If you guessed the leg of a porcelain doll on this past Tuesday’s Christmas 2013 Edition Curio, then you were absolutely right!
If you look closely, you can see the green boot is edged in black with a center tassel and red garter bow. The boot which is missing probably had a low heel and the sole painted tan. The dainty appendage is 5cm long and the top has a circumference of 1cm, part of a larger variety of antique dolls, which tended to range in size from 2.5cm to 75cm.
Dolls like these were produced chiefly in Germany between 1840 and 1940, and were most popular before the turn of the century. While the earliest porcelain dolls were made into the likenesses of adult women, children became the more predominant subject during the 1850s.
Nowadays you’d be far more likely to see these delicate and fragile dolls in collector’s books and at auction houses rather than on a shelf in a toy store, but believe it or not these were first manufactured as children’s playthings. This same leg might have belonged to a doll that was given to a very eager child on Christmas morning!
Stay tuned for more items that may have made a child’s Christmas list during the late 1800s/early 1900s!