"Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16

The Book of Esther is one of my favorites in the Bible. The storytelling is exquisite, and the court intrigue rivals any others in literature. The Jewish feast of Purim falls on February 28th this year, and is a day set apart from Biblical times to celebrate the courage of Esther, the wisdom of Mordecai, the mercy of Xerxes, and the salvation of their God. One way my family celebrated as I grew up was with re-telling the story using a simpler version of these flip dolls (inspired be an article in Gentle Spirit Magazine, February 1993).

This 8-inch fabric doll is one of two limited-edition vintage-style Esther flip dolls. It is a fabulous prop for telling the dramatic story of Queen Esther from the Old Testament. Made out of a sumptuous variety of textiles and painted with three-dimensional fabric paints, each doll is unique and represents hours of work.

In order of appearance, the characters on this doll are:

Queen Vashti – a fiery redhead, Xerxes’ first wife has a prim expression of “no” behind her veil, as she refuses to be made a spectacle for the king’s drunken party. For her troubles, she is deposed and Xerxes searches for a new queen.

Mordecai – this wise relative of Esther is the quiet power behind the whole story. Mordecai is shown in his mourning sackcloth (cut out of a basmati rice sack), as he has learned of the Evil Prince Haman’s plot to kill all the Jews.

Hadassah/Queen Esther – a stunning Jewish beauty, Esther was chosen from among the most beautiful virgins of the empire to replace Vashti as queen. Esther, meaning “star” was the Persian name she chose to hide her Jewish identity, so both on Esther’s crown and around her neck are shown the star of David. Esther risked her life to plead with the king for her people, and is now remembered for her courage and trust in God’s protection.

Prince Haman – the villain of the story, the evil Haman hatches a plot to kill all the Jews in Persia both to seal their wealth and to satisfy a personal grudge against Mordecai. Like all satisfying stories, Haman gets his come-uppence twice in the story, first honoring Mordecai publicly and then being hanged on the very gallows he had built to kill Mordecai. Haman wears a green silk robe with a (faux) fur stole, and looks a little bit like Henry VIII of England. His princely crown has a serpent head.

King Xerxes/Ahasuerus – a somewhat irresponsible monarch, King Xerxes is better on the battlefield than in his court. Although at first he turns a blind eye to Haman’s wicked schemes, in the end Xerxes sides with the Jewish people and allows them to defend themselves against their enemies, and places Mordecai in Haman’s place. Xerxes wears a hand-knit golden shirt of chain mail, and a crimson crushed velvet cape.


To be honest, these dolls are limited edition because they took much longer than I was planning and took more materials than I want to buy for a second round. I love the way they came out, I enjoyed creating them and I'm very glad I made one for Annie, but I'm ready to move on to making new things.