Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A very unusual new doll from the Old Pretenders

Hello everyone... I make it a point to never allow myself to have “artistic license” when making any reproduction of a antique English wooden doll. If we did, it would not look at all like a historically correct antique English wooden replica.
Having said that, I did allow some artistic freedom to happen with this very unique and unusual doll this time.
This past summer we were lucky enough to acquire a really lovely and rare artifact. A 2000 year old Roman terracotta head in wonderful condition which we both just loved and had to have.
She has such an amazing face and Paul said, why don’t you try to incorporate her features into one of our English wooden dolls for a change? It could be a very interesting doll, so that's what I did.
She has a basic late 17th century body type and like Paul said, even with her unique face, she is just strange and unusual enough to look like a real thing. One of those obscure dolls that there seems to only be one of and no one has ever seen another antique quite like it, like the rare 18th century German wooden we dressed for a friend a couple years ago with the swivel / nodding head.
When it came to dressing her, I
though she that maybe she might need a fancy court style dress but was not sure what fabrics to use. When I set down to work on her, I saw some old scraps laying there of very early and rare 18th century linen that was the backing of a court dress silk bodice with original stitching still in tact. With the doll having a really nice and authentic heavier patina, the dress of course really needed to match so that it looks like its been on her for 300 years, like the antique she is “pretending” to be as a good Old Pretender doll should do.
I started making her a corset type bodice and it hit me to keep up this very aged, soiled and dingy patina on the entire dress, which actually matches the doll's patina well also. She now has a very authentic and quite aged overall patina and I am really happy with the results....Never fails, I always gravitate to the simply dressed dolls but simple, never means simple to make. A dress like this which appears to be very early and old is quite a challenge and one of the hardest types to create.
Hope everyone enjoys her photos.


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