Infant mortality was relatively common, even among full-term babies, during the first half of the 20th century. It wasn’t unusual to see live incubator babies displayed in the side shows of traveling carnivals of the time. Nothing, however, compared to the excitement which greeted the arrival of the Dionne quintuplets: Emilie, Marie, Annette, Yvonne, and Cecile. The overwhelmed parents were caught up in a whirlwind of media and marketing interest. taken in by one unscrupulous promoter only days after the infants were born on May 28, 1934, the Dionnes agreed to make the girls wards of the Canadian government until they turned 18. The children were thus protected from the worst forms of exploitation and given a good education, but public appearances and merchandising deals were sanctioned to pay for their upkeep. Our Japanese porcelain dolls in a laundry basket (the quint’s first bed) were produced in the mid-1930s and are made with the greatest of care. Each baby’s name is embroidered on her dress. Perhaps a bit amusingly, the Japanese artists who hand-painted the features gave the babies almond eyes and the bright red heart-shaped lip makeup associated with geishas. Presented with original pink silk cushion. Condition: Excellent. Minor loss to the wicker. Dimensions:12-1/2" wide x 8-1/2" deep x 4" high.