McLaughlin made some strange animal paper dolls in the 1890s (you can see some others if you click "animals" under the categories to the right. But this is probably the strangest I've come across.
I suppose it has charm; makes me wonder at all the creepy dolls and toys that are on the market today that 100 years from now people will wonder about the appeal.
Anyway, this is just one of those quick check-in posts to make sure I try to keep things going. Wanted to post about my current work-in-progress but I haven't worked up the courage for a reveal since it's still very unfinished.
I will say it's doll-related, but in a maybe unexpected way.
I will also say that I am still thinking of tearing down this site (and rebuilding ~ so no, it's not going to just go away). But it's lacked serious focus for more years than I care to acknowledge. I just haven't quite figured out what it is I want to do with it.
An exchange over at RLC's blog about double-sided paper dolls
reminded me suddenly that I hadn't updated my own blog since returning from a long visit to my sister's.So I thought I should share a few double-sided dolls I came across (I know not where) during my internet travels. This is an advertising set (though I don't know what the product was), and the figures are characters from the Pocahontes story.
I would love love love to make full-on double-sided dolls in the style of the 19th century, but I am horrifically daunted by the complexity of it ~ I can barely seem to get single-sided dolls together, let alone tackle something like this. Still, I do get all moony-eyed and hope-sick when I think about how totally cool these are.
In other news, I've got Frank all re-tooled (after finding my lost files), and will try to post his final plates this week. I have been to busy to make either his hats or his final street clothes, so maybe this coming weekend I will try to make that a priority. Since I don't know yet what I am doing with this blog, it's been hard finding time to commit to it one way or the other. But I ain't giving it up yet!
Be sure to click on the image to see the details on this; it's fabulous! This was part of a larger sheet (of which I will maybe share more later) that recently sold on eBay for about $100. The seller identified it as a McLoughlin, but something about the colors tells me it's foreign, perhaps. There's no marking on the sheet and it's reminiscent of sheets I've seen produced in Germany, but then again, I am no expert in these things ~ it's merely a hunch. I have a resource book that might identify it. When I am not feeling so lazy, maybe I will look it up.
And yes, laziness reigns here at Chez Boots. I am still thinking about what I want to do about my poor dolls. I keep thinking lightning will strike, but it hasn't. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these random offerings.
Totally awesome 1841 set of paper dolls on auction through Theriault's
. Described as "very rare" with a title: Mythologie Pour La Jeunesse
. This set was made in Vienna by H.F. Muller. It includes two dolls (male and female), and 14 stunning costumes representing various Greek and Roman deities. The auction site describes the folio as beautifully marbled with applique on the "mythologie" scroll. This set was intended to be fun and educational and came with a "72 page book, written in both German and French, detailing the writer's purpose: to teach mythology to his children by means of paper dolls with changeable costumes that represent the features of various Greek or Roman Gods."Don't know how much something like this will go for at auction, but it being such a lovely complete set in such nice condition
, I'm sure it will go dear!
Amazing colors! Wish we could better see the male doll ~ his little head is peeking out above the short yellow toga roughly in the middle at the bottom. Click the image to see more detail!
Today, a lovely European paper doll on auction at eBay. Because the title is in multiple languages, it's hard to know its place of origin. I am going to guess German because German is the first language represented on the box. The seller thinks it's French.
Either way, we both agree that it's from the 1850s and it's lovely! Has a few other dresses and some hats, but this is the best representative image and besides, that decorative box is just way cool. Typical of the style of that era, this doll is printed both front and back and pieces like the veil shown here go over the head and around the shoulders; sometimes these designs were wonderfully complex for playthings; but cheap paper dolls were still another decade or so away, so the rich little girls who played with these expected the full monty (so to speak).
UPDATE: This auction ended on 3/9 and netted $431.99!
Another astonishing Worth creation from 1882. This image comes from The Opulent Era: Fashions of Worth, Doucet and Pingat
by Elizabeth Ann Coleman. Just in case we needed further proof of Worth's brilliance.
In truth I don't love everything by Worth (some, in fact, make me cringe), but as mentioned before on this blog, this is probably my favorite era of fashion in the 19th century. This is absolutely nothing I would ever want to wear ~ too froo froo with all those flowers, but I do appreciate it as quite the phenomenon of silk and tulle and layers and sculpting!
Scanner still kaput, no relief in sight (it's a tragedy, I know). But I thought I better update with some small thing at least just so you know I have not disappeared off the planet. This is an English set of dolls from the 1860s which I found at Bibliopolis
. And just think! It can be yours for the bargain price of $8,500!Totally insane price, but the set does sound very nice: "
two adult paper dolls are accompanied by ten costumes, including outerwear, elegant evening dress, and a long bridal veil. One gown, fit for a ball, has three tiers of blue satin and white floral lace, and short lace-trimmed sleeves. Wrist-length kid gloves and a fan complete the ensemble. Each of the child figures has four costumes, including a boy's tunic with a tamed squirrel perched on the shoulder. Also included are fourteen hats and two stands for the dolls. All costumes are vibrantly colored and partially varnished and are also two-sided. Housed in the original gilt-trimmed, printed box".Wish they had shared more pictures.
Here is yet another gorgeous Worth gown from 1884 which I found at Ye Olde Fashion
. The gold and black is exquisite and somehow manages to not look garish.
As always, click the picture to see more details up close. And check out that tumblr account (it is chock full of amazing things!).As for me and why I have been rather absent here, as usual I have very few good excuses, though my scanner has died once and for all and I will have to get a replacement before I can post any new work, which has put a major crimp in everything. Hopefully I will find a scanner to my liking and get it set up soon. I tried to find one this weekend, but didn't really care for the models available in the stores. I don't want to be too picky, but I also want something that will serve me well as my last one did for nearly ten years. Rest in peace, old friend.
This is a recent auction from eBay that shows a lovely solution for the problem of tailcoats on paper dolls. It's probably from either the late 1890s or possibly just over the jump of the century ~ either way, formal wear had undergone no special changes in the last half of the century. The sorta cutaway morning coat looks more English to me, but was definitely a style in America too.
I used to be a lot more adventuresome with my paper doll construction but that becomes difficult to translate into something that other people can assemble and enjoy and it can be daunting to see something on paper that requires some assembly. I know I have never been real crazy about those hats that require you to paste backing on them.
I am working on a St. Nicholas doll (of course!), but because of his very necessary beard, I am having a hard time deciding whether to make his head a separate piece that needs to be glued on. It's either that or he'll have to be in profile. I guess we shall see!
Awesome boots from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
. I absolutely adore 19th century shoes ~ particularly high-laced/buttoned boots like these.
There are quite a few in this collection well-worth drooling over. The variety of fabrics and leathers and decorations on these shoes was pretty incredible. T
hese shown on the left look like satin and were made in 1889.
Click on the images for more detail!
This second pair is leather from 1868 ~ the style of these are buttoned (the flap pulls over the front of the foor and fastens on the side. Ladies had special button hooks (sometimes very fancy ones!) to help get these on and off.
It's amazing to find shoes this old in such prime shape. No matter how decorative, they were made for practical purposes and most were worn out, handed down and eventually destroyed after much use. Think about the life of your own shoes!