USA, c 1880's
This is a completely original, early first period Presbyterian Doll. The dolls were made by members of the First Presbyterian Church of Bucyrus, Ohio as a fundraiser to raise money to build a new church. This doll was pictured in Debra Hoover's extensively researched book "The Doll That Built a Church, Uncovering the Story of the Presbyterian Doll". Due to construction variations, the author dates this doll to very early in the first period between to 1885-1890. The doll does not have the bottom gusset piece that was added later in the first period. She also has an ink drawn face with no undercoating or protective top coat added. She has all of her original clothing with three pieces of undergarments, including a chemise (not removable) which appears to be another early variant. I didn't remember, but there is some kind of stamp on the top of her pantalettes, perhaps from whatever material was used to make them or maybe some other significance? Her original, skillfully made pink cotton dress and matching bonnet have some fading mostly to the front. Her face has a light stain down the front, but her unique features are still visible including nicely painted blue eyes and a smiling mouth with what to me looks like tiny teeth, and blond painted hair. She has a cotton twill body, with black sateen lower legs, and the typical inserted side piece on her head. Her body is firmly stuffed, with some light soil in to the hands , and a little less firm with the stuffing at the neck. She has had some mending stitches on the right side seam of her neck. This girl was one of the trailblazers in the Presbyterian Doll story. I don't have much history on her, except that she was from a local family in the Poughkeepsie, NY area which is where I got her. Please ask questions if additional information is needed.
I am in the process of downsizing and looking to find good new homes for some of my dolls and related items.
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16" Rare Early First Period Presbyterian Doll