An Old and Unusual Costume Doll - Featured Antique

I'm reblogging this from my writer's blog, because I'm trying to keep the two halves of my working life separate - to some extent anyway, because of course they do overlap.

Half of my time is spent writing and editing and promoting my fiction and non-fiction  - and you can read all about that here. But the other half of my time is spent on a long term project that involves buying and selling antiques, helping my talented husband to promote his own painting and woodwork, and also writing about the two hundred year old Scottish house and garden where we have lived and worked for so many years. This lovely old house has taught us so much that it seems worth sharing some of it with people who might be further back along the road.

Also along the way, I'm planning to feature some of my antique and vintage items, especially when they are as strange and interesting as this one. Some of them are on sale in my eBay store, and some on a wonderful site called Love Antiques, which is where you'll find this special lady. I've had this little personage in my possession for some years, but I think it might be time for her to find a new home. She's a costume doll, with a painted face (a bit like a Lenci doll, but that isn't what she is) dressed in a Polonaise costume that is entirely hand made - and enchanting.

Her head is made of scrim, very firm, with painted features, and her body seems to be made of the same stuffed fabric. She has real human hair, with a beaded hat, and hat pins. She has a pink satin overdress, with hand made lace sleeves, and trim at the neck. The lining of this is hand embroidered. Below this is a pink quilted skirt, and if you lift the overskirt, you can see her white lace edged corset with pink ribbons, and pink satin stays with fine stitching under that. The quilted skirt also has two little linen covered buttons fastening it at the back. Beneath that is a white linen petticoat, with a deep frill of hand done broderie anglais, with a pink flannel petticoat under that.

Below that are gorgeous white pin-tucked pantalettes. again all hand stitched, with pink ribbons, and finally there are hand made stockings, with little white kid leather beaded shoes.

Look at her gorgeous little shoes!
I think she is a one off piece and obviously not nearly as old as the costume itself - circa 1900 perhaps, although it's hard to be sure and she could be older. It looks to me as though this has been an ambitious handicrafts project for somebody, since so many different hand stitches and techniques are included - almost like a seamstress's 'apprentice piece'. But who knows? I've had her for many years, and treasured her and she has accompanied me to more than one talk about antique textiles - but I think it might be time to find her a new home. To tell the truth, I won't be too upset if she isn't sold - and in any case, I thought my readers might like to see some pictures of her. If you want to see her on Love Antiques, you'll find her in my shop, if you follow this link.