22" Rare & Early Wigged China Doll ~ China Limbs
Up until recently, I had always seen this type doll referred to as possibly originating from England. In 2011, there was an interesting article in Antique Doll Collector Magazine where the author presents a view that these may have been from Schlaggenwald. While origins are still a bit of a mystery, I love this type of doll! This particular girl has been very well cared for and perhaps even tucked away for many years due to her clean and original condition. The facial features and construction are quite difference from most early china dolls. They have the six sew holes on the shoulderhead in an unusual configuration – with 2 in front, 2 in back and one on each side. They have chubbier than usual limbs and bare feet with great molded toes. The limbs are attached to the outside of a cloth body through exposed sew holes much like poured wax dolls. The eye highlights are done in a wedge shape rather than a dot. I've seen them with both blue and brown eyes – this one has brown eyes and a honey blond human hair wig which goes nicely with her coloring. The wig is attached to the head through holes in the head, however I do not know how many there are since the wig appears to have never been removed. The lips and cheek blush are a deep brick red. The china parts all have a pink tint. The cloth body has an old fitted covering over the entire surface. There is one small tear on the front edge from having the edge of the shoulderplate checked I imagine. The covering was meticulously hand sewn on the doll and the edges were glued down. My feeling is that is original to the doll as was added for aesthetic reasons in order to cover the sew holes on the china parts. I didn't want to disturb it and although I could feel no damage to the limbs, I thought it was best to inspect the limbs in order to provide an accurate description. I carefully removed the lower stitches and had to moisten the glue on all of the limbs. Once I saw this construction I was even more convinced that she has always been this way. Everything was so well put together. I think the thread that holds the limbs is original and it as clean as new. The limbs are nearly perfect only one thing to mention which I feel is a factory imperfection on the right leg. At the top inner edge is a rough spot and there is a fine line in only the outer glaze that runs about half of an inch down. It does not show beyond her covering. As for the head, this may have been removed at some point (perhaps to check for markings at one time). I say this only because there is a different color thread holding it on. There is no damage to the head other that a flea bite chip at one of the sew holes, some kiln dust which was from the manufacturing process and a bit of wear to the pink tint near the top of her head. I opened part way down the back seam of the cover in order to give a better view of the head. Here I could see that the cover and the body are of the same fabric with just about the same type of stitches. Her clothing consists of a one piece garment with split drawers. It is trimmed in lace and has embroidered accents. There is also a lightweight wool slip that buttons in the back and has an embroidered hem and quilt stitching all across the bodice. I'm thinking these may be undergarments for a young girl. Her cotton print dress is very well made – there are no exposed seams anywhere. The bodice is lined with the same fabric as the dress and the skirt is lined with plain cotton. It is very heavy and sturdy for a cotton dress. The dress is trimmed with ecru cotton lace. A piece of this lace runs up the back of the bodice and each loop serves as a buttonhole for the 19 tiny opalescent glass beads that serve as buttons. Each has a clear glass bead on top. There is an attached sash made of the same green print under which is a green ribbon sash to tie in the back. The sleeves are actually two layers both trimmed in the ecru lace. All of the clothing is hand sewn and it is really lovely and quite clean. The undergarments are spotless – just one small hole in the back of the wool piece. The dress has some light age soil overall and some staining on the skirt lining. I added the early straw hat which I've had for some time. It didn't have any trim, but I found some ribbon and flower which complimented the dress.
I plan to leave the stitches undone so the new owner can more easily view the doll, but I can restitch if desired. These can be easily re-stitched or just left loose as they are not affecting the attachment of the limbs in any way. I have more pictures that did not fit on Ruby Lane, so feel free in inquire.
If you love early and unusual dolls as I do, you will love this young lady.
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