18th Century Dolls, Dollhouses, and Doll Clothing

Wooden dolls

Wax dolls

  • Nordiska museet NM.0151865, made in the first half of the 18th century; the black velvet dress is probably a later addition
  • SPNEA 1924.918 and 1924.919, c. 1720-1725; “These extraordinary objects, made by the teen-aged daughter of a well-to-do Boston, Massachusetts, family, are the only American-made free-standing figures known to have survived from the eighteenth century. Wax work, like fancy needlework, was among the artistic skills considered important in the education of young girls during this period. Sarah Gee supported these figures on armatures and used colored beeswax and real fabric trimmed with lace dipped in wax for their bodies. They are protected by their original English bell jars and mounted on turned wooden pedestals made to fit the jars.”
  • MoL, 1756-1765; “Wax fashion doll. A fashion doll with solid wax head and limbs on a wire frame, with moulded and painted hair and glass eyes. The doll is wearing a formal Court dress of striped and brocaded silk with a wired skirt. She has a compass hanging at the waist.”
  • V&A W.183:7-1919; petticoat had a note pinned to it saying “Mrs Powell Wedding Suit 1761”
  • Nordiska museet NM.0025851, a doll dressed in a Norwegian bridal gown from Telemark, made c. 1770-1779

Other dolls

  • PVMA 1885.40.07, a rag doll (named “Bangwell Putt”) made for a blind girl (Clarissa Field of Northfield, Massachusetts), c. 1770
  • Nordiska museet 0022622A-B, a pair of dolls made of silk wrapped over wire, c. 1770-1779
  • Met C.I.41.113.5, a straw doll, fourth quarter of the 18th century

Doll clothes

Dolls’ houses and “baby houses”

There are a lot of detailed photos of dollhouse furniture and related miniatures on Bildindex.

Doll furniture

  • CW 1940-224, a cradle, southeastern America, c. 1775-1825

Depictions of 18th century children with dolls