Golliwogg.co.uk - An independent guide to Golliwogs


An independent guide to golliwogs, including golliwog history, golliwog books/stories, golliwog dolls and golliwog collectables

What did you do during the War, Golly?

As part of the First World War effort, the British Red Cross Society and The Order of the Hospital of Saint John held art sales at the auction house Christie's.

Frustrated by delicate health, Florence was found unfit to serve in any physical capacity during the First World War. So, she satisfied her determination to help out by donating to the third fund-raising auction for the Red Cross, conducted by Christies in 1917.

The Golliwog Ambulance, 1917

The lot included the complete set of original drawings for eleven of the Golliwogg and Dutch Doll books, the manuscripts for four of the books, and a glass case which contained the original dolls owned by Upton - Golliwogg, Peggy, Sarah Jane, Meg, Weg, and The Midget.

The catalogue features a special note under the lot which stated: 'Golliwogg was the creation of Miss Florence Upton, and the doll in this lot is the original from which all Golliwoggs were taken'.

Despite Florence's misgivings that the items would not sell, because the dolls and hundreds of drawings were catalogued to be sold as one lot, the lot was indeed purchased for a considerable amount. In the April 1917 edition of The Red Cross: The Official Journal of the British Red Cross Society, the organisation confirmed that 'Miss Florence Upton's Famous Golliwog collection fetched 450 Guineas (£472.50) at Christie's Sale.'

The money realised from the sale of Florence Upton's drawings purchased and equipped an ambulance, aptly christened ‘Golliwogg’, which went to the front and served in France during the First World War.

Golly also made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War. In 1939 the long-running series of popular Robertson's Jam badges was discontinued because the metal was needed for the war effort, but by 1946 the Golly returned.

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