Saturday, December 24, 2011

Children's Dolls

In this season of shopping and gift wrapping and endless commercials my mind begins to wander to the days when children didn't have whole room dedicated to their toys.  If a child was lucky enough to have a doll in the 18th century, only one would suffice.  What's more amazing is when these old and beloved toys survive hundreds of years and multiple children's love.

V&A, 1740s
Deerfield Memorial Hall, c 1770
Museum of London, 1766-70
Bowes Museum, c 1735
V&A, c 1690-1710
The Met, Late 18th C

For more images of dolls, the website 18th Century Notebook has amassed a fantastic online collection of these surviving toys.


  1. These are so cute! Thanks for sharing this. I absolutely adore historical dolls. Their outfits are exquisite, too! :-D
    Merry Christmas to you!

  2. Very cool! I think the second one is my favorite.

  3. There's an 18th century doll in Sweden that even has silk drawers under her hemise, stays, pocket hoops and, of course, gown. Very worn, but still very pretty.

  4. Someone spent alot of time on that cornhusk doll to make it with such detail. WOnderful

  5. At the Hammond-Harwood House, we have a 1789 portrait of six-year-old Ann Proctor in which she's holding a doll. We're also lucky enough to have the doll itself, although her outfit has been recreated.

  6. Does anyone else find the dolls' faces terrifying? Eep!