This 8 ¼ inch tall doll, circa the mid 1800s, is simply fascinating. Her head, arms, and muff are fashioned from cotton batting with two black beads for eyes. The doll is in excellent condition and all original. The construction of this doll begins with tag board weight paper that has been fashioned into a cone. The cone was then covered with a thin layer of cotton batting and then a layer of net or lace. Another piece of the same paper was used to fashion a cape. The hood, muff, and arms are created with just the batting and net/lace overlay. The decoration was created by meticulously stringing beads and then attaching them to the costume. There is also some antique silk ribbon that has mostly deteriorated except for the bow at the neck. The most wondrous part of the doll, to me, is the paper used as it has most certainly been recycled from its original use. At first, it appeared to be a ledger with numbers and a list of names followed by additional numbers. The delicate hand writing has faded but, as I looked further, I noted the numbers did not appear to be money denominations but instead scores. I believe it was probably a long ago grade book with a list of students and then their scores on their lessons or assignments. How this interesting folk art doll has survived all these years is a mystery to me but what a unique survivor she is.
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It was great to see many of our valued customers at the UFDC Convention in Wash., D.C.! New finds are coming soon.