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Fashion doll with accessories

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1755-1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    [Doll] Turned, carved and jointed wood, gesso and painted, glass, human hair
    [Cap (headgear)] Hand sewn silk, satin, and braided

  • Museum number:

    T.90 to V-1980

  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, room 40, case CA1

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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.

[Doll] Turned wooden doll with wooden carved lower arms and jointed legs representing a mid 18th century woman's figure. The soft upper arms are attached to the body with wire. A band of human hair has been arranged into a plait and attached to the head with pins. The face is gessoed with brown, red and pink features, and has black and white glass eyes.
[Cap (headgear)] Cap of check silk gauze, wired to shape, trimmed with looped cream silk braid and blue satin ribbon. The original pins remain in position.
[Necklace] Strings of clear glass beads over a blue satin ribbon, fixed with a blue satin ribbon bow to match the cap.
[Sack back] Brown silk sack back robe, with open front and double frilled sleeves, borders have a stamped scalloped edge. Decorated with a zig zag pattern of silver braid, multicoloured floss silk braid and floral motifs.
[Petticoat] Brown silk, flounce trimmed petticoat. Decorated with a zig zag pattern of silver braid, mulitcoloured floss silk braid, and floral motifs to match robe.
[Engagement] Triple frilled check silk gauze net engagement, edged with white silk bobbin lace, pinned to the pleated sleeves of the shift.
[Engagement] Triple frilled check silk gauze net engagement, edged with white silk bobbin lace, pinned to the pleated sleeves of the shift.
[Mitten] Knitted yellow silk elbow length mitten
[Mitten] Knitted yellow silk elbow length mitten.
[Stomacher] Stomacher of blue silk covered in silk gauze.
[Chemise] Knee length chemise of white linen.
[stays] White quilted pair of stays.
[Petticoat] Ribbed cotton petticoat that fastens at the waist with tapes.
[Petticoat] Pink silk satin under petticoat, diamond quilted in running stitch and lined with white glazed wool.
[Pocket] Pocket of floral and diamond woven pattern cotton, tied by tape on the left hand side.
[Pin cushion] Heart shaped pin cushion of two different patterned pink silk. One pin is inserted in it.
[Stocking] Machine knitted white cotton stocking.
[Stocking] Machine knitted white cotton stocking.
[Shoe] Blue satin shoe with white silk ribbons to fasten.
[Shoe] Blue satin shoe with white silk ribbons to fasten.
[Fob watch] Gilt braid fob watch studded with coloured pastes. "Eliza Bootle, London" is written on the printed face.
[Etui] Gilt braid etui studded with coloured pastes, pinned to petticoat.
[Box] Wooden box which contained the doll on arrival.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (made)

Date

1755-1760 (made)

Artist/maker

unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

[Doll] Turned, carved and jointed wood, gesso and painted, glass, human hair
[Cap (headgear)] Hand sewn silk, satin, and braided

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
[Stocking] Machine knitted cotton stocking
[Shoe] Satin shoes
[Shoe] Satin shoes
[Fob watch] Gilt braid watch
[Etui] Gilt braid Etui
[Box] Wooden box

Exhibition History

Gallery 40 (doll case) (Victoria and Albert Museum, Gallery 40 01/01/1960-31/12/1979)

Production Note

Reason For Production: Private

Materials

Silk (textile); Cotton; Silk; Wood; Linen; Silk thread; Wool (textile); Wire; Ribbon; Braid; Glass beads; Gesso; Paste (glass); Human hair; Satin ribbon; Silver braid; Gilt braid

Techniques

Painting; Weaving; Carving; Woven; Embroidering; Plain weave; Turning; Glazing; Hand sewing; Lace making; Patterned weave; Knitting; Machine knitting; Quilting; Satin; Gauze

Categories

Fashion; Dolls & Toys

Production Type

Unique

Collection code

T&F

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