Dec 18, 2010
I had found a small wooden doll on eBay back before a previous home-time, but she did not arrive in time before I left, so she was waiting for me this time. I had thought she might make a good doll for Allina or Jollyann when I first saw her, but she may end up holding her own. I am not sure about her yet. She is quite old, and quite unusual.
Here, I had just washed her with soap and water, she had a dark film on her (probably sat in a smoker’s home for many years) that prevented me from seeing her face detail. I was surprised to see such a delightful face, reminiscent of Humpty Dumpty’s wide mouth. That is unusual for dolls, they normally have cupid bow lips. This may mean she is really a he, as the hair is very simple too, with no definition to having a bun or curls. The most unusual thing about her is her construction and shape. I’ve never seen anything like it. Part well made, part crudely made. I am not sure what the doll was suppose to do. Tilting a head or bending at the waist seems silly in a simple wooden doll. A painted face, but the hands are not. The shoes…barely shaped at all, but the hands are. Weird.
The wood was so porous that it drank up the water I cleaned her with. I did not want to remove all of her patina, just the top layer of grime, so once she was dried overnight, I gave her a good oiling.
Her head is on a dowel that has a ball on the opposite end that sits inside her shoulders and can rotate. I assume the metal collar is concave inside providing the socket for the ball. The same construction is in her waist and hips, a ball on the end of the waist dowel that sits inside a socket. The arms and legs have a simple coil metal spring joining them together. The feet are block with a hint of wooden shoes. Her head is very loose and swings freely. The waist has a little more resistance, but still swings freely. I think clothing would help keep her more aligned. One leg is slightly longer than the other, but can be pulled or pushed to match the other leg for solid balance when standing.
I assume she/he is Dutch. I am guessing a possible age may be between 1900-1930’s. I don’t think she is from a later period. There are parts of her that is not well made, a gouge in the hip ball, where the cuts are not well made, yet she has carefully shaped spoon hands and thumbs.
Here she is, cleaned up and oiled:
She will definitely be a challenge to create clothing for. I think I will just make a sheath dress and cinch a ribbon around that wasp waist. I had this tiny apron in my stash she can have for now. You can click on the photo’s to enlarge for detail. Note the ear, which is shaded, the nose is too. There is a circle that is shaded to give a “chin” and the lips are two toned. Another reason I think this may have originally been a boy is that there isn’t any red paint added to blush the cheeks. I suppose once dressed, it wouldn’t matter about the overall hourglass shape for a boy.
I am not really sure what to do with her, I certainly don’t want to have more personalities around, having to make another room, created another wardrobe. Sigh, I have enough to do as it is. I am fascinated by doll bodies and how they are constructed, so this doll is interesting for that. I’ll think on it.