Kewpie cook with her apron is looking right at you at the bottom of the rope, and a little sweetie is waving at you from inside of the bucket. That is a Mer-Kewp hanging on the side of the bucket. A Mermaid Kewpie - now how perfect and cute is that?! Check out the shiny fanny on the Kewpie pointing down the well, and the one with the life preserver on.
Below is an original postcard. Check out the Kewp with her legs hanging over the side of the carridge!
Below is part of a 3 page story that appeared in Good Housekeeping. The story was 'The Kewpies and The Sad Fairy' - again look at everything that is going on. The pretty fairy is doing housework, the Mer-Kewps are helping to clean the floor, they're sweeping the floor, the soldier is going after a bug, some mending is being done in the chair while the chair gets repaired and polished.
Mermaids! This is from 'The Kewpies and The Ancient Mariner' another 3 page story from Good Housekeeping. So you already know I love the Mer-Kewps and the real mermaids, but check out everyone on the beach! So cute.
From the same story comes this image with the Kewpies' dog, Kewpie Doodle. Now how sweet is she! The Doodle was drawn after Rose's own dog, which was some kind of terrier. I like to pretend that she is a bulldog, but I'm just weird. Now, don't the Kewpies make you happy?