Robertson Golly Badge Pair
Measuring 3cm in height this golli pair are part of UK and Australian History.
Robertson’s is a UK brand of marmalade & fruit preserves founded by James Robertson in 1864. According to Robertson’s on Wikipedia, just before WWI the son of John Robertson was on a tour of the United States. He noticed many young children playing with little black rag dolls with white eyes, made from their mothers discarded black skirts and white blouses. Intrigued by the popularity of the Golly (the name being the children’s interpretation of doll), he thought it would make an ideal mascot and trade mark for the Robertson’s range of products. Golly was first shown on Robertson literature in 1910, on items such as labels and pricelists.
Illustrator Florence Upton first published her children’s book ‘The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg’ in 1904 and the Golliwogg character was a favourite in family homes for the next decade, with 13 books published in a series. Florence never trademarked her character who was always the hero in the stories, saving the dolls from mishap around the world. It was Enid Blyton in the 1950’s who portrayed Golli as wicked and evil, much to the despair of Florence Upton.
Enamelled metal mascot badges were introduced in the 1920’s and Golly golfer was the first in 1928. There were sporting designs, fruit designs and in the 1950’s musicians. When production ceased in 2001, over 20 million Gollies had been sent out to collectors, who saved up coupons and sent them in to receive a ‘free’ badge by return mail.