Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Exploring an 1820 Mache Doll

Ah ~ Ha! I knew it!
 I knew I saw something peeking out of her bodice when I saw her sale listing.... ah but its really wedged in we will come back to this later!
 Dolly is fully dressed as a Ladye would have been in the time, so we must carefully remove each layer of her ensemble, to finally reach her bare legs. I have taken off already her caplet/fichu/pelerine and collar, and have turned her on her tummy with toes only extending out past the edge of the counter. One of her legs is fully detached, the other partially, as she is leaking bits from both pantaloon legs. Under her quaint pink print gown, she wears an absolutely marvelous robins egg blue polished cotton petticoat! Her gown is in two pieces, with bodice and skirting separate. Rarely have I seen a period gown of human type that is separate in this era~ but given dolly's milliners type rigid hard stuffed kid body, one would not be able to get the gown on her if it was once piece. Milliner's type bodies are one piece, meaning no joints at the arms or legs, hips or knees or elbows~ they cannot sit poor dears....they stand tall and proud their entire lives.
 The back of the skirting was pin'd closed, so pin was removed and skirting carefully shimmied off. I am careful to not just pull out her legs from the pantaloons, as I do not know the extent of the damage, and am trying to keep as much wood fill in place as I can.  Her petticoat is just marvelous! marvelous marvelous! It has a single hammered hook and eye closure at the waist. The fabric is pleated to a narrow twill tape waistband.
 The cloth is not only polished, but heavily sized and very rigid~ off of dollye it retains her waist shape fully without collapsing.
 When wiggled, it has a very distinct sound....Im trying to place it exactly but cant a the sounds like heavy paper rustling...or if one has a heavy linen sheet out on the dry line, and the wind blows and snaps it back and forth~ that sound.
 Hook and eye are hammered flat
 Quite a short back opening, I really had to shimmiy this back and forth ever so careful to get it over her behind/hips.
 This is inside the waist, looking down at the front ,  waistband is at the very bottom of the picture.
 Inside hem
Outside hem


Diane Guidice said...

So interesting !!!


Whatever is on that little tag in her bodice??!! Oh my goodness - it's an antique strip tease! And in the Lady's Museum no less! Nothing truly scandalous, I'm certain - what with a leaky wooden leg and all...but I'll be sure to stay tuned, just in case.