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Nelling, Inc.

E a r l y   D o l l s

page  1, 2

(Click on photos to enlarge)  

Pair of French Paper Mache Dolls

8" and 7 1/2"
In Wooden Container

One is a priest, the other a nun, and both are in their original Dominican Order wool robes and habit, with the priest still having his formal headwear, rosary and sacramental container, and the nun having two rosaries hanging from her cinture.  They are both French paper mache characters with bodies of pink toned leather and the two of them having wonderfully preserved heads.
They have neatly painted faces and features, original surface and patina, and the priest retains his wig of fine strands of hair. Both are contained in what may be the wooden oval box in which they were once offered. The priest has his original metal stand and the nun, whose veil is replaced with antique fabric,  has a remade metal stand that is similar to that of the priest.  The wool fabric has some fraying but overall very good condition.

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Georgian Wooden Gentleman


An English wooden of the Georgian period, ca. 1790 in a very place-able size (11 3/4") for an early cabinet collection.  He has pupil-less dark enamel eyes, a hint of ear carving, subtle profile, head an torso of one piece of carved wood, one-piece wood carved legs and all cloth arms of considerable age, all typical qualities of the later woodens from the end of the 18th century.  Also some touch up to areas of the original painted, varnished gesso.

What is unusual is that he is dressed as a male country squire and even though you see him photographed here with his long lost lady, he would welcome a new partner to stand beside. He has a replaced auburn mohair wig, early antique linen vest, antique, lined silk jacket with fraying expected from its age, britches of vintage black fabric, and antique leather slippers with metal buckles.

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Tout en Bois


Here is something not seen too often!  She shares the historical era with German paper maches and and English or European wax dolls, but she is totally of carved wood, or "Tout en Bois" in French.  She may have been made in Germany for the French trade, as her wooden body is turned and carved in the style of the French.

Her face is full of life with pronounced carving, highly detailed painting, soft shading and such a thoughtful expression and deep character.  She has an antique mohair wig in a light brown tone and is wearing a complete and appealing outfit made of antique fabrics, with antique leather shoes.  She is sort of in a category all her own.

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Taufling Body China

Rare Large Size

An already rare doll, the Taufling, or Motchsman body child china becomes almost a fantasy in this larger than large size of 15".  And what's more is the hard to find "Alice" hairdo, making her a museum piece indeed.  Her near-white china continues from her rounded, youthful head, flange neck, lower arms with lovely detailed fingers to her lower legs with realistically molded calves. Then come her china feet that are molded black boots. At her left temple runs a very fine line that is very difficult to see and it also faintly appears across the bridge of the nose.
Her hair, once gold-luster hairband, shy facial painting and shading are neat and understated.  Her shoulderplate and hip section are of paper mache, with the original, cotton-filled linen joints providing ample movement.  There is wear and soiling to these fabric sections, which is to be expected after over 175 years of handling, so there are areas that are fragile or restitched.  Her cotton undergarments, that have some later dated provenance pinned on, and her simple and fine cotton wool dress are accessorized with a beaded shoulder bag that respectfully remains from when she was acquired.

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  Magical Little Wooden


From the Grodnertal region of Austria came the enchanting gesso over wood, painted shoulderheads on peg wooden bodies we call "Grodnertals", peg woodens, or tuck comb dolls.  Circa 1820-1830, this tiny wonder is all about the original costume of midnight blue silk, adorned with rows and accents of metalic gold paper trim, with matching, cone-shaped cap.  She almost looks like a theatre character, royalty or a fortune teller!  Her wooden limbs are jointed at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees and she has a quirky little painted facial features with original finish and is in excellent condition.

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Royal Portrait in Wax

11 1/2"
Circa 1740.

Probably a depiction of a royal figure or lady of rank in the mid-eighteenth century France, this wax doll mounted on her original wooden platform defies time in its obviously "ancient", but impressive and untouched condition.  Her head, shoulder and chest are all one piece of molded wax, she has dark, pupil-less enamel eyes and her inserted hair seems to be ringlets of horse-hair only one of which is fully intact.  There is wax loss around her eyes and expected cracking from the outward
Her body is cloth over wire armature and her hands of molded wax peak out from her extravagant costume of silks, gilt trims, starched lace and a series of glass pearls that adorn both the garland that she holds and her crown of formed metallic trimmings.   Her skirt width portrays her importance with the silhouette performed by the use of farthingales and abundant fabric.  She even retains her petticoat and some early pins that are lodged in and around her costume to hold things in place.  Lastly, trailing behind her is her original, chocolate silk train with a cream linen edging that may have been once covered with decoration.  A dome would be a perfect home for her.

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more Early Dolls go to page 2


Post Office Box 4327  n   Burbank, CA 91503

      Cell (818) 738-4591   n Home Phone (818) 562-7839 

Don't  forget to look at the Miscellaneous page!

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