Hand Selected Dolls: Ada Lum’s Hakka Woman doll

Hakka Woman doll by Ada Lum

Hello Beautiful People

So, one of the things I really, really love about owning a doll store is I get to choose the dolls–in most cases, I hand select the dolls.  I buy both collections and individual dolls. When selecting dolls, I keep a  number of things in mind. Of course, from the business side, I am concerned about whether my customers will like the doll, if my customers will buy the doll, if I will make a profit, and  how much profit. These questions are essential for my bottom line. But,  I also choose dolls I like. Sometimes, I like the way they look,other times, I like their clothes, and their quality. Often, I choose dolls because of their story. One of my most favorite dolls, currently in my store in a Hakka Woman doll. She is a cloth doll made by the internationally acclaimed, Chinese artist, Ada Lum.

Here’s my write up on this lovely doll:

If you are a serious collector of Chinese, Asian, or cloth dolls, an Ada Lum doll is a Must Have! Lum’s Hakka Women, in my opinion, are the most collectible of Lum’s dolls because they are the most distinctive; and, they represent a subset of Chinese culture that is both beautiful and non-traditional.

This doll is gorgeous!

  • She is approximately 70-years old and in great shape.
  • She has the details that made Lum dolls both collectible and valuable:

    • An Ada Lum tag sewn on to the side of her torso
    • An original Ada Lum stamp on her chest (her stamp is faint)
    • A beautiful face with embroidered kind eyes and expressive red lips
    • Sewn on ears, many of the vintage, Chinese cloth dolls either do not have ears or have drawn on ears
    • Hands with separately stitched fingers
    • Exquisitely detailed outfit made from quality materials. The blouse has closures–and of course, we cannot forget the signature Hakka woman hat!
    • This lovely little lady has NO holes, tears, or smells. She has a small stain beneath her left eye. It is not very noticeable; and, I did not try to remove it. Please look at the photos: they are part of the description.
    • She is 15-inches tall

SHOES: Someone asked me if I had something to cover her feet. I was able to purchase socks and shoes for her. They are not from another Ada Lum doll. The socks are plain and white; but, the shoes are elaborate with colorful stitching. The shoes are also Asian in appearance. If you would like, I will include the socks and shoes in the listing. I have included them in the photos. Pleae let me know if you would like either the socks or shoes OR both the socks and shoes.

HAKKA PEOPLE: The word “hakka” means guest. The Hakka people gained this name because they were a more migratory people than most Chinese. They are believed to have originated in the lands bordering the Huang River (Yellow River). Some people argue that the Hakka were actually the first people to arrive in China. Because of calamity, as a people, they made five, southern, mass migrations. These migrations are the source of the nicknames associated with the Hakka people: “Gypsies of Asia” and “Jews of Asia”.

The Hakka people were seen as odd because they did not follow the traditions of other, more settled Chinese. Most notable are: mobility; military prowess; distinctive cuisine, dialect, and clothing; and, strong women.

ADA LUM: Ada’s legacy is that of an important artist and civil rights activist. She made her home in both Shanghai and Australia. Her brother was the Chinese and Australian tennis champion, Gordon Lum. Ada began making dolls in the 1940’s as a hobby. She also gave them as gifts. Ada gained popularity amongst the “beautiful people”: her friends included politicians, actors, and other socialites. She was known for her skills as an artist and interior designer. Her dolls became so popular, she started a doll making business.

When the Communist took over China, Ada and her family fled Shanghai to Hong Kong. Her doll-making business thrived with the help of the Chinese refugees she employed to help make dolls.

Ada volunteered for the Red Cross. She is most noted for writing articles for Red Cross about her humanitarian work and for her association with French Jesuit priest, Father Jacquinot. Father Jacquinot is noted for negotiating with Japan on the behalf of the Chinese during WWII. He is also credited for setting up the Jacquinot de Besange Safe Zone in Shanghai. Through this organization, Father Jacquinot saved over half a million Chinese during WWII. Father Jacquinot’s efforts were discussed in an article in the “Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,” dated Sunday, January 2, 1938, and entitled “Priest Saves 115,000 Chinese Lives in War”. That article is accompanied by a photograph of  Father Jacquinot  and Ada Lum. Ada is dressed in her Red Cross uniform.

I’ve included a photo of Ada Lum’s Hakka Woman doll. You can see other photos or even purchase her from my online store: Curiositeej Dolls & Collectibles. If you want to go directly to the Hakka Woman doll, click here.


Much love & Many  blessings to you all

Hakka Woman doll by Ada Lum

Hakka Woman doll by Ada Lum

2 thoughts on “Hand Selected Dolls: Ada Lum’s Hakka Woman doll”

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    1. admin says:

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