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A common Victorian and early 20th C pastime, often inspired by images fashion magazines or periodicals. Young girls in particular would use their imagination to create dolls and costumes from simple to elaborate using paper, pencil, crayon or watercolor. Various types of paper were often employed to create trim and accessories and layers or tiers, giving the work a 3D quality.

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Naive Handmade Paper Doll  from St. Valentine - A Little Orphan Girl who Needs a Mother So...1895.. ..
A single-fold 7" x 4 1/2" sheet.  Penned verse on front reads "From St. Valentine -  I've come you see and brought my clothes, So please don't make me go, For I'm a little orphan girl And need a mother so. Within a 5 1/2" pencil and watercolor paper doll and three hand made crepe paper dresses with intricate Dresden scrap and lace paper ruffles appled trim. Doll and costumes held in place with 'paper straps' not e the pen separating the two dresses. Reverse is blank and dated 1895 in pencil.. Discoloration on folder.  Doll and costumes light wear.
 Back View - A 3" Magazine Paper Doll - Elderly Woman with 2 Handmade Outfits  "Polly Grey". ..c1870s
A 3" paper doll cut from an illustration in a magazine.  Depicts a back view of a slightly stooped elderly woman.  A caring chid created two handmade costumes; each with applied shawls and aprons.  Written on the verse of each costume is "Polly Grey", most likely the name given to the doll by a child. .
 7 1/2" Dennison Jointed Paper Doll w 5 Fine Costumes & Accessories. ..
a 7 1/2" jointed or articulated paper doll unmarked, but presumably made by Dennison and her exceptional handmade paper and fabric costumes.  There are five different costumes, each with unique features.  Two of the short dresses are constructed primarily of fabric with paper or crepe paper trim and gold star or foil trim.  One with a matching peach colored hat.  Two other short dresses are also included-- one with a pleated crepe paper skirt and matching hat.  The final item is a long dress with lace paper adornments.  Also includes an umbrella.  Some of the more creative costumes I've seen.  Condition: light bends on doll-- costumes in excellent condition..
9” Late Victorian Newspaper Paper Doll with 9 Elaborate Handmade Costumes  c1903
A 9” newspaper paper doll with nine (9) two piece handmade paper costumes.  Many are interchangeable.  Late Victorian period transitioning to Edwardian fashion.   Each costume has it’s own charm, many with applied layers of paper ruffles polished paper trim, applied or cut wallpaper and more.   Condition: the doll has some wear and is lacking a hand.
4 Handmade Watercolor Paper Dolls with a Dolly and Profusion of Costumes, created by Mary Hale Cutler, 1894.
Four (4) approximately 4" paper dolls neatly and compulsively created by Mary Hale Cutler who writes in the handwritten note on the envelope in which they were found  "The dresses for all the family. Hat, Dresses, Coats". Dated 1894.  Note the wax on the chest of the one doll--this was used to affix the costumes without having to use tabs.   Last but not least, not the 1" dolly presumably shared by the girls..
4 Handmade Watercolor Paper Dolls with a Dolly and Profusion of Costumes, created by Mary Hale Cutler, 1894.. ..
Four (4) approximately 4" paper dolls neatly and compulsively created by Mary Hale Cutler who writes in the handwritten note on the envelope in which they were found  "The dresses for all the family. Hat, Dresses, Coats". Dated 1894.  Note the wax on the chest of the one doll--this was used to affix the costumes without having to use tabs.   Last but not least, not the 1" dolly presumably shared by the girls..
 8" Handmade Watercolor Male Paper Doll named Drake Shelbourne with 11 Costumes & 3 Hats - Contemporary and Historical Attire c1940s
A 7 3/4" tall watercolor paper doll.  A tidy gent with broad-set eyes. His 11 costumes appear to be both contemporary to the 1940s while others are vintage.  Four are labeled on reverse - lounge suit, yacht suit, full dress suit and tennis suit.  Three fine hats accompany the outfits. .
 A 6 3/4" Handmade Watercolor Paper Doll w 9 Costumes & 5 Hats. ..c1910s
A 6 3/4" young woman paper doll with day dresses,party dresses and a night gown,  The five (5) outfits with hats are a mixture of day and evening wear.  One of the outfits is a coat with a ruffled base.  Two dresses with intact tears that have been reinforced with archival tape.  Three tabs lacking; otherwise fine.  Reverse is blank..
 Fine 6" Watercolor Paper Doll of Elegant Woman with Watercolor Wedding Gown Plus Dress w Mantle & Muff.1860s
A 6" finely detailed watercolor of an elegant woman paper doll. Captured in every detail down to the earrings and bracelet.  Also includes a well executed wedding gown and veil  and a watercolor dress with an applied polish stock mantle or cape. Adorned with watercolor muff and color.  Reverse is blank. .
 Two Near Identical Handmade Watercolor Paper Dolls - One made in 1856, the other 1905. ..
A 6 1/2" handmade paper dolls with fine brown ringlets dressed in pantaloons and a slip (pencil drawn) and brown watercolor shoes.  Her top fold costumes are pink and rose dress with a white pinafore. One with faint polka-dots; the other plain - each with different ruffle at base of  pinafore. Accompanied by a Rose trimmed bonnet with a pink ribbon. A second near identical doll presumably was created in 1906, as a note on the reverse reads "50 years old 1906"..
5" Handmade Paper Doll with 10 Costumes c1870s. ..
A 5"  watercolor paper doll with hand cutaway to properly position it on costumes.  The costumes are constructed with plain, polished and 'make-do' paper.   Intricate detailing with applied lace paper, pleated paper, handcut 'fringe' and last but not least applied fur.
Jane Langton Original Art - 2 Watercolor Paper Dolls and Costumes in Stylized 1850s attire. ..
Four (4) original watercolor designs are attributed to Jane Langton while a graduate student at Radcliffe. Although not signed they were given to the previous owner by Ms. Langton as her work. Finely detailed well executed art. Created on art board, each measures 12" x 8 1/2".  . Jane Gillson Langton (1922-) is an American writer and author of children's literature and mystery novels. She both writes and illustrates her novels. Previous owner indicated they came with a note "I made these tiresomely stylized dolls when a graduate student at Radcliffe, about 1946"
A Large Family of 19 Handmade Watercolor Paper Dolls c1890s
This rather large late Victorian family includes a mother and father and 11 girls and 6 boys.  Note that each of the boys is wearing a hat of some form.  The older girls are also wearing hat and the younger boys are in short pants.. The dolls range in size from 5 3/4” high to 1 1/2” high.  The dolls have simple yet expressive faces. Various emotions portrayed -- just like a real family A charming group of folk art paper dolls.  Few small imperfections with minimal detraction.
 3 Hand Made Paper Dolls w 15 Costumes, A Dog & 2 Cats c1910s. ..
What appear to be three sisters from the 1910s with their two cats and a dog.  Well executed design on the paper dolls and costumes.  The 13 costumes  with 8 hats for the older sisters are interchangeable while the younger sister has two costumes. The costumes in are drawn with fine details.  The hats and dresses reflect the fashions of the day.  The taller dolls are 7 3/4"..
Fanny's First Flirtation - Dressed Paper Doll.  Peterson's Magazine 1872 . ..
A copper engraving cut-out from the February 1872 Peterson's Magazine that has been dressed in both paper and fabric.  It is captioned "Fanny's First Flirtation".   Sight view 7 3/8" x 6".  Housed in period frame which measures 9" x 8". When researching the image an editor's note from Peterson's reads "This charming engraving, published in our February number, receives praise everywhere.   The New Jersey Enterprise says, 'What a Frenchman would call, but what some of our juvenescent Americans translate 'the piece of resistance'...
 5  Naive 20"  Folk Art Paper Dolls - Buster Brown, Robert, Bertha, Nan & Lenora . .Nebraska.1910s
Five (5) crayon drawn and decorated paper dolls created from 'make-do' materials-- the back of pressed board advertising signed. The first is 21 1/2" older girl in a blue dress with large white colors. Her face is drawn as profile with an exaggerated nose and chin. Her hair is curled in tendrils. Created in two pieces. Her feet and legs are applied and watercolor decorated. The second is a 19 3/4" younger fuller girl done in crayon. This doll is actually dressed with a silk bow in her hair, an islet lace neck choker and a handmade chiffon dress, banded at top with the same ribbon as used on her hair. Here gray and orange boots are crayon.   The remaining three each measures about 18 1/2". A boy and girl in sailor influenced attire. The third is a Buster Brown look-alike, wearing the familiar red suit with black neck bow and big round eyes. This dolls appear to be created by the same individual. .
Fine Statuesque 7 1/2" Watercolor Paper Doll with 14 Lovely Outfits
A 7 3/8" watercolor paper doll of a finely executed statuesque Victorian woman, presumably of means given her fourteen (14) fine costumes. Clothing for all occasions from formal to lounge wear. Some of the costumes hold objects as a feather fan, a parlor fan and a tennis racket. Reverse is blank.

A small bit of paper lacking (accident while detaching from a backing board...) A small piece of card stock is affixed to the reverse of each item (instead of risking additional damage from backing board removing a small piece was cut away and was left in place.

Among the finest we've seen with fine attention to detail.
Fanciful 15" Articulated Dresed Matador
A truly fanciful fellow with a printed face,and card stock body parts that have been decorated with applied and layered polished and foiled papers. His exaggerated hat has a large applied flower.  His bodice begins with pleated paper dickey and velvet bow tie; a crest is applied beneath the dickey.  His waistcoat is constructed of various foiled papers with red embellishment and embossing. His topcoat is velvet with studded border trim topped with a large red silk bow.  The arms and legs are jointed at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees..
Fine 12" Watercolor Dressed Scotsman with Articulated Legs c1890s
A 12" Scotsman dressed in a traditional kilt with with shoulder sash and belt.  Embellished with feathers on his hat and belt.  Finely detailed facial and hand features.  Not the detail on his stockings. A simple string mechanism allows him to dance..
Original Art - 4 Dollhouse Rooms, Furniture and Paper Doll Occupants - Dining-Room, Sitting-Room, The Nursery and Bedroom - Arts & Craft Influence
Executed in watercolor, pen and ink with pencil narrative and instructions. Each room includes an exterior wall with windows appropriately adorned, furnishing to construct and in three instances the paper doll occupants, including costumes for "sister" who is in the sitting room with her friend.    The instructions are comprehensive and the designs intricate.  The nursery includes  the nurse with baby and one costume.  Furnishings include a cradle, carriage changing table and dresser.  The Dining-Room, again in the Arts & Craft style includes a table and chairs and sideboard with tea service for placement on the table. The maid is sweeping.  The bedroom includes a bed, dresser and chairs with accessories including stand of pictures of mother and father and flowers for the dressing table.  Each sheet measure 16 1/2" x 11".