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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1770-1775 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and painted wood

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

British doll makers in the late 18th century produced dolls that were strong and relatively cheap to serve as children’s playthings. The finish of the wooden body is rough beneath the clothes, and the arms fasten to the body with a nail through each sleeve at the top. The clothes are not removable: the idea of dressing and undressing a doll as an important part of play was yet to come. The doll is dressed as an adult female. She has inset black glass eyes and her wig is of light brown mohair on a white canvas base that is glued to her head.

Physical description

Wooden doll dressed as an adult caucasian female. The doll's head, neck and chest are painted cream, with inset black glass eyes and dotted brown eyebrows and eyelashes. Her cheeks and lips are painted red; she has a red dot at the corner of each eye and two off-centre dots to indicate nostrils. Her wig is of light brown mohair on a white canvas base which is glued to her head, and is also anchored by a double line of black thread around the front of her neck, giving the effect of a choker. Her upper arms are made of linen covered with sleeves of the dress silk, and her lower arms and hands are of wood covered with fingerless mittens of cream silk; the arms are fastened to the body externally with a nail through the top of each sleeve. Her legs (jointed at the thigh) and at least the lower half of her body are painted white, and her feet are covered with pale blue silk to indicate shoes. The clothes are non-removable: two panelled petticoats of white linen (the lower one padded out with loose fibre); a low-necked gown of cherry and white silk trimmed with straw-coloured ribbons and white braid, the stiffened bodice with a pointed waist front and a peplum of self fabric; and a padded headdress of gauze, ribbon and black silk.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1770-1775 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved and painted wood

Marks and inscriptions

2 6
Unknown. If 2/6d, for price, would be approx £7.50 in modern money
Unknown; front of under-petticoat; writing; ink


Height: 29.2 cm not including clothes

Descriptive line

Jointed wooden female doll dressed in cherry and white silk made in England between 1770-1775

Production Note

The fabric of the dress may be Spitalfields silk, and probably dates from 1760-1765


Wood; Silk (textile)


Carving; Painting


Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys; Fashion


Museum of Childhood

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