Circa 1770-1830, this Italian hand carved half-doll survives well for her age. She is a creche figure of Mary, we're quite certain. She is carved in wood, coated in wax and then hand painted. Her eyes are glass, beautifully set and painted with lashes, and she would have had a mohair or human hair wig, a blue gown and probably wire-joined arms. What remains is the bust, a fine art piece that displays elegantly in spite of its small losses to time, and she's mounted on a very old half-circle of wood. The base is something you'll want to replace, make over. But it will stand her up. She's got a pose that wants to be raised up, looking down a bit, like you would find on an alter higher up on a wall. Such a gorgeous old treasure, religious significance, but also perhaps of interest to doll collectors.
Very good condition for age and type. There is a little loss to the applied wax at her nose and back neck, showing an undercoating of pink-painted wood. The face is elegant anyway, and glass eyes make her a bit haunting but very beautiful to behold. I'm sure that was the effect initially sought after by the carver, artist. Purchased from France but likely it is Italian or perhaps even Spanish, as the style is a bit off for period French works made similarly, but we will allow that it is possible it is French in origin. No way to know for certain. Measurements noted on our photos.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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