Tuesday, 2 December 2014

End of an Era: Marín iconic flamenco doll factory closes down, cannot fight competition

 

The Marín doll factory has been producing beautiful and detailed flamenco dolls for the last 86 years.  Finally the factory, located in Chiclana, Andalusia, has had to give up the fight, claiming it is a victim of competition from Asia, and particularly China.


The dolls produced at Marín are beautifully detailed, unique and well-known internationally, but after the last ten years of struggling to keep the business going, they now have to give up.  At its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, the factory employed more than 100 workers and were producing approximately 350,000 dolls per year.  Back in 2009, the workforce at the Marín factory had to be cut from what was then 17 to only five workers.  Now, the end has finally come.



The famous dolls produced by the company have featured in various films by top Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar, at an MTV awards ceremony in Barcelona and even on English television shows.  On the international level, the dolls have also been honored, along with doll maker José Marín Verdugo, by winning top prize at the International Dolls Biennale in Krakow.  Photos of some of the various designs are included here.



While it will be difficult to buy these iconic and beautiful dolls in future, except possibly at outrageous prices on eBay, a museum will continue to display examples of the work in Chiclana.  An introduction to the museum can be viewed below in the Spanish language.



It is regretted that in future the only flamenco dolls on sale in most shops in Spain will be the cheap and shoddily-made imitations, mass-produced in China.



Spanish sources:

La Voz Digital
El Pais
The Local

Photos:

Marín muñecas flamencas