Some Vintage English Wax Dolls and Their Special Physical Attribute
Learn About This Antique English Wax Dolls Little Secret.
Near the bottom of this page - there is a form you can fill out to share your doll interests with others, along with pictures.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Hey, they are beautiful! Two early wax dolls, both of English origin. The wax is over a paper mache or composition. Their features were painted before they were covered with wax. You will find a variety of dates as to manufacture, but the average is circa 1830 through the 1860s.
Years ago, many collectors shied away from these magnificent antique dolls because of the imperfections and flaws that the facial wax developed after over a hundred years of existence.
Today, a devout lover of true historical antiquity does not see their lines, cracks, discolored or missing wax as undesirable. They see the soul of the 19th century.
Many fine examples of wax dolls find their way from England into our own collections. Thankfully, the English take great pride in their heritage and have preserved their childhood possessions for generations.
The "lovely lady" with the strawberry pink human hair is commonly referred to as a slit head wax doll. Her hair is inserted in a slit at the top of her head.
I am strongly attracted to her...and often wonder if her hair was a flaming red in her youth. Her original pink silk bow is still adorning her thinning curls. I think only the melting of the wax through the years has adhered it firmly.
Her intellectual friend who reads the classics eternally has brought much laughter to those who have viewed her over the years. She has a "special" physical attribute that has brought smiles to all of her admirers.
Purchased many years ago at a doll show where she constantly flirted with me every time I passed the sellers table, at first glance she appears to be a typical English wax doll with all of the familiar attributes. A very large 30", she has the thick wax over hands and legs. But, oh her secret!
After purchasing her...she sat in my lap for the remainder of the doll sale. This is where she succeeded in winning the hearts of all who passed. As she has a lever in her body which controls the closure of her eyes. It is positioned in such a way that I could maneuver it without being detected.
Engaging more collectors in conversation as they would stop to admire her...the expressions on their faces when she coyly opened and closed her eyes was delightful to all who observed and already knew her secret.
If you wish to locate similar literary accessories for your wax dolls, the very old little books displayed with her can be found frequently by searching...eBay----- books----antiquarian OR eBay------dolls and bears----doll clothes, furniture----clothes, accessories----antique, vintage. The books are "Little Leather Library" and display beautifully with antique dolls.
The careful display is required of the delicate wax child. Aside from the most obvious damage of accidental falls, changes in temperature are probably the most common threat.
Moving to the frigid winter climate of the Northwest from the dry desert of the Southwest, it had not occurred to me that the indoor environment was also altered. Sadly, the first year we were here, the dedicated student acquired a new fine line crack down the side of her face. All wax is now in the warmer room of the house, and no further damage has been observed.
Did you ever chew wax as a child? Remember those ugly wax lips? Well, children had the same attraction to wax in the 1800's and would often scrape wax from their dolls face and insert into their own. Don't you ever wonder how your wax dolls acquired their rubs and abrasions? I do.
Probably the best place to look for the present "doll and accessories" value is on the Internet, primarily the auction sites--my favorite is eBay... in the completed Wax Dolls section of eBay you can browse the past 30 days of completed auctions of wax dolls and accessories. On the left side, in the box named "Display," you can select "Active Items" to see the "wax dolls and accessories" presently up for auction.
Also, if you have a doll or doll accessories you would like to find out about...eBay is the place to start...is
in the Dolls and Bears Category, just type in what you have in the search window just under "Dolls & Bears" on the left, and "Shazam", there appears a list of present, up for auction items--in the "Display" box on the left select "Completed Items", a new list will appear, displaying completed items going back for 30 days.
eBay has a rather large set of listings of vintage WAX dolls for sale, if you are interested in a purchase, or to find values if looking for costs, it is necessary to register with eBay.
There are always some bits of information regarding wax dolls in the current price guides. My favorite is :
Blue Book of Dolls and Values, 15th Edition by Jan Foulke
Blue Book of Dolls and Values, 16th Edition by Jan Foulke
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eBay is a great website for "value" information about dolls, or most anything else for that matter--however, to see what something has sold for, registration is required, so if you are looking for past sales of any particular doll, please register.
We all love to share. If you have photos and information pertaining to these lovely old English dolls, please fill in the form below to "Show and Tell" your favorite English Wax doll. We all have interest in how they were located, the use of materials in their clothing and any thing else you would like to share with other avid collectors.
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