Sunday, January 24, 2010

A nice example of our restoration work

I thought everyone might enjoy seeing a good example of our restoration work on this large English wooden dating from the 1735 / 1740 period. She had been terribly and incorrectly rebuilt and repainted and looked nothing like she would have looked when all original. I was able to strip off all the mess and rebuilt areas but found over 80 wood worm holes in the face. Her nose was gone as was part of her lips but there was enough left for me to know the exact style of carving and detail to know how to put everything back as it would have been originally. We have seen so many early English woodens over the years that we can attribute most of them to a carver / doll maker by their distinct features and carving style. No one knows the names of these 18th century doll makers but I can say for instance, those 4 dolls were made by the same hand and those 3 dolls were made by the same maker and so on.

Anyway, this very large and grand ladie's face is now restored back to her former glory with the patina of her face matchubg perfectly to her bust and torso and her poorly replaced arms, hands and legs correctly replaced and aged by us. She is loved very much now by her owner.

I though everyone would enjoy seeing her transformation. Please click on the images below to see them in large format with lots of detail.


  1. Excellent job~ fantastic job~ words cannot describe your ability to restore not only dollys physical features, but her spirit as well~ she looks SO happy now! Thankyou, Dear ones, from a time long ago, for traveling to the future and blessing us all with your talents :)
    xoxoxo rachael

  2. Fabulous! Could you share some of your research info? Your dolls are wonderful! There is so little info in print about the history of these ladies, but alot of misinformation!

    Love the photos, Best, K in the USA :)

  3. Hi K. Thank you for the compliment!
    We have spent years of research on 17th and 18th century English wooden dolls and been lucky enough to have handled quite a few of the rarest examples. We have worked for years as well perfecting our dolls to be the only historically accurate museum quality reproductions made by anyone today with their quality, accuracy and patinas so I am afraid we do not openly share our techniques or knowledge we have learned so far, but its for a good reason.
    One reason is that there have been very underhanded people out there who have tried, unsuccessfully I might add to copy our work and have even harassed and tried their best to pump our best friends to try to get our techniques and research out of them. Lucky for us, our friends are very loyal to us.

    The second reason is that we will be writing a book on 17th and 18th century English wooden dolls one day in the future which will finally mean a book with only the most accurate and correct information on English woodens of the 17th and 18th century which will prove a lot of info out there in books to be totally incorrect. A perfect example of this miss-information out there is all references to how the late 17th century English wooden dolls were carved and turned...........I am afraid they are all totally wrong! We know this because we have one here.
    There will be so much information in our book that will prove wrong a lot of what has been written.

    Best Wishes: The Old Pretenders