Antique papier mache doll, 17 inches, still dignified after all these years. OK, I know that only some of us are attracted to these old faded beauties. In this case, someone a long time ago decided that she needed to be preserved and a coat of varnish was applied to her head. Let’s just say politely that modern techniques would have served her better. The varnish has protected what seems to be her original finish, but I cannot say for certain. It may be that the blacklight is fooled by varnish, but for all purposes it looks like her original eye paint ( cobalt eyes are seen on early papier mache dolls) , there are traces of original lip color and a few specks of blush on her cheeks. We know this lady has stories to tell and people cared about her.
I have examined this doll fairly closely under a loupe. The varnish, not being recently applied, has crackled just enough so that one can tell it was done long ago. I bring this up because this seems her original body, but I cannot figure out how the varnish was applied since there are no signs of the head having been removed and reattached. If not original, body is appropriate and delightfully shaped, and as a bonus we have those wonderful leather boots, giving her an appealingly pigeon toed look. When I purchased her here in Maine, she was described as a parian and was wearing a old but bright white dress several sizes too large. I decided she deserved better, age appropriate clothing. and made her a skirt salvaged from an antique doll dress (washed) that flatters her tiny waist. Underneath, she wears a very old and thick petticoat ( suitable for a Maine winter), antique knickers and a lacy blouse that enhances the fact that she was once young and beautiful. I could guess at the manufacturer, but will refrain from any more than 1850’s- 1860’s.
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An Old-Fashioned Doll Shop in Mid-Coast Maine
Antique and Vintage Dolls and Accessories, Toys and Folk art from the Nineteenth Century through the 1940's.