Posted 5 years ago
I imagine Adella, the German china head subject exhibited above, would once have been a fine and very regal doll in her youthful days- looking over this stylish lady today there is clear indication of much wear and play in days gone by. Her self-important and rather pompous countenance is very appealing. She's had a tough life-severe damage to the shoulder plate and a pretty rough but serviceable rebuild has taken place in more modern times. Even though a good portion of herself is missing, she remains coolly unconcerned.
Adella stands at 15" (a good portion of that is big 1860's hair!) and is the keeper of a wonderful firmly-stuffed antique body. She has a desirable long torso and wasp-waist, antique china arms and bisque legs-there is a slight molding around the tops of the boots, which are flat and left unpainted. The tiny and delicate pieces of antique lace sewn just above her china arms are a lovely touch. Apart from her fantastic antique figure, Adella's other redeeming feature amid her shoulder plate crisis is her spectacular large coiffure-judging by fashion plates and photographs of the Civil War era, I would place Adella's impressive hair arrangement approx around 1862-65 ( baring in mind that the molds and styles may have been used for a number of years). The forehead is framed by tiny finely applied brush marks, the hair stands tall and commanding at the front, the back is arranged as though there is an invisible snood enveloping it.
Her facial features are petite and sharp. She has a delicate rosebud mouth, slightly pursed, a well-defined nose, and a factory flaw, a sort of discolouration on the cheek where a tiny area is lighter than the blush.
Adella's clothing is antique-the undergarments are simple but appropriate, the homemade brown and white cotton dress is trimmed with beautiful old lace and the inside has a small pocket.
The facial painting of this doll suggests German firm Conta and Boehme, many collectors I've spoken to mention C&B as possible makers.
In the forth image, Vivien Leigh as 1860's Scarlett O'Hara wears a hair arrangement comparable to that of Adella's.