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Fashion doll with accessories

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1755-1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Museum number:

    T.90 to V-1980

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is most likely to be a fashion doll, or a pandora. Pandoras were used from the 14th century to convey the latest fashion among the courts of Europe. By the 18th century this practice had become more common, and these three-dimensional fashion plates were sent all over Europe and America to a much wider clientele by dress makers to promote their wares. By the end of the 18th century the pandoras had given way in importance to fashion magazines. The figures were not designed as toys, but, after they had served their original purpose they may been given to children to play with.

This wooden figure is dressed in a silk sack back robe with matching petticoat and stomacher. She wears all the accessories and underpinnings of a fashionable lady of the late 1750s. The original headed pins suggest that the garments have remained in position since the 18th century and the figure may never have been played with.

Physical description

Wooden and carved doll in an 18th century costume including a cap, necklace, robe, two petticoats, two engagements, two mittens, stomacher, chemise, corset, under-petticoat, pocket, pincushion, pair of stockings, pair of shoes, fob watch, etui and its wooden box.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1755-1760 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Marks and inscriptions

'Eliz. Bootle, London'

Dimensions

Height: 60 cm, Width: 42 cm, Depth: 43 cm

Object history note

The watch of the doll is marked "Eliz. Bootle". The doll is associated with the Loveday family, although the Bootle name entered the family on the marriage of Robert Wilbraham to Mary Bootle in 1755. Robert took Mary's name under the terms of her uncle's will, therefore the Wilbraham-Bootle family of Rode Hall, Cheshire became the Bootle-Wilbraham family (connected to 1st Baron Skelmersdale)

The doll descended through the Loveday family, who were second cousins of the Wilbraham-Bootles. The only children traceable in 1980 (when the research was done) that might have owned the doll were Penelope Loveday (b.1759) and her sister Sarah (b. 1761), who were daughters of John Loveday, a descendant of the Wilbrahams. They were on visiting terms with the Bootles. However, it must be emphasised now, as it was in 1980, that none of this is documented and can only be considered supposition.

The doll was, prior to being acquired in 1980, displayed for a number of years in the Fashion Gallery as a long loan from the family.

Descriptive line

Wooden fashion doll with costume and accessories, England, 1755-1760

Production Note

Reason For Production: Private

Categories

Dolls & Toys; Fashion; Images Online; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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