18th Century Dolls, Dollhouses, and Doll Clothing

Wooden dolls

  • Strong 73.1447, c. 1690
  • V&A T.847-1974 (“Lord Clapham”) and V&A T.846-1974 (“Lady Clapham”), London, c. 1690-1700
  • Letitian Penn doll, 1699
  • Bonhams auction 16877, lot 397, c. 1700
  • MoL 37.33/1, c. 1701-1710; “Child doll with a painted wood head with the remnants of a brown wig. She is dressed in a gown of Indian silk, striped satin blue and white with a narrow red border, embroidered with red tulips, with attached leading strings. Her other clothes include a linen muslin apron and white suede mittens. This doll was for admiring, not playing with. The gown is made from Indian silk embroidered with small flowers.”
  • V&A MISC.264-1978, England, c. 1700-1720
  • Manchester 1922.169, c. 1700-1725; “Wood with rag upper arms, painted fatures. Dressed in wrapper; cream trimmed dress held on with pins; linen/lace cap held on with pins.”
  • KCI AC1774 78-41-178, England, early 18th century
  • A wooden doll, England
  • MFA 43.1768, England
  • Strong 75.3093
  • Wallington National Trust 585204, a black wood doll, 1710
  • Skinner Auction 2476, Lot 40, a large Queen Anne lady doll in a mahogany and walnut veneered display case, England, c. 1720
  • RIHS 1985.28.1, a Queen Anne doll, c. 1725
  • MFA 43.1769, a male doll, England, c. 1730-1740
  • Manchester 1961.250, c. 1730-1740; “Wood and linen, face and neck covered with gesso and painted, glass eyes, remains of fair hair nailed to head. Chemise: linen, cuffs with narrow lace edging tied with pink ribbon. Ribbed cotton petticoat with two rows of pink ribbon round edge. Petticoat: linen, quilted, lined with wool. Ribbed cotton pocket, bound with linen tape. Dress, pink and yellow striped silk, bodice fastening at CF, skirt with front fall; blue silk cuffs and binding round neck and opening; lace edging round neck and opening. Stockings: white woven silk with pink embroidered clocks; shoes, pink figured silk. Necklace: white beads tied with black chenille.”
  • Bowes 1970.187.a/TOY.301, England, c. 1735
  • Skinner Auction 2196, Lot 36, an early Queen Anne wooden lady doll, England, c. 1735
  • Skinner Auction 2476, Lot 270, a Queen Anne memorial doll in a giltwood shadow box case, continental Europe, c. 1735
  • A wooden doll, c. 1740
  • “Lady Grace,” c. 1740
  • V&A MISC.271-1981, England, c. 1740-1750
  • Nordiska museet NM.0151866, a male doll holding a platter of chicken, c. 1740-1759
  • Skinner Auction 2476, Lot 70, a Queen Anne lady doll holding a miniature rag doll, England, c. 1750
  • Christie’s Lot 608 / Sale 5746, a very rare George II turned wood baby doll
  • Doll at St. Fagan's Museum
  • Manchester 1955.21, England, c. 1740-1760
  • National Trust Museum of Childhood 664798, c. 1745-1765
  • A doll “given to Mariana Davis in Paris in 1747, when she was three years old and had just recovered from a dangerous illness … The doll is two feet high, and made of wood. The dress, which is lifted to shew the pincushion on the petticoat, is of red, white, and green striped silk, with a Watteau back. The petticoat is wide and hooped, and has two pockets suspended from the waist; one has a monogram embroidered on it, and the other a coat of arms. The pincushion is also suspended from the waist by a ribbon strap, and hangs quite low on the edge of the petticoat. It is covered with satin, of a salmon-pink shade, with a yellowish ground, but the satin is so faded it is impossble say what the original colours were.” (Pins and Pincushions) See also Paul Fraser Collectibles
  • Withington auction October 18, 2012, wooden doll c. 1750
  • James D. Julia 238, Lot 130, mid-18th century (see Selected Highlights)
  • Mary Merritt Lot 15, England, mid-18th century; a doll with “wooden shoulder head with long neck and graceful features, brown pupilless glass eyes, platinum curled wig, kid body with wooden limbs”
  • Carmel 328, mid-18th century
  • MoL, a 1750s doll dressed in printed linen
  • Strong 79.9665, c. 1750-1760
  • V&A MISC.49&:1 to 3-1963 (“Sophie”), England, c. 1750-1770
  • Strong 79.10971, c. 1750-1800
  • Strong 79.451, c. 1750-1800
  • V&A T.90 to V-1980, a fashion doll, England, c. 1755-1760
  • MFA 43.1770, England
  • MoL, 1756-1760; “Dressed wooden doll with painted face, glass eyes and human hair, probably a replacement wig. With jointed wooden arms. Wearing a sack dress with matching petticoat of pink and yellow figured Spitalfields silk and pink silk stays. Also a linen chemise, linen stays, three linen petticoats and a stiffened hoop. Doll also has an earring and locket, probably later additions. Doll known as 'The Queen of Denmark'. Believed to have been given by an English princess to Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Sampson, Chaplain of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea. It is possible that the princess was George III's sister Caroline Matilda who married Christian, King of Denmark in 1766.”
  • Rijksmuseum BK-NM-3396, c. 1760
  • Miss Barwick of the Ilkley Toy Museum, c. 1760
  • Dudmaston National Trust 815064, Jane, 1760
  • National Trust Museum of Childhood 664799, c. 1765-1775; “A jointed wood and fabric doll with a painted wooden head, torso, forearms and hands, and fabric upper arms. Her face has painted features, glass eyes, real dark brown hair in a plait, and earrings - one resin drop missing. The doll is wearing a gold silk dress, with a white muslin bodice trim and layered cuffs. Underneath she has a green-blue quilted petticoat overlaid with net, two white cotton under petticoats, and cotton stockings (one with a hole in it) tied with cream ribbon. She has green silk shoes, tied with cream silk bows, with leather soles. On her head is a white lace bonnet. The doll has a silk leading rein sewn into the back of her dress.”
  • MoL, 1766-1770; “The doll has jointed legs and carved wooden lower arms; the upper arms are cloth. The head has painted facial features and glass eyes; the wig is of grey-brown human hair, rolled above the forehead in imitation of contemporary hairstyles. She wears a very fashionable blue and white dress and petticoat, of figured English silk, and a linen underskirt.”
  • Carmel 254, c. 1770
  • MoL 46.13/1, c. 1770; “This 'Queen Anne' doll was made by an anonymous craftsman, probably in London. Dolls were often purchased at fairs, such as the Bartholomew Fair at Smithfield. The doll making industry thrived in the capital for most of the eighteenth century. It was protected by the government which levied heavy import duties on toys from abroad. This tax regime was relaxed in the 1780s leading to an influx of cheaper imported dolls. The quality of English-made dolls declined as a result.”
  • Christie’s Lot 978, Sale 8004, a carved and painted limewood doll, c. 1770
  • V&A MISC.41-1968, England, c. 1770-1775
  • Nordiska museet NM.0107718, 1780
  • Bonhams Auction 20914, Lot 62, pair of painted wooden dolls, c. 1780
  • Christie’s Lot 588 / Sale 9494, a turned and carved wood doll, for a baby house
  • Nordiska museet NM.0112941A-H, an 18th century doll in early 19th century clothing
  • Bowes 1970.187.2B/TOY.302, England, c. 1775
  • Christie’s Lot 1179 / Sale 9853, c. 1775
  • V&A MISC.15-1952, England, c. 1770-1785
  • LACMA M.85.229a-c, a male court doll, France, c. 1780
  • Carmel 338, c. 1780
  • Manchester 2013.106 (“Emmaline”), c. 1780-1790; “Wood and cloth body. Wooden head with face and neck covered with gesso and painted, glass eyes, original brown hair nailed to head. Carved wooden hands and feet with jointed cloth arms and legs; olive silk dress, with pink ribbon sash at waist; 2 white cotton petticoats; white linen cap; large brimmed bonnet covered in cream silk.”
  • Ann Proctor's doll, c. 1785
  • Rufford Old Hall National Trust 784611, Priscilla, 1790
  • Skinner Auction 2447, Lot 538, a Queen Anne type wooden doll with a turned head, England, late 18th/early 19th century, in early 19th century checked cotton clothes
  • Christie’s Lot 270 / Sale 4105, an Enlgish turned and carved painted wooden doll, late 18th century
  • Christie’s Lot 770 and 768 / Sale 9724, a fine English turned wood doll late 18th century
  • MFA 43.1607, sewing kit in the form of a doll, England, late 18th century
  • Bonham’s Sale 17971, Lot 159, a German doll, late 18th century
  • May Merritt Lot 28, a male doll and a female doll, late 18th century

Wax dolls

  • Nordiska museet NM.0151865, made in the first half of the 18th century; the black velvet dress is probably a later addition
  • Historic New England 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
  • National Trust Museum of Childhood 668426, c. 1780; “A wax head and shoulder doll with moulded and painted facial features and brown hair. Her lower arms and boots are wax. The body is made of stuffed fabric. On her head she wears a red skull cap with tinsel decoration. Her short sleeved dress of cream fabric has silver coloured spots. Both the hem and skirt are decorated with tinsel. Underneath is a cream cotton petticoat with a serrated hem. A long red train, which has a plain backing, is attached to her shoulders and is again decorated with tinsel. The fabric is badly worn. She stands on a round wooden base to which she is held by wire. A red and cream fabric decoration (possibly flowers) is at her waist.”

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
  • National Trust Museum of Childhood 665109,England, 1785; “A small, stuffed, calico doll with painted facial features and blonde hair. She has paper or card hands with only one remaining finger. She is wearing a cream muslin dress with pin tucks in the skirt and bodice, a muslin cap with ribbon trim and red ribbon shoes. Beside the doll, on a stand, is a cream silk hooded cape, a cream muslin dress with pin tucks and a twisted wire cane.”

Doll clothes

Dolls’ houses and “baby houses”

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

Doll furniture

Depictions of 18th century children with dolls