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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1840 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wax over composition, calico, glass, morocco leather, pins; felt, ribbon, net, lace, wool, cotton (textile), cotton (yarn), leather, wicker

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Whitby

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Doll representing a Caucasian woman, dressed in Welsh costume, possibly that of Pembrokeshire. She has a wax over composition head, with painted and moulded features and inset black glass eyes. There is apparently no hair, as the back of the head is covered by the net cap.
The body is of undyed calico with a firm stuffing; the seams at the centre back and the inside legs and crotch are hand stitched. The hands (each of which has four separate fingers but no thumb) are of red morocco leather, giving the appearance of gloves, and the arms appear to be made of the same material.

The clothing is not intended to be removable (much of it is fastened through the body with pins):

A broad-brimmed hat of black felt, the high tapering crown trimmed with an external band of black ribbon (tied in a bow) around the base. The hat fastens to the true left side of the chin with tying strings of black ribbon.

A close-fitting cap of white net trimmed at each side of the face with a double ruffle of gathered lace decorated with a central row of looped pale pink silk ribbon with picot edging. The cap is trimmed around the neck with more pink silk ribbon, and fastens beneath the chin with tying strings of pink ribbon to match that on the lace frills.

A close-fitting front fastening bodice (probably an abbreviated form of the betgwn [gown] of brown wool, with a low round front neck, the elbow-length sleeves each trimmed with a horizontal band of mauve ribbon. The back of the bodice is finished with two glazed black buttons at the waist seam, above a graduated peplum (longest at centre back).

A matching ankle-length underskirt (pais) arranged in unpressed pleats at the waist.

An apron of dark navy and white checked cotton attached in unpressed pleats to a waistband and tying strings of white cotton tape that fasten in a bow at the front

A fichu of printed cotton, with a red ground carrying a powdered pattern of small white crosses and a white border of stylized flowers within two dotted lines.

A pair of gathered undersleeves, of white cotton printed with dotted V-shapes and stylized flowers in puce.

A petticoat of cream coloured wool, with unpressed pleats at the waist.

A short petticoat or chemise of unbleached cotton

A pair of short brown knitted cotton stockings, stitched to the doll's legs

A pair of low cut black leather ankle boots, hand stitched, with unit soles and heels; the tops are bound with black petersham ribbon matching the bow on each vamp.

The doll's hands are fastened to her waist front with pins, and she carries on her true right arm an empty small oval wicker basket with a looped handle. On her true left arm is a loop of plaid woollen fabric, probably a misunderstanding of the shawl sometimes seen carried folded on one arm in older illustrations of Welsh women in costume.

(original 1973 register entry) Welsh national costume doll: wax over composition head, with a cloth body, red kid arms, human hair, and black/ brown glass eyes. Dressed in a black felt hat, brown woollen jacket and skirt, blue and white checked linen apron, red and white linen scarf, purple and white printed cotton undersleeves, tartan piece over the left arm, white net under bonnet, white woollen petticoat, white cotton petticoat, black socks, black kid shoes, and a wicker basket on right arm.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


ca. 1840 (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wax over composition, calico, glass, morocco leather, pins; felt, ribbon, net, lace, wool, cotton (textile), cotton (yarn), leather, wicker


Height: 39.5 cm fully dressed (including hat)

Object history note

Given by Miss Whitby (RF 73/ 2893)

Historical context note

As with many costume dolls of 19th century origin, the doll is of German manufacture. The provenance of the clothing is unknown, but appears to resemble quite closely some of the 19th century sketches and paintings of Welsh dress, particularly that of Pembrokeshire, by Lady Llanover, formerly Augusta Hall, née Waddington (1802-1896).

Descriptive line

Doll with wax over composition head, dressed in Welsh costume; made in Germany, ca. 1840

Production Note

Attribution note: (doll)


Wax over composition; Calico; Glass; Morocco leather; Pins; Felt; Ribbon; Net; Lace; Wool; Cotton (textile); Cotton (yarn); Leather; Wicker


Moulding; Stitching; Basket making

Subjects depicted



Dolls & Toys; Children & Childhood

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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