This was a very difficult restoration for obvious reasons other than her small size of 10 inches tall. Her little plaster face had popped and lifted severely over the years from the wood underneath expanding and contracting and had been crushed in the middle as seen in the before restoration photos below.
It was in two pieces which were only being held on by the glued on wig. Bother facial piece were literally flopping up and down. I am surprised she made it to us in the mail with the face still holding on, but she did. There was shattering in the center where the crushing was as well and sever lifting everywhere as can bee seen in the photos.
I have developed techniques over the years which give me amazing results with my restoration work.
All of what you see in the after restoration photos is her original face re-attached and sealed back to the wood without removing it and without touching any of her original paint. I filled and restored the damaged areas and cracks and only restored/ repainted these areas to match and did not touch any of her original paint. Basically I restored / repaired the damage and put back what paint was missing because of the damage.
Her new owner, a friend of ours was thrilled with the restoration and Mayzie will have another 200 years hopefully with her good as new old face.
Mayzie of course is the latest type of English wooden, dating from around the 1820's but she is a very rare little survivor indeed. She may have been of the latest made, cheap and cheerful type of English wooden of her day, but these simple little dolls were either played with so much or just thrown away when their face popped and lifted and fell off, like in Mayzie’s case. So very few of these little examples have survived in 100% all original condition from head to toe like Mayzie. The ones who have are rarely untouched like Mayzie. She is indeed 100% all original in every aspect including her arms and legs and that amazing wig and headpiece of her period. The only thing she is missing is her sheer gossamer thin over dress which has rotted away over the years, only bits of it remain around her waistline. Luckily our friend who owns her agrees with us, that she should be left just as she is and nothing done to make a replacement over dress.
I though everyone would enjoy seeing this rare little survivor.
The e-mail below I received from Mayzie’s owner when she arrived home.
DAVID: I about cried when my little ragamuffin Mayzie arrived home in her little box with her name inscribed within. She looks like she had been put there a couple hundred years ago and had slept peacefully until I opened up her box!
I can hardly believe the fantastic job you did on her. Not even a museum curator would know she had once had broken and floating face. You Mr. Chapman are an extraordinary restorationist, artist and magician! No one can do what you do with early English wooden dolls. She is magnificent! There is no other English word that comes close.
To see her for the first time and in her little box made my Christmas in July!!!!
She looks amazing David!!
Thank you so very much.