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Baby doll - Gwendolin


  • Object:

    Baby doll

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1888 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dressel (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wax over composition, with moulded plaster and cloth

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss M. Audrey Start

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Babies Gallery, case 3

This wax over composition baby doll carries the winged helmet trade mark of Cuno and Otto Dressel of Sonneberg in Germany, and dates from between 1874 and 1876. She has blue glass eyes, a blonde mohair wig, and an open mouth showing teeth. She wears real baby clothes. In the 19th century British and American adults gave up the custom of swaddling babies (wrapping them in bands of fabric) over a shirt and nappy, and dressed them entirely in separate garments. Because the swaddling had kept the babies warmer than clothes, they had to wear layers of garments: a binder, nappy, nappy cover, shirt, two caps, bodice, 2 petticoats, gown, bib or pinafore, socks and shoes, with a cape or shawl and hat for going out of doors.

Physical description

Wax over composition doll with shoulder head and lower arms on a stuffed calico body. The head has a moulded open mouth showing teeth; fixed blue glass eyes; blonde mohair wig.
lace bonnet
linen chemise marked Audrey Start
long woollen barracoat with quilted front
long linen petticoat with lace, marked as before
long gown of lawn and lace
wool carrying cape and matching bonnet

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1888 (made)


Dressel (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wax over composition, with moulded plaster and cloth

Marks and inscriptions

winged helmet
trade mark; on right leg; stamped


Height: 49 cm, Height: 7 in head

Descriptive line

Wax over composition baby doll made by Dressel in Germany between 1874 and 1876


Wax over composition



Subjects depicted



Children & Childhood; Childrens' clothes; Dolls & Toys

Production Type

mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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