I am very interested in learning more about the history of my antique black dolls. All three dolls have been in my mother's family since I can remember. I found all three as I was going through boxes upon boxes of memorabilia belonging to my mother. I believe the cloth dolls were made by a woman in Laramie, Wyoming in the 1800's. I am really curious about the littlest doll - could she be Civil War era?
The first and the littlest doll is 12 inches. This doll has no arms or legs.- just a body wrapped in scraps of cloth. Her face is hard but it is not plastic. Upon close examination this doll had another face sewn on the opposite side of her "body."
My Great Grandmother's father served in the Civil War, leading a black regiment but he was white. He was captured and spent three years as a POW. He returned from the war to meet his daughter who hadn't been born when he left. Could he have brought this doll to her? When he passed away and his widow applied for his pension, her first check arrived written to her and indicated that she was 'colored'.
I guess it was assumed that since my great great grandfather led a black infantry, he must be black too and that would make his widow black too. I have copies of the discharge papers indicating that my great great grandfather led a "United States Colored Infantry".The second Black cloth doll is 15 inches tall and may date to the late 1800's.
The third cloth doll is 21 inches tall and very lanky. Both doll's facial features are embroidery.
The second doll seems to be captured in a photo of a woman holding a white doll and a black doll. The black doll looks very much like my doll. This woman lived in Laramie, Wyoming and her husband was the business partner of my great grandfather. I am guessing the picture was taken in the 1880's?
It would be exciting to know the history of these dolls and their current values.
Please have any one with more information to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Your dolls are beautiful and fantastic. The background story is compiling. All the items, including the letters and photo, are all potential historic and culturally important treasures. I'm thrilled that you have protected the dolls and documents all these years.
I'm sure there are experts on cloth dolls that can date your doll by the type of stiching used on the face and fabric. All the small details can add up to a truly amazing discovery. I'm hopeful someone will reach out to you with information.
The last doll style is called a topsy turvey. It had a pretty White doll face on one end and a pretty Black doll face on the other end. A skirt flipped over to hid one doll face while the other face was played with. Carefully check around the band at the neck of the Black doll to see if you can find a date or name. The face is similiar to a Buckener style doll that I will be featuring on the website in a few days.
The Letters from your Great Grandfather have special historically signifigance. Many Black regiments serviced the U.S.A with great honors. Civil War historians would love to be able to examine and perhaps own these letter. Keep in mind that your items have not been offered on the market, therefore, can command high prices.
I simple love the photos!
Thank you for sharing, I'm hopeful someone will step forward and contact you directly.
You have already provided additional information I can't wait to share with my readers in the next issue of Antique Black Dolls.Com
Thank you for sharing your quest for information with us!