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Porcelain, wood, cotton, metal, glass, hair
Overall: 20 x 6 x 3 in. ( 50.8 x 15.2 x 7.6 cm )
Lady doll with jointed porcelain shoulder head, molded and painted facial features including closed mouth, eyebrows, eyelashes and red tinted cheeks; blue glass eyes. Pierced ears with metal and white glass drop earrings; blond hair (originally attached, now stored seperately in trunk). Painted peg wooden body and limbs with moveable ball and socket joints, carved fingers and toes; attached to porcelain shoulder head with kid at torso. Dressed in white cotton bloomers and chemisette under cotton petticoat, all pin-tucked and edged with lace; long-sleeved red and white plaid flannel overdress with six front button closures and red trimming; white cotton socks.
Credit Line 
Gift of Marian F. Fraser
Object Number 
Gallery Label 
This doll, Helen, her wardrobe and trunk were originally owned by Mary Augusta Colson whose seafaring family roots were in Brooklyn, New York and New England. The doll was purchased for Mary as a favor to Captain Colson by the owner of his ship, Vernon H. Brown in 1876. Mrs. Brown spent weeks with her dressmaker designing the most current fashions for the doll. Mary was later photographed with her doll in Boston, as were successive generations of female descendants, including the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group