Rag Doll Discovery

A rag doll discover was quite a surprise when the owner thought the body was beyond repair and requested a new one. When the china head was removed, underneath was the pristine printed head of a rag doll made by Art Fabric Mills, NYC (1899-1910). Her body had thin spots and a couple of rips with sawdust leaking, but the heavy muslin had served her well. She still retains all the original details of underclothing, button top boots and red socks. After some reinforcing and some new clothing, she takes her place, again, as a found family treasure.

The other part of this family treasure was a Civil War era highbrow china head. At some point in her long life, her shoulder-plate head had been broken in many places. She was repaired with an invisible restoration, a new body fabricated, complete with striped socks and black boots with tassels. Her hour glass body worked well for the new fitted Homespun cotton dress and silk jacket of the era. Of course she wears pantaloons and a petticoat to complete her assemble.

Doll repair, restoration and conservation is the art and skill of bringing dolls back as a treasured memory. Antique and vintage dolls have come to be thought of as a work of art. Learning doll repair is more than being a Doll Doctor and fixing what is broken; it is restoring a work of art to museum quality or returning it as a family heirloom.

rag doll Art Mills Rag Doll china doll art rag doll

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Janie Nafsinger
17122 W. Locust Lane
Caldwell, Idaho 83607

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Just wanted to let you know that I found a stand for Dolly, and put her on my antique side by side in my bedroom. She is my favorite china :0) I pinned...

Bobbie Pearce
(see more photos in before and after section)