Ellen: From Frumpy Dowager to Southern Belle

The doll featured below is Ellen. She is a German china shoulder head, probably from the Kister factory. Her head and deep shoulder plate, which was broken and crudely repaired, measures 5” high. She is on a replaced soft cloth body with new china arms and legs which are ivory colored and don’t match her ice-blue complexion. She was one of the first china dolls I collected, before I knew what to look for in collecting antique chinas. I like her flat top style curls with brush strokes, and her well defined eyelids. She has a pepper spot (a firing impurity) right under her nose.


Ellen came dressed in a cherry red dress which I am sure was made just for her, probably in the 1970’s or 80’s. It fits her well and is well made. See all the tiny seed beads on the sleeves and the skirt inset? However, it is polyester satin with a modern lace overskirt. She also has poly/cotton modern eyelet chemise, drawers, and petticoat. They are pretty on her, but I think they make her look too old and frumpy, like a dowager. And I just do not care for modern or man-made fabric on an antique doll.


I have dressed Ellen in a vintage white rose-sprigged drop-shoulder dress that I took off another doll. (It was too short for that doll.) This dress, with the antique lace shawl collar, shows off her deep shoulder plate to advantage, and gives her a fresh “Southern Bell” countenance. What do you think? I plan to remove the glue residue from her shoulder plate repair now that I have learned how to do that.



2 thoughts on “Ellen: From Frumpy Dowager to Southern Belle

  1. Pingback: Naming Our Dolls: REAL Toys Have Names | quintessential antique dolls

  2. Pingback: Naming Our Dolls: REAL Toys Have Names (And a Kloster Veilsdorf China Doll With Provenance) | quintessential antique dolls

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