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  • Object:

    Fashion doll

  • Place of origin:

    France (doll, made)
    England (dressed)

  • Date:

    1885-1886 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Latter Axton, J. A. (Mrs.) (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    bisque head; composition body, silk satin and velvet dress

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Latter Axton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA6

Physical description

Doll. Fine bisque head with fixed glass eyes. Tightly curled mohair wig. Pierced ears (no earrings). Ball-jointed strung composition body.
Dressed in a silk satin formal day dress in gold and peacock blue, trimmed with deep blue silk velvet. Fully lined in white cotton. Large bustle. White lace at neck and wrists. Dress fastens in back with embroidered buttons. Smocking at yoke, bodice and cuffs. Leather shoes and crochet socks, some white cotton underwear. Doll was originally mounted/sewn to a padded cushion and had her shoes pasted to a cardboard base for display purposes; this has since been reverted by Conservation.

Place of Origin

France (doll, made)
England (dressed)


1885-1886 (made)


Latter Axton, J. A. (Mrs.) (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

bisque head; composition body, silk satin and velvet dress

Marks and inscriptions

Impressed on back of head.


Height: 33 cm, Height: 23.5 cm skirt and bodice, Height: 15 cm skirt at front, Height: 20 cm skirt at back, Width: 13.5 cm, Diameter: 18 cm skirt

Object history note

This particular doll is wearing a dress called "Vivienne". Registered File no. 1930/7117.

Historical context note

Mrs Latter Axton was a "designer of styles" to Messrs Marshall & Snelgrove. This doll is part of a group of 13 which was donated by her to the V&A in 1930. Some of the outfits represent dresses which were made especially for Queen Victoria as presents for her grandchildren by the Duke of Edinburgh (the princesses Marie (later Queen of Roumania), Melita (Grand Duchess Cyril of Russia) and Beatrice (Princesse d'Orleans-Bourbon of Spain). Other dolls in the series wear ensembles described as "The Lautry", "The Jersey", and "The Smock". Out of the 13 dolls originally donated, only 7 appear to now be extant, the other 6 are now held by the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood.

Descriptive line

Doll with bisque head, composition body, and mohair wig; France; 1885-1886.

Production Note

The head of this doll may be by Francois Gautier. It is certainly a high end French head.


Bisque; Composition (material); Silk satin; Silk velvet; Lace; Leather; Cotton; Mohair


Doll-making; Dress-making; Smocking


Fashion; Dolls & Toys; Children & Childhood; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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