Skip Navigation

Lady Doll, Sanitary Fair

Decorative Arts and Design

Another doll from the Brooklyn Sanitary Fair, this one shows extensive signs of use, most likely as a child’s toy. Little is known about the doll, although its beautifully detailed day-wear outfit, elaborate Victorian hairstyle, and dainty earrings clearly indicate it is intended to represent a grown woman rather than a child or young girl. Displayed along with the Eliza Lefferts doll in an exhibition called Early American Handicraft at the Brooklyn Museum in 1924, this doll was very recently rediscovered in the Museum’s Decorative Arts holdings and is shown here for the first time in eighty-five years.
MEDIUM Bisque porcelain, glaze, tinted glaze, paint, glass, adhesive, undyed cotton, horsehair, vegetable tanned leather, cotton, silk, mother-of-pearl, wool, glazed (?) cotton
DATES ca. 1864
DIMENSIONS 27 1/2 x 17 x 4 1/2 in. (69.9 x 43.2 x 11.4 cm)
MARKINGS Typewritten paper label pinned to the inside bottom edge of skirt: "DOLL BOUGHT AT THE SANITARY FAIR, 1864/Gift of Mrs. Thomas H. Beardsley/15139 (handwritten in ink)"; tag handwritten in pencil: "15139" sewn to bottom edge of jacket.
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Thomas H. Beardsley
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.