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Doll

Doll

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pierotti (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wax, cloth, glass, human hair

  • Credit Line:

    Given by H M Queen Mary

  • Museum number:

    T.186-1931

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

With this doll, Lady Cave won first prize for 'The Best Doll in Fancy Dress' in a competition in aid of charity organised by Lord Victor Seymour on December 5th 1900 in Carshalton, Surrey. The competition included 1000 dolls, and was judged by the artist Walter Crane (Lady Cave's prize winner's card is attached to the original 1931 departmental register entry at South Kensington). She comments in a letter also attached to the page

"Every stitch had to be done [by] the competitor, so certain of the clothing might be better. I had never knitted in my life neither had I made shoes before. Still I do think myself the stays are really good also the embroidered collar. The garments are perfectly right as to date, for there was a very old lady living here at the time & she told me how every garment was made. The chemise is most utilitarian, as in the day the flaps kept the stays clean & at night it was tied round the neck to make a night gown.. The doll [is] quite like my grandmother Sarah Penfold whose picture it was copied from…I think she was 32 when she was painted…. She lived to over 80 & died before I was born, in 1856. My mother told me much of her history & I was always interested in her..."

Physical description

Dressed portrait doll representing a Caucasian woman, Sarah Penfold. She has a poured wax head with inset blue glass eyes and chestnut human hair, and has a cloth body. She wears a black dress and shoes and a white collar and cap (both trimmed with Midland counties bobbin lace), with a chemise, drawers, corset, undersleeves, two petticoats, dress improver, stockings, garters, and a detachable pocket containing a stocking purse with coins; she also has a watch and a handkerchief trimmed with Midland counties bobbin lace. She sits in a chair upholstered in red damask, with a matching cushion at her back.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Pierotti (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wax, cloth, glass, human hair

Object history note

Given by HM Queen Mary (RF 1931/8900), who was originally given the doll by Lady Cave (Anne/ Annie Estella Sarah Penfold Cave, 1856-1938, née Mathews, later Countess Cave of Richmond). Lady Cave had dressed the doll as a portrait of her maternal grandmother Sarah Penfold (died ca 1856): Lady Cave was the fourth of the five children of William Withey Mathews and Jane Wallas Penfold (daughter of William and Sarah Penfold). Lady Cave's husband, Sir George Cave (1856-1928), 1st Viscount Cave, was Home Secretary 1916-1919 in the government led by David Lloyd George; he was Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain 1922-1924 and 1924-1928 during the governments led by Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin respectively.

Historical context note

With this doll, Lady Cave won first prize for 'The Best Doll in Fancy Dress' in a competition in aid of charity organised by Lord Victor Seymour on December 5th 1900 in Carshalton, Surrey, and judged by the artist Walter Crane (prize winner's card attached to original 1931 register entry in the Dept of Furniture, Textiles & Fashion). She comments in a letter also attached to the page "Every stitch had to be done [by] the competitor, so certain of the clothing might be better. I had never knitted in my life neither had I made shoes before. Still I do think myself the stays are really good also the embroidered collar. The garments are perfectly right as to date, for there was a very old lady living here at the time & she told me how every garment was made. The chemise is most utilitarian, as in the day the flaps kept the stays clean & at night it was tied round the neck to make a night gown.. The doll was made by Cremer of Regent St [William Henry Cremer, European Toy Warehouse, 210 Regent St] and it [sic] quite like my grandmother Sarah Penfold whose picture it was copied from. Poor dear I think she was 32 when she was painted in a cap. She lived to over 80 & died before I was born, in 1856. My mother told me much of her history & I was always interested in her..."

Descriptive line

Wax-headed doll in chair, representing Sarah Penfold (died 1856) wearing a black dress and shoes; made in England, probably by Pierotti, 1900

Production Note

Lady Cave states that the doll was made by W H Cremer of Regent St, London, but it is not known whether Cremer actually made dolls. He was certainly an agent for the Pierotti family of doll makers, who were well known for portrait dolls, and the doll is of the Pierotti type.

Materials

Wax; Cloth; Glass; Human hair

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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