Origin: Eastern Native American
Date: Last half of the 19th century
Media: Hide, fabric, composition doll (?)
Dimensions: 10.5″ by 3″ by 3″
Description: I don’t know a lot about dolls, but I believe this doll was painted dark brown by the native person that put this doll to bed in the moccasin. There is the possibility that this doll was made black at the factory. If that’s the case, then this is a very early black doll and may be very rare. The moccasin is an early one, likely mid 19th century if not earlier. The doll comes with original clothing. There is a hood with lace, a sleeping gown and under that what looks like a gingham dress. These parts are all sewn together and I don’t want to take it apart any further. Both arms have been removed but the two movable legs are present. There was a red, silk ribbon that bounded the stroud to the moccasin and secured the doll in her place. This ribbon is partially gone. The red stroud in the front has been dye tested by Dr. David Wenger and is 100% cochineal dye, which puts the Doll possibly before 1870. This stroud is sewn to the hide with sinew. My sense is this is not a tourist trade piece, but a doll made for a native child. The early age of all the parts and the coloring of the doll dark all contribute to this conclusion.
Condition: Condition is very good with bead loss to the moccasin.