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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1740-1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, with gesso, paint and varnish

  • Credit Line:

    Given by R. M. Gregory

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Although this 18th century doll looks looks as if she represents an adult woman, her clothing presents clues which demonstrate very clearly that she is not an adult. In the 18th century, dresses fastening at the back like this were for children, not women. Long streamers of matching fabric called 'leading strings' at the back of the dress indicate that she represents a teenage girl. Leading strings originated in the clothing of very young children, where they helped adults to assist the child who was learning to walk. In the 18th century they also became customary for unmarried teenage girls, perhaps to symbolise the fact that they were still under parental control.

Physical description

Dressed wooden doll representing a Caucasian teenage girl. She has a carved all-in-one head and torso, with inset fixed eyes of white and dark brown glass, and a human hair wig on a linen base. Her upper arms are of linen, with the lower arms and hands of wood, with leather open mittens; her legs are jointed at the hip and knee with wooden pegs, the calves covered with blue silk stockings, and the feet with mauve/ white/ silver cloth to represent shoes. Her non-removable clothes consist of a back-fastening yellow damask dress with leading strings, a petticoat of pale blue quilted silk, a petticoat of white linen with an embroidered binding at the hem, and a chemise; she also wears a linen cap and a 19th century pendant watch.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1740-1750 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Wood, with gesso, paint and varnish


Height: 40.6 cm

Object history note

Found among the effects of the donor's mother, and thought to have belonged to her great aunt, Polly Paul.

Descriptive line

Dressed wooden doll representing a teenage girl, made in England between 1740 and 1750


Wood; Gesso; Paint; Varnish


Turning; Carving


Children & Childhood; Childrens' clothes; Dolls & Toys; Europeana Fashion Project


Museum of Childhood

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