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Object Name Doll
Date ca. 1870
Description Woman doll. Wax over composition head with molded features and glass eyes. A string braid is attached to her molded hair. Cloth body with wooden limbs. She wears a white dress with a tiny black and white handkerchief pinned to her waist. Probably made in Germany. Overall height is 9.5 inches.
Acquisition Gift of Alfred A. Cole
Ownership and History This doll's head is made of composition covered with wax. The use of wax over composition began in Germany in the 1830s, and continued through the 1800s. The composition was durable, and the wax gave it a more lifelike appearance.

This is a woman doll, but someone has tied a string braid in back to give her the hairstyle of a young girl, and the clothing she wears is in the style worn by young girls rather than by women.

The somewhat weathered condition of the doll's face is evidence of the disadvantage of combining composition and wax. These materials expand and contract differently in response to changing climate conditions, causing damage over the years. This has caused much of the wax to crack and fall off, making the doll's features less well defined than they would have been originally.

This doll came to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1953 from the estate of Annie Cole of Tottenville, Staten Island, and may have belonged to her as a young girl. Annie began her career as a teacher in 1884, and in 1891 was appointed principal of the Huguenot Public School, where she continued to work for 38 years, until her retirement in 1930.
Earliest Date 1865
Latest Date 1875
Subjects Dolls
Lexicon Sub-category Toy
Associated People Cole, Annie E.
Catalog Number T03.0119
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, 2012.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.