What do I mean when I characterize these dolls as belonging to the “Meiji era”? Well, I mean pretty much “late 19th-early 20th century” even though the Meiji era began in 1868, when Mutsuhito became emperor, and lasted until his death in 1912. The dolls are not from the Edo period: the lady’s kimono are dyed with a colorfast type of red that was not available early in the 19th century, and the lady’s hair and tiara are typical of a style that became popular around the 1890s, and is still used. So could the dolls have been made more recently? The combination of very high quality materials with a lot of wear and tear suggests they are older. The aesthetic of the faces suggests a 19th-century tradition, too. However, the dolls may date from later, in the 1920s or even 1930s.