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Antique Doll Wax over Papier Mache

Antique Doll Wax over Papier Mache

Antique Wax Head doll 1800's Mannakin typeThis is obviously a very old doll, vintage 1860's to 1900's although it's difficult to determine exactly what or when since she is unmarked.

Her head seems to be papier mache with wax over that. Her arms are painted china or bisque and her body is stuffed cloth, which seems to be stuffed with straw. She seems to be in very good condition for this kind of doll.

The wax face is very lovely and has very little wear. There is a small scuff/scrape on the top of her nose, otherwise her color and paint are good. I think the camera makes her look more sallow than she really is. She's sort of peachy colored in real life.

She might have been a fashion doll, for displaying a seamstress's dress designs because I did see a similar doll in one of the books that was for that purpose. It's obvious she was not played with and I don't think she was even displayed much because she's very clean.

Her mohair type of wig is very good and has some of the original curl in it yet. The front of her dress is faded some. The fabric is a heavier gingham and it's not fragile. I did wash it without difficulty. I didn't try to do any other cleaning on her other than washing her hands off.

She has a couple of undergarments that she is wearing. Her blue stockings and black fabric shoes are part of her construction. She still has her original muslin belt with a little buckle on it.

The china arms are not broken - they are in good condition. They are somewhat discolored. One arm was hanging by a thread because the thin fabric had worn so I tacked up the arm with a piece of bias tape but this was only for safety - it's not a professional repair but it worked without harming the doll in any way and her sleeve covers it.

The face has good color and as I mentioned, the wax is good with just a minor scrape on the bridge of the nose. There is also a lip rub… the color is gone in one place but not the wax. The cheek color is also rubbed. There are two small cracks - one on the outside of each eye. You can see them in the photo. This does not appear to be serious to me. The integrity of the face structure and the eye areas seems to be fine.In fact, I cannot actually feel the cracks… they are waxed over and it seems they are something underneath the original wax surface which has merely discolored through the years. The eyes are a nice blue gray - a very pretty and realistic color.

The wax face does have some speckles and things in it. I did wash her face carefully with damp cloth but she has some specks in the wax just from hanging around for 120 years or more. I would not say this doll is mint but she certainly is a very impressive doll antique in very good condition and because she is the first wax head doll I have ever seen I don't have anything to compare to or knowledge to go on. That's why I have written such a lengthy description.