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A 'Flat Top' China Head Beauty

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China Dolls33 of 79The Serene Beauty Of AgnesAntique China Doll 22" red hair
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (22 items)

    The 'Flat Top' hairstyle, after the mass-produced late Victorian and Edwardian 'Low Brow' style, is the second most common hair arrangement when one considers china head dolls and their coiffures. Maybe I'm biased because I'm the owner of this beloved china head (named 'Sara' after the Stevie Nicks-penned 1979 musical masterpiece), but I find her to be an especially striking and appealing example. Her colouring is vivid and lively. The photos do not do her justice in that respect unfortunately. Her tranquil countenance is accentuated by a kindly ruby-red mouth, the colour still so deep and vibrant after countless decades, glowing cheeks and large blue eyes framed by molded eyelids-she has an aura of benevolence and peace.

    Sara stands at 17" and appears to have retained her original firmly-stuffed cloth frame-if it's not, then it was replaced many, many moons ago. Her thin ballerina feet are impossibly dainty. Her underwear is fairly pedestrian, nothing fancy; her partially-faded floral cotton dress is probably hovering at some point between antique and vintage.

    She has minor wear to the head, a couple of tiny rubs, a few kiln specks here and there, certainly all typical of a doll of such advanced years. Sara's hairstyle is often referred to as a Civil War era style as it reached it's apogee of popularity and production around this time, but it's important to remember that hairstyles and molds often had a reasonable lifespan, and a style like this may have been produced for up to 20-30 years. In saying that, I imagine Sara may have been one of the first cabs off the rank judging by her deeply molded clusters of curls.

    The final image of the Victorian lady is for hairstyle comparison-the rather striking sitter wears a 'flat top' hair arrangement. This image can be dated to around the mid-to-late 1850's.

    Photos and text by Carly Louise.

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    1. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Our dolls specialist, Manikin, will love her (and ask for pics of the body) !
      I love her, her face, brooch, and the fact you joined the antique pic of the lady :-D
      Welcome to CW!
    2. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
      Beautiful and love that you have a photo of a woman with the hairstyle :-)
    3. Celiene Celiene, 6 years ago
      I am drooling over the statue of 'The Three Graces' in the cab photo! Sara's face is to die for! She is serenely beautiful! Who is in her brooch? Would you call the material of her dress 'homespun'?
    4. chinaheads chinaheads, 6 years ago
      Thanks so much for your comments folks. The brooch is approx 1920's/30's; the painted figure behind the glass in it is unknown, she appears to be an 18th century lady, but it's hard to tell as it's pretty faded. The brooch probably should be on a larger sized doll, it's a bit big for her body. Sara's dress material is commercially made judging by the feel of it. Thanks again for your comments.
    5. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
      I really like the daguerreotype that you used to illustrate the hair style!

      Do you look for images to illustrate period features of your dolls?


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