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A Victorian Beauty-Celeste The China Head

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Dolls1826 of 4772Beautiful porcelain doll.Antique Silk Doll Dress
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (22 items)

    Celeste is a stunning old girl who I've only just recently added to my collection. She has a bit of a non-nonchalant, dreamy, hypnotic look to her, very much a characteristic of many china head dolls attributed to German firm Conta & Boehme (the same factory that produced so many incredible china fairings and figurines throughout the 19th and early 20th century).

    This example stands regally at 22" in her impressive and grand costume. The pale pink colour of this delicate and well-made vintage dress compliments her pink flushed cheeks so well. The gown is made of taffeta with a stunning and fragile lace overlay. I estimate it to have been made around the 1940's or 50's. With layers of old undergarments-two highly-starched cotton petticoats and a swish pair of pantaloons, hand-made leather shoes, old socks sewn onto the legs and that fancy do, she's a woman ready for a night on the town.

    Celeste's cloth body appears to be hair-stuffed, and looks to be of a decent age. Her well-stuffed arms are kid, feature articulated fingers, adorned with a tiny bead ring, and are a lot newer than the body. From memory there's still remnants of the stumps of her older arms. Undressed, I see that the body is a 'wasp-waist'-very long in the torso with large roomy hips.

    As mentioned, the visage is very much inline with Conta & Boehme's facial painting, of which they produced many dolls with that sleepy, heavy-lidded and small pouty mouthed look. Celeste isn't marked on the outside of the shoulder plate, and I haven't removed the head to inspect inside it, due to how well the tapes front and back are sewn onto the body.

    The mouth is well molded and deep, on certain angles it looks like the lips are almost parted. Her nose has a bit of a rub in the china, the heavy eyelids are nicely molded. There's the occasional kiln spotting here and there.

    Celeste's hairstyle (exhibits C & D) may be described as a slight variation on a Waterfall arrangement, a popular style of the mid-to-later Victorian era. She has fantastic brush marks around the temples, the hair is gathered and sits low towards the back of the neck.

    This example, with her fancy and eye catching coiffure that surely no male china head can resist, can be dated to around the 1860's, the golden age of china head dolls, in my personal opinion.

    Celeste is now spending her twilight years relaxing with other C&B kin while appearing impossibly disinterested in anything and everything around her.

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    1. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      What a superb doll! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and these beauties :-)
    2. chinaheads chinaheads, 6 years ago
      No worries at all kyratango, thanks again for reading and your compliments on my china ladies.
    3. chinaheads chinaheads, 6 years ago
      Hi Thomas happy V-Day to you, thanks also for following. Cheers.
    4. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
      Gorgeous dreamy china ! Always enjoy your creative writing you can feel your passion and I also find these girls have the most calming expression on their faces and one sits in a chair in my bedroom at night kind of makes me feel all things are ok in the world when I see her serenity. I love your watermark and good for you for doing it I need to learn how since I removed so many posts because they were being used by others without my permission . Always enjoy your posts ! :-)
    5. chinaheads chinaheads, 6 years ago
      Thanks so much Manikin for all your lovely compliments on my china ladies. Most people who see my dolls don't really 'get' them. They fail to see the beauty and history. I have a Conta & Boehme lady and an ABG model that see watching over me in a chair in my room. I feel nothing but serenity from them. I've begun watermarking my photos, if you pass on your email I can show you how its done. Thanks for following too. Cheers.

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