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Dancing doll

Object Number: 
1945.339a
Date: 
1830-1870
Medium: 
Papier mâché, paper, textile, leather, paint
Dimensions: 
Overall: 13 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 2 in. ( 34.3 x 19 x 5.1 cm )
Description: 
Dancing doll with papier mâché shoulder head, molded black hair piled on top of head in elaborate hairstyle with curls at sides, and with brushstroke curls along edges, molded and painted facial features including blue eyes, closed mouth, and heavily rouged cheeks; complete kid stuffed arms bent inwards as if to cradle kid hands, with separate fingers and thumb sewn on to hand with separate panel; torso and legs made of stiff cardboard covered with fabric, with pieces (torso, upper leg, and lower leg) sewn together so as to hang loosely; cream-colored silk shift covered in dark pink sheer textile overdress, trimmed at hem with cream-colored silk ribbon and even row of black disks, and pink and yellow belt, over plain cotton petticoat; ballet shoes sewn on to feet, with laces embroidered on ankles.
Gallery Label: 
While the heads were probably made in Germany, the doll itself was almost certainly assembled in another country, probably the United States. While no traces of the propelling mechanism exist, certain holes at the back of the head suggest that the doll may have been suspended, in order to cause the legs to "dance."
Credit Line: 
Gift of Walter S. Poor
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group