Pedlar Doll thumbnail 1
Pedlar Doll thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Pedlar Doll

ca. 1840 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The head of this doll is made from an apple which has been carved and then preserved. There are several different methods, all of which use peeled apples. One is by carving, soaking in brine and then completely drying out. Another is to air dry the peeled apple and then carve it. Some 'wet' methods use vinegar or lemon juice mixed with salt. By the time the apple has finished the preservation process successfully and is ready for the finishing touches of paint, hair etc it has a firm wrinkled brown appearance which lends itself to the portrayal of characters and grotesques. 19th century examples are usually very hard, and have an almost wood-like texture.

Apple-headed dolls are still made, predominantly in Canada and the USA.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Head of carved, pickled and dried apple with glass eyes
Brief Description
Apple head doll representing an old woman made in England in about 1840
Physical Description
Doll representing an old woman, the head made from a carved and preserved apple, with inserted glass eyes. She is dressed in a red cloak, print dress and fichu, black bonnet and white apron. She holds a basket of good to sell (mainly haberdashery items) including wool, disc pincushions, earrings, thread, a needle book, ribbons, and embroidery hoops.
Dimensions
  • Height: 8in
Credit line
Given by HM Queen Mary
Object history
Given by HM Queen Mary.
Summary
The head of this doll is made from an apple which has been carved and then preserved. There are several different methods, all of which use peeled apples. One is by carving, soaking in brine and then completely drying out. Another is to air dry the peeled apple and then carve it. Some 'wet' methods use vinegar or lemon juice mixed with salt. By the time the apple has finished the preservation process successfully and is ready for the finishing touches of paint, hair etc it has a firm wrinkled brown appearance which lends itself to the portrayal of characters and grotesques. 19th century examples are usually very hard, and have an almost wood-like texture.



Apple-headed dolls are still made, predominantly in Canada and the USA.
Collection
Accession Number
T.170-1931

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record createdJuly 1, 2009
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