Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Meet Hitty Etta, My Little Wooden Travel Doll by Robert Raikes

I am so excited to introduce you to my first little wooden Hitty Travel Doll. Her name is Hitty Etta Raikes.

Hitty Etta

In a previous post, I wrote about the background of the original Hitty doll, and the book written by Rachel Field, Hitty: Her First Hundred Years. If you missed the earlier post, you can read it here. I highly recommend reading the lovely Hitty book about the little antique wooden doll who was purchased in an antique store in the 1920's. The original Hitty doll inspired the book, and the book inspired me to find my own Hitty doll.

Naming Hitty

Many collectors of Hitty dolls may have more than one Hitty or may know other people who have Hitty dolls, and therefore give their dolls an individual second name. They are all Hitty, but they may be called Hitty Rose or Hitty Belle for example. 

I have decided to name my Hitty after my Grandmother. Her name was Mary Etta, and she was born on May 10, 1891. She had 12 children, of which my father was the youngest. I have such wonderful memories of my Granny. She lived next door to me as I was growing up. She wore long dresses and bonnets, and I don't think she ever drove a car. She was always sewing or working in the garden though, and she cooked chicken and dumplings for the whole family every Sunday after church. She passed away the year before I got married, when she was 94 years old. Hitty Etta is named in loving memory of my Granny, Mary Etta.

Raikes Hitty Review

The original Hitty doll was hand carved from Mountain Ash wood in the 1800's, but many artists are still creating Hitty dolls today in a variety of different mediums including wood, resin, cloth, clay and more. Hitty Etta is carved from wood by Robert Raikes. I don't know exactly how old she is, but Robert Raikes is no longer making Hitty dolls. Hitty Etta traveled to me from a seller in Indiana.

She is signed on her back by Robert Raikes.

Here you can see Hitty Etta's carved wooden body, which is jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips.

Her face is beautifully carved and hand painted. I just love her round rosy cheeks. Her head can turn left and right. In the picture below, you can see her elastic joints when I lift slightly on her arm.

She also has elastic joints in her hips, which you can see when I twist her leg.  Her joints are nice and tight, and she can hold a pose very well.

Her hair is carved and painted black.

Here you can see her tiny delicately carved hand.

Her shoes and socks are carved. Her shoes are painted black, and her socks are white with red trim.

Her dress is light blue with a cream leaf print design. It is an old fashioned style long dress with puffy sleeves. It is beautifully made, fully lined with completely finished seams inside. There are three decorative buttons on the back closure, but the dress actually closes with two metal snaps.

It has an attached cream colored petticoat with eyelet lace trim around bottom. Turned inside out, you can see the nicely finished seams, attached petticoat, and the Robert Raikes tag.

She has a pair of cream colored eyelet trimmed pantaloons.

She also has an adorable cream colored bonnet with rows of lace and blue ribbon roses.

Doll Comparisons

Here is Hitty Etta with Amelia Thimble from Wilde Imagination and Twinkle, my Fairyland RealPuki Soso BJD.  At about 6 1/2" tall, she is a good bit larger than they are.

Hitty is closest in size to Mini American Girl dolls.  Here she is with my Mini AG Felicity.

I thought I would undress both dolls for a side by side body size comparison, but I found out that Felicity's slip was not removable. (I never realized that there was no snap or velcro to make it possible to take the slip off). They are both jointed in exactly the same places, but Felicity has a cloth stuffed body and vinyl head, arms and legs. They are very close in size, but Felicity's hips are wider.

They can both be posed in a sitting position, but Felicity can't sit with her legs together. Hitty Etta sits in a bit more lady-like manner.

Here are their dresses side by side. Felicity's dress closes with velcro instead of snaps.

Hitty Etta fits beautifully in Felicity's dress. The opening on Hitty's dress wouldn't fit over Felicity's wider hips though.

Hitty's Accessories

I built Hitty Etta a bench inspired by the one that the original Hitty has. I cut the pieces from basswood using only a utility knife. It would have been nice to have a scroll saw to make those curved cuts though. Once the pieces were cut, sanded, and glued together, I painted it a light grey, then antiqued it to make it look old.

I used two tiny nails to make a hinged seat with storage underneath.

I made the pillow from a mini pillow kit that I bought on Etsy. This is a replica of the real Hitty's pillow. The kit also came with four animal shaped pillow pets and a round floral pillow.  I haven't sewed and stuffed the other pillows yet, but I'm excited to make them too. You can find the kit here from Julieoldcrow on Etsy.

Hitty Etta in the Dollhouse

I originally discovered Hitty while looking for dollhouse sized dolls, so here's Hitty Etta checking out the dollhouse.

Hitty Etta knows her way around a kitchen.

Hitty looks a little big in a 1:12 scale dollhouse. She fits inside, but some of the furniture is a little small for her.

Her bench fits fine in the living room though.

Upstairs, Hitty Etta has fun playing with all of the mini dollhouses that are in the dollhouse.

Mini Hitty Book - Dollhouse Scale

I ordered a kit to make a miniature version of the Hitty book in dollhouse scale. The kit arrived and after some cutting and gluing, I got the tiny book put together. The instructions were easy to follow, and the materials are nice quality.

There are miniature sized illustrations on every page of the mini book.

I love that some of the illustrations in the mini book are in full color. I have learned that some illustrations in the early printing editions of the Hitty book were originally in full color. The more recent editions, like my library copy, only have black and white pictures. I'm now looking for an old, early edition printing with the color illustratons for my keepsake Hitty book.

You can find the Miniature Hitty Book Kit at

Have Hitty - Will Travel

Hitty is known as a "Travel Doll", so on her first adventure with us, we went to the library.  My daughter found a lovely book called "The Never-Forgotten Doll" in the books for sale section, so we purchased this sweet book for our library at home.

Hitty Etta visited the library's small scale model of the Hungarian Settlement Historical Museum.

Here is the original Hitty at the Stockbridge Library Museum in Massachusetts.

And here is Hitty Etta visiting our local library.

Please leave a comment below and let me know if you would like to see more posts about the adventures of Hitty Etta.



  1. What a great doll! I love dolls that have history to them. Such a cute face!

    1. Thank you Ashley! I am definitely enjoying the history of Hitty with the book. Not many other dolls have over a hundred year old back story (except the fairy tale characters). :)

  2. What a wonderful blog post and welcome to the world of Hitty! You have a lovely doll there, and super that she is Raikes Hitty isn't although the other (Hitty Annabelle) is. I also learnt something new, in all the time I have had these two I didn't realise their heads turned! So thank you for that.

    1. Thank you Serenata! I clicked on your name and found your wonderful blogs! I can't wait to read more about all of your Hittys at Rose Cottage!!!

  3. She is beautiful. Seeing her in your doll house and the attention you pay every detail brought joyful tears to my eyes. So very stunning and exciting.

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Melody!!!

  4. I love Hitty. I have read the book,and have a Hitty Jane of my own. A small wooden and cloth doll that I purchased from ebay. I removed her wig and painted her hair on. Now she looks very much like a true Hitty doll. As close as I could get to owning my own Hitty as they were so pricey. I got a wonderful deal on my Hitty makeover doll though :) Maybe you will visit my blog sometime and meet Hitty Jane. Blessings

    1. Hi Shelley! Thank you so much for inviting me to visit your blog!!! Your Hitty Jane is beautiful!!! How ingenious of you to remove her wig and paint her hair in the true Hitty style! She is definitely a Hitty to treasure!!! I'm following your blog now so I don't miss anything new, but I'm going back now to read some more past posts! Yay!!!

  5. Robert Raikes is still carving the occasional Hitty doll. He is auctioning one on eBay right now. His screen name there is rwraikes. His storefront on Etsy is called RavenWoodTree.


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