Wooden doll with wardrobe
Origin: Europe, Great Britain, England probably
Wood, gesso, paint, glass,
Acc. No. 2005-102,1
Wooden doll, gessoed and painted, with inset brown glass eyes. Handmade brunette hair wig fastened to head, styled with curls down back. The face is painted with red lips, pink cheeks and black dotted lines for eyebrows and around eyes. Torso constructed in a cone shape without breasts. Shoulders and elbows jointed with ball joints. Legs jointed at hips and knees. Feet articulated with pronounced ankles. Materials: wood, glass, gesso, paint.
The doll's complete wardrobe of clothing consists of 4 gowns, underwear including stays and shifts, nightgowns, a cloak, and accessories including caps, pockets, a mitt, and handkerchiefs. Clothing cataloged as 2005-102, 2 through 39.
Provenance:Letters with the doll indicate that she was a gift in 1893 from the recipient's great Aunt Mary Anne Skirrow of Brighton. The doll was said to be her dear mother's, which she had valued through life and indicating assurance that the "old lady" (the doll) would be taken care of:
3. Codrington Place
July 6th 1893
I send you, my Darlings, the old Doll of my dear Mother's; which I have valued through life. I am sure you will take care of the old Lady.
A Portuguese Nun--(any ancient likeness) I put in the Basket.
The Manuscript Songs you may like.----
Your loving Aunt
Mary Anne Skirrow
(In different handwriting):
George J. B. Egerton + Victoria W. Russell + John B. Russell's great-great grandmother's dolls.
Mary Ann Skirrow (b. 1810) appears as a 90-year-old single woman in the 1901 Brighton, Sussex, England, census. She was the head of a household that included a nephew and his wife, William and Constance Follett; an 18-year-old grand or great niece Winifred D. Coake; four servants; and two nurses.
The supposed original owner of the doll (Mary Ann Skirrow's mother) was Mary Anne Wainman, 1784-1846, (later Mrs. Walker Skirrow). She might have played with the doll at her home, Carr Head, in the parish of Kildwick, West Riding, Yorkshire.