Blessings Nun dolls
Blessings Nun dolls are 20” figurines of nuns produced by the Blessings, Expressions of Faith company between the mid-1990s and 2006.
Background and Description
Blessings, Expressions of Faith were a Michigan company set up in the mid 1990s, selling religious products. Early on, they began producing a line of nun dolls. These dolls were museum quality, handcrafted, detailed, historical accurate.
They were exact replicas of the styles and dress of the 32 different women’s religious Orders in the pre-Vatican II era, the company having spent years researching the accurate depictions of the various nuns.
The dolls came in a box with a doll stand, signed Certificate of Authenticity, small booklet entitled “Story of the Nuns – a booklet designed to help explain the origin of nuns and sisters, their spiritual attire and the mysteries surrounding their lifestyle in the convent” and full colour brochure on Blessings Nun Dolls.
However, the National Coalition of American Nuns called for a boycott on these dolls, not happy at being exploited for the company’s profit. Despite Blessings claiming that the primary purpose of the dolls was to honour nuns, American Sisters insisted that they disliked their image being used for moneymaking, rather than for nonprofit purposes and worthy causes.
Whether due to these protestations which began in the mid-1990s shortly after the company was founded, or perhaps due to the recession, Blessings went out of business in 2006.
The dolls are around 20” tall, made of rigid vinyl with cloth habits and veils. They hold typical accoutrements of their Order, such as rosary beads.
Collecting Blessings Nun dolls
These dolls are exceedingly collectible across America, exacerbated by the fact that the company went out of business and there are a limited number of them. They are high quality pieces, accurate replications of history as well as interesting religious collectible items.
The dolls are still used as educational examples to compare the different attires of various Orders of nuns. They are also considered inspiring to young Catholic girls, whether used for play or just for display purposes. Many nostalgic Catholics consider it a duty to retain the knowledge of traditional religious habits, as they become less and less common in today’s society.
Dolls are much more valuable if they retain all the original accoutrements: the doll stand, original Blessings box, signed Certificate of Authenticity, small booklet entitled “Story of the Nuns – a booklet designed to help explain the origin of nuns and sisters, their spiritual attire and the mysteries surrounding their lifestyle in the convent” and full colour brochure on Blessings Nun Dolls.
Each doll is numbered, determined by how many dolls were patterned for that Order. Doll #1 was always kept by the Blessings company.
At the time of production, these dolls would sell for $125-$199 each. Now they can sell for this amount or more on auction websites such as eBay, dependant on condition, and whether they still possess their original packaging and additional items. In July 2012, a Blessings Nun doll of the Franciscan Missionary of Mary sold for $338. They are likely to become more valuable at time goes on.