Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Linen Head Mystery Doll

        It is always nice to find an Antique doll in its original clothing. Presentation really is everything and Fine feathers do make the bird.  So I particularly enjoy this doll (seated in the front of the picture) still in her original dress and unders from the mid 19th century. 
      The doll and her clothing are entirely hand sewn. The dress has cartridge pleats at the waist,  and at the top of the sleeve. The back closure has small brass hooks and eyes.  Her pantalets display the lovely little Van dyke points.  The delicate narrow lace has come loose from the neckline and the edges of her sleeves. The fabric is so delicate I do not want to handle it enough to stitch these back so I have just let them drape where they fall. Some one put hours into dressing this special doll 160 year or so ago!  
   The shoes were apart but still all there. I chose to tie them in place with a silk ribbon rather than attempt any repair.  The leather was too soft to sew at all. So the bows were a way to keep the shoes with the doll without changing or destroying anything.

The doll herself is a rare type from an unknown maker. American surely, but we do not know who the doll maker was. This type of doll is most often found in the northeast, I believe this one came from a home in New York state.  She has a head of stiffened pressed cloth somewhat like the Izannah Walker dolls, but not nearly as sturdy.
To see a more comprehensive article about this doll and a few others like her, go to "Maida"
Several of my posts on Antique dolls are published there.  Edyth

1 comment:

  1. Dear Edyth, This documentation and pictures of your linen dolls was a fascinating read! I enjoyed it immensely! As you know, I too own one of these incredible early linen head dolls. Thank you for sharing your research and your thoughts with all of us here on this board. I, for one, am eternally grateful. Warmly, Lorrie Dove


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