This is an incredible large vintage felt cloth ethnic Caribbean lady folk art doll wearing a traditional costume of the islands. She is 18" tall plus another 2" if you include top of her headpiece. Her body is firmly stuffed brown wool felt. There is a wooden stick inside the neck, head and torso that lends support. She is dressed in her original colorful double layered skirt with matching bodice and head wrap. Beads and sequins embellish her neckline, wrists and head wrap. A large triangular piece of old rhinestone costume jewelry adorns her forehead. A complex twisted headpiece tops off her head. This headpiece was original covered with small square mirrored glass tiles but most of those are now missing. Her applied facial features are stitched on. Her feet turn out ballet style. Her hands are simple lobster claw shaped.
Condition: There is an area on the right side of her neck that has been patched with a slightly different color of brown fabric. The rhinestone piece is missing some stones. Headpiece is missing mirrored tiles. There is some overall expected fading and aging of fabric colors and accrued soil but nothing I find too objectionable. No unpleasant odors.
I feel that this is a very uncommon and large example of this an ethnic black doll for this region. I have also seen some South African felt cloth dolls that bear a strong resemblance to this one is facial style and materials used, and it's interesting to think of the line of influence that must have crossed the ocean. I estimate that this doll dates from circa 1920s - 1940s. This lady would be an important addition to a collection of ethnic black dolls.
Antique dolls, jewelry and other oddities.
"March went out like a lion. Then April cried and stepped aside, And along came pretty little May!" - Rodgers/Hammerstein