Jane is one of my early girls here~ she is a c1820 Mache by Andreas Voit. She has the most wonderful serene expression, and is all original in her presentation. She has pupiless dark brown glass eyes, and painted on pate that would have once been covered by an elaborate wig
She has a fully articulated kid body, entirely hand stitched and stuffed with horsehair. Here you can see her knee joints
As with most dollys this olde, Jane has been well loved by her darlings~ at one point in time, her kid body was covered with an early knit stocking, still with the owners initials stitched on, and she was given a nicely wadded bumm, most surely to help her sit better
Her wonderful all original shoulder plate is still attached and has never, nor ever will it be removed from her kid body. The early sculpts were really quite detailed~ look closely and you will see that not only does she have molded breasts, but also her neck, so much so her clavicle, or collar bones, are visible
Her upper arms are cloth, with skye blue kid forearms and individually stitched fingers. One seam is beginning to pop in the back, and her horsehair stuffing can be seen
To die for! Just look at her wonderful shoes! c1818-24 by construction, in a soft buttery yellow. Masterpieces in themselves
Over her knit stockings, Jane's original wardrobe consists pantaloons, a flannel chemise for cold winter months...
pretty sleeveless chemise with microscopic hand stitches so darn small, I couldn't get my new Nikon camera to focus on them even with the macro lens~ I stopped counting at 40, and wasn't to an entire inch yet in stitches
They fit her like an absolute glove, and I have no doubt they were made for her, but most likely are not her original original clothes as they date c1830
Her pretty dress, a wonderful print cotton, is also later dating to the 1850s.
To me she has always been precious, but her expression sometimes just one of contentment, not true happiness....perhaps she misses her very first dress she once had, no doubt it was amazing....or perhaps she is melancholy for loosing her pendant she once had attached to her pretty neck ribbon. Sad for friends long gone....or....perhaps, being a proper early 19th c Ladye, she is longing for something to cover her poor nekkid head!
I think so! I let her look thru some of my early fashion plates, and she choose this one, a pretty bonnet from 1814
A few whips of the needle, and voi~la. Jane's new spring bonnet of silk covered board, trimmed in a pretty blue ribbon to match her blue kid 'gloved' hands
And of coarse, to be most fashionable, a curled feather tuft to adorn the crown
Antique Regency era whitework trims the inner brim, I think Jane Austen herself would approve of~
As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears,
dispense more cheer than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.
Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child,
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.
Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them happy, and forget momentarily,
all the unpleasantness in their lives. ~ Anon
My Pierrot Clown Ladye was supposed to be my first months offering on the PFATT Marketplace tomorrow~ I worked hard this past entire month to get her just right and missed the deadline, so she may perhaps make her debut on eBay soon. Check back tomorrow for a link to my new page there, with the last three of my little festive Queen Anne candy containers in special Celebration mode!
Heaven's Sake, can you believe Easter Sunday is here? I hope you all have a wonderful Day with your loved ones and family. Easter in our family is a time of reflection and celebration~ a time we share the true religious meaning of Easter, but also a time to celebrate not only Jesus rising from the tomb, but all of the rising life of spring too. The weather is getting nicer, the children have spent the day today out planting new flowers and bulbs in the flower beds, the winter has been so long and cold its nice to be out and about.
Theyre not the only busy bees...Ladye Bunny has come along, taking her little ones for a special Easter outing in the egg cart. Theyre dressed in their best little silke gowns~ Mamma has a little picnic surprise waiting for them on the knoll just past Tuckman's Marsh~ its going to be SO much fun~ I wish you all could come!
I adore wee little things~ they make me happy~ little Blackie is not even a whole INCH tall! Whatever your pleasure, I wish you the most Blessed & Happiest of Easter Dayes
If you are a follower or collector of my dolls, you will know I have sold online at the TDIPT Mercantile for many years now. If you havent heard, the TDIPT Mercantile is closing its doors in April. Behind this doll are many years of fond memories of the Mercantile~ all the dollys I have made and sold there (over 300!), and all of the wonderful people I have met. Some of you may remember that my first dollys were cloth Queen Annes. I made three special primitive Queen Anne sisters~Mary, Mabel, and Moira, to honor those first precious ones. Mary was my final dolly offering this past month on the Mercantile, which left Moira and Mabel. It has been a very difficult decision trying to decide which one to keep for me~ honestly I wanted to keep them both! I chose, or actually, Moira really wanted to stay here with me, so I am so pleased to offer Mabel on eBay this week. She is so very special~ named for my Aunt Mabel~ if you like you can see more of here here on my eBay auctions :
It has been my great Honor & Pleasure to serve you on the Mercantile, I am so sad to see it close. But with every closing of a door, a new window opens, and I also have the wonderful & exciting pleasure to announce that I will be joining the marvelous artists at the PFATT Marketplace in April, so do watch my blog here for more news and the link to my page there coming soon!
At the time this apron was made, they were a popular project of instruction for the fashionable young ladies of society. They showed not only wealth in the materials used for their embroidery, but also the skill of the schoolgirls who made them. Early in 18th C Boston, Mary Turfrey boarded girls in her home, and taught them how to expertly wield their needles~ in reading the Diary of William Bentley, a young girl worked a marvelous apron under Mary's tutelage ~
"3 feet by 2, edged with points, & tufts upon them, eight springs with balls of gold within the edging, flower pots and flowers at the lower corners of gold, between a pot with flowers of cruel [crewel]. Two birds between of gold bodies and one in the center of the same. Above are worked two false pocket holes, forming an apron."
My apron is near exact in size, and looking closely in the photos above, are two false pocket holes, the slits never having been made or finished.
This embroidered silk apron resides at the MFA in Boston, accession number 53.243. It has a quite similar scalloped edging with near identical embroidery design to the edge. Also note how the edge pattern stops well before the top of the apron~ a detail also just like my example.
The majority of these embroidered aprons I have seen, have been worked on a plain silk taffeta ground~ a simple backdrop to not detract from the focal point~ the embroidery. The hem edge is simply turned and finished after the embroidery finished.
Here is a closeup of one of the unfinished false pockets. At the top shadows of the original gathers can be seen, but no prick marks. Instead of being carefully unpicked from its original soft 'U' shape waistband, it was cut, just underneath of it. So many of these aprons have survived without their waistbands, but yet not remade into anything else, one cannot help but ponder if it was at some point fashionable to display them framed
This outstanding apron was just sold last week at Skinner in Boston, having previously been part of the MMA's collection. Its false pockets have been slit with edges finished~ do click on the photo to make it larger
Now tarnished to a dull black, many of the flowers and leaves are have been worked in a variety of real silver threads~ this bud using a rococo , a sort of bumpy thread. These threads were very, very costly in their day, and used most sparingly. To save thread, they were worked only on the top of the fabric, being couched down with a contrasting silk thread, which, in itself also added to the design
This back view shows how not a single bit of the metal threads were taken thru to the back. Actually, I really enjoy the pattern the couching threads have made~ the work so neat and fine, its just as much a treat to view the back as the front
Different weights of silk threads, different twists of silk threads, as well as the use of metals and knotting, make this apron very textural~ not at all plain. I can see these as being a sort of 'practical' sampler of sorts~ not just something to hang on a wall, but something of ones own work to actually wear around and be so proud of.
Expertly executed long and short stitch
For your further reading~ "Women's Work, Embroidery in Colonial Boston" by Pamela Parmal will afford you many hours of enjoyment
Absolutely not to be missed if you are in or anywhere near London at the above slotted time. Many of my readers are familiar with the 'Threads of Feeling' exhibit which showcased just a sampling of the thousands of textile bits kept within the records of each child who was dropped of at the Foundling Museum in London. This year showcases is a new exhibit that focuses on the tokens left with the children~ some will absolutely break your heart
As with last years exhibit, Faith, Hope & Charity is accompanied by a wonderful book ~ not a catalogue of endless photos of the tokens, it is an absolutely wonderful collection of essays and stories of a selected few~ you will not be disappointed and I couldn't recommend purchasing one more~ you can do so here~
You will be supporting the Museum in doing so, as well as showing how important these little publications are in making a small local exhibit offering into a worldwide educational opportunity Their information and photos keep the one time exhibit 'running' for years and years after they have ended. Feel free, as I have done, to email Paul Holberton Publishers and thank them for agreeing to publish this book!
The middle photo is but one heart wrenching token in the collection~ can you read the cypher? It reads, " I want relief , and initials of the inscriber, GB Jan 16, 1759 "
The Lady's Repository Museum is a privately owned museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of unique early American fashions of both women and children, the later being a specialty.
All proceeds from Diamond K Folk Art sales (antique reproduction Folk Art, Dolls & hooked rugs) directly support the Museum, of which can be found at the PFATT Marketplace, ETSY & eBay~ please see the links on the sidebar. You can also mail me at email@example.com