Beautiful 26" Antique Cloth Doll, New England, Human Hair, Provenance. This early, folk art rag doll has much detail and character that give her a knowing presence. With her well-formed body and detailed features, she is a great example of the doll maker's art. Made up in polished cotton and stuffed with cotton batting, her limbs are hinged in a life-like manner. Her detailed countenance includes a sculpted nose, embroidered lips and eyelashes with brows. Her faceted Black button eyes glitter like jewels. The face has a netting covering which has darkened with age. The fingers and toes are individually stitched. One of the fingers wears a tiny brass ring on the wedding ring finger. She is barefoot with dainty toes. She appears to be a child doll with her pleated frock. Her calico dress and slips are all antique and were likely made specifically for the doll when the doll was made, circa 1890-1910. Her auburn hair is stitched on and braided to frame her face. One of the knee joints was re-stitched in the wrong direction. I say leave it, as it was done by original owner. A tiny split in the leg reveals the cotton batting stuffing. I added the silk hair ribbon to protect her tresses.
Provenance: A Newport, Rhode Island doll collector purchased this doll at an antiques store on Martha's Vineyard, an island off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. According to the store owner, the doll was brought in to be sold by the husband after his wife's passing a few years ago. She died in her 90's and it was her childhood doll. It was made by her grandmother. The owner of the doll lived all her life in Oak Bluffs at the Methodist Campgrounds, which is a famous tourist destination, also known as the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association. The husband has since passed as well and the store owner couldn't remember the family name. According to the store owner, the owner's husband seemed to think that the hair was the grandmother's as it was she who made the doll. Please take guardianship of this amazing doll for future generations, thank you.