A Mid 19thC English Wax Over Papier-Mâché Doll

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Origin: English
Period: Mid/Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1850-70
Height: 19 inches
Width: 4.5 inches (at shoulders)

The mid nineteenth century English polychrome painted wax over papier-mâché doll with fixed head, lacking hair, with brown glass eyes, painted press moulded features, on a cloth body, with pale pink leather lower arms with fingers.

The condition of the doll is hugely evocative of her life thus far and as such she has knocks, chips and losses with craquelure to the wax. One arm shows loss and is hanging by a thread. Her costume is lacking with her base body having discolouration to parts with some small frays and tears. She is very decorative but not for those who are overtly concerned by condition.

The quality of the doll is still apparent, especially as she has good glass eyes, and it would have been rather expensive at the time. Bodies of wax dolls were generally made of stuffed cloth, with wax limbs and wax dolls usually have beautifully realistic heads, because wax mimics skin much better than either wood or papier mâché.

Hugely suggestive of a life once knew.

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