This 18 inch tall doll, circa 1916-1920, was sold by Jessie McCutcheon Raleigh in Chicago, Illinois. Her dolls were intended to be high end character dolls that looked like real children but were made of composition rather than bisque. The faces were purportedly painted by students of the Art Institute of Chicago. The dolls are all composition and jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips and strung with metal springs. The face of this doll is hand painted with an open/closed mouth and painted hair. The hair is decorated with a barrette on the left side of the head. Raleigh created her own formula for composition that was supposed to be lighter than that of other dolls but it actually ended up being heavier. It also tends to crack as can be seen on the torso of this example. Fortunately this doll has only minor crazing on the head and limbs and retains her original body. The cracking also appears to have happen years ago and is stable now. She also has no repaint on her head. She wears a more contemporary knit costume but this could be changed by the new owner. The Raleigh dolls do have wonderful character faces that resemble the German bisque head characters of the early 20th century made by companies such as Kammer & Reinhardt and Kestner. Unfortunately Raleigh only produced her dolls for five years and few remain in existence. Of those even fewer have not had the faces or heads repainted. This is a rare opportunity to own an example of own such a great doll. If you collect rare composition dolls or German bisque characters, this would be a fabulous addition to your collection.
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