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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A tiny china doll, Sophia Smith

It is always a nice day when  a wanted doll arrives. Opening the package is suspenseful, and then the  happy surprise when she exceeds expectations. This little treasure came to me from Carla Thompson of Oldeclectics  on Ruby Lane.   She is an exquisite 10 inch early china in original clothing and still with her original all leather body. The leather hands are mitten shaped for one so tiny. The little feet are greatly worn from dancing.  At some time she suffered a bashed head but was lovingly repaired.  A  perfect example of this very same Sophia Smith model, (there are several similar) in a little bigger size is on line right now offered for $5000.  So I love this one with her signs of a busy past life!

The thin cotton fabric of her skirt and shawl delights me. The bottom of the skirt is decoratively pinked  instead of hemmed. You can see the brown leather body barely showing  at the neckline. The skirt is flattened so I will place a little roll of fabric under it to puff it out just a bit.

A doll of this mold in the Strong Museum

Sophia Smith as this style of china head is known by doll collectors is one of my favorite styles. Fine China dolls are a pleasure to live with. I have a large perfect one by a different maker pictured below.

The frozen Charlotte below is dressed in her original dress and cape. This example is a covered wagon style.   She is 3 1/2 inches tall and stands nicely in the doll cabinet unsupported. 

Many of my chinas are gathered in  an old cradle. The three small ones are a parian Alice, a Kloster Veilsdorf brown eyed so called Greiner style china, and  another Sophia also with brown eyes. From the shape of her shoulder we know she once had a jointed wooden body.

 Thank you for sharing this special day with me.  e


  1. Love your chinas, Edyth! Lovely way to display them in a cradle. I am looking for a china with a leather body but in the mean time I have found chinas with delightful printed cloth bodies! I am thinking that they were purchased for the heads to be sewn onto. Enjoy playing with your doll family!

  2. What a wonderful collection of delightful ladies! Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures.

  3. Enjoy seeing all your pretty dolls sitting together, Edyth, and that you are finding some time to dress and play with them. ~Christine

  4. I love all your China ladies and girls. I have only one, my great granny made from a kit i imagine. She made it in 20's, and her clothes are all hand sewen. She is my treasure. Thank you for sharing them. I'd love to find a friend for mine


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