SOLD 19th c. Pioneer Rag Doll

19th c. Pioneer Rag Doll

This is what I call an “improvised” rag doll, not made from any kind of pattern but straight out of the maker’s imagination and simply crafted from materials at hand. She is, to say the least, unique. And therein lies her charm.
She’s 18” tall with a body made from what appears to be a sturdy homespun fabric stuffed with rags. I love the oversized egg-shaped head – one of several features that suggest she was made by a novice seamstress, possible a child, or a pioneer mother with neither the time (nor perhaps the skill) to make a more polished toy.
As the photos show, the doll’s original head and face were recovered long ago, and she was given a needle-stitched nose and simple embroidered features. She’s also lost a portion of her right hand. Her blue calico dress trimmed with white rickrack is completely hand sewn. It’s her only piece of clothing, old, though not original. But she was wearing it when I acquired her, and it adds to her folky charm. Late third- to fourth-quarter 19thc.


Click any image to enlarge it.