American Cloth Dolls and Their Things
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20" tall. She came from the magical shop called Special Joys Doll Shop in Coventry, Ct, several years ago. I really think she is a fine little girl. Sometimes the purity and sweetness of a china can be a good counterpoint to our cloth dolls. She has wonderful clothing as you can see, with complete undergarments (2 petticoats, chemise and bloomers) and red leather shoes (repaired at some point). There is a small crack in her shoulder plate, not affecting stability. c 1870. Blue eyes, articulated fingers and beautifully painted face. I am partial to these dolls because they were the treasured playthings of the children of the mid-19th c, and one finds them in the houses of the Alcotts, Brontes, and my other heroines. 1 photo.
This is a special doll, with a beautifully crafted body, rows of reddish woolen hair, a gently painted face, and well formed, stitched-down fingers. She wears an appropriate dress of the late 19th c -- her age -- and sits proudly. This is one of the first dolls I've owned which I really like better without the dress. She is folk art; not fancy. But...also very, very pleasant in expression. Happy to send a photo w/o dress. 2 photos.
17" tall. c 1880. Much care and love was taken with the making and dressing of this doll. The plaid suit is of a wool blend (jacket beautifully lined with a sweet calico print) , a dandy shirt in red on black cotton, polished cotton boots, and a very nice calico cap for warmth. It seems he was made for a cold climate, like ours. He has no facial features and some age spotting, but it all works together. 2 photos.
11" long x 7" wide, 8" tall posts. It looks like this adorable bed is pinned with wooden pegs, has a shapely headboard, and whimsical posts. It originally was roped with splints, but has been assembled with hemp to strenghten it. The furnishings have been so sensitively sewn to create the most endearing plaything. 19th c, but hard to pin down. Was purchased on the Virginia/Tennessee border recently. 2 photos. Doll in 2nd photo is for sale separately.
16". Discovered recently on Brimfield's grounds, this engaging black doll has some moth holes, a military outfit, a wide, toothy grin and electric hair. Black knitted dolls seem to be rarer in my experience. 1 photo.
12" tall. Offered at a nice price too, this authentically outfitted, wooden doll from the 1840's comes from a very old collection, and is in really good, played-with condition. Her hairstyle is similar to a "covered-wagon" type. Everything's there. 2 photos.
c. 1880. Her body is stockinette and an open weave cloth, she wears a two-piece frock, her feet are pointed in different directions and her features are simply wonderful -- tiny faded red sewn smile, small, pinched nose, stiched eyes with tiny beads, and eyebrows. Remnants of a blue head covering remain. There is uneven staining from age and play but she is just as she wants to be. Does not sit easily. Makes a delightful companion. 2 photos.
Dress is 16"long; rolled doll body with cotton lace fringe is 13". There's no denying the simple and homespun atmosphere of the early days of the republic. With a little turn of the hand, a body was rolled out of the most basic material, arms were rolled and sewn to the bodice, undergarments and dress added, and then the features and hair were drawn. Viola !! A doll which in this case has been treasured for more than 150 years. "Grace Monroe. Her doll " reads a card that comes with her, puportedly from PA. This dress is one of my favorite colors and patterns -- a bittersweet calico --, but it is heavily melted and worn. Face is the one we love with eyebrows , continuing to form a nose, and there are sausage curls on the back of her head. She is very quiet, but has a big presence. 2 photos.
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