I’d like to introduce you to sweet, sweet James. He is a very rare, early 17 inch Izannah Walker doll. I’ve written an article all about James’ story for Antique Doll Collector magazine, that is just now on it’s way to subscribers. In March the second part of my adventures with James will continue. In part two I will relate how James’ came to be named James, how I researched clothing styles for the large handmade wardrobe I am making him, where I hunt for antique fabrics, and how I draft patterns. I’ll also be sharing patterns and instructions for select garments in James’ wardrobe. The patterns are suitable for Izannah Walker dolls, and can also be resized to fit papier-mache, china, parian, and other types of cloth dolls from the mid- 19th century.
I’m sure you will fall in love with James. ❤ (It is a bit of a family secret, so please don’t mention it… James the little painted cloth girls favorite brother!)
If you don’t already have a subscription to Antique Doll Collector, and would like to buy either the February or March issues that my articles will be in, you may order them directly by calling 631-261-4100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
THIS RARE 17 INCH IZANNAH WALKER BOY IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE. HE IS IN ALL ORIGINAL CONDITION & COMES WITH A LARGE HANDMADE WARDROBE. SEE HIS STORY ON PAGE 18 OF THE FEBRUARY ISSUE OF ANTIQUE DOLL COLLECTOR. $46,000. INQURIES ATPAULA@ASWEETREMEMBRANCE.COM203-313-5973
This evening’s bedtime tale is the story of Eliza and Lucy, who are two more of our heroines’ dearly beloved sisters, though they don’t live here in the very tall house. Eliza and Lucy are a bit more adventuresome. They love to travel, see new things and make new friends, while our own dear little cloth girls are homebodies, who want nothing more than to be cozy and comfortable in their old familiar very tall house, with it’s kitchen on the bottom, it’s very gaily painted parlor, it’s warm and cozy pink bedroom, and it’s pointy little attic way, way up on the very tip top!
All good bedtime stories usually begin with “Once upon a time”, but I fear that we cannot start our story tonight in just that way, for this tale is quite new and is happening right now! All eleven of our cast of characters tonight are devoted penpals, for they are quite understandably a bit old fashioned and much prefer to communicate with each other by post. Many loving letters have been winging their way back and forth between the very tall house and sweet Eliza’s and Lucy‘s current home in a lovely cottage, where they live with Daisy and Violet, two very handsome cats, and have many loving children who come to play with them. As much as Eliza and Lucy love their cottage and the family they call their own, they are beginning to feel that familiar longing for an adventure! For some of us are simply born with the need to travel and explore new places.
The sisters here in the very tall house completely understand Eliza’s and Lucy’s longing to find a new family to live with, so that they can begin a new chapter in their long tale of days, with new sights to see and new friends to make and love. It is something that all of their many sisters and brothers have always done and is a tradition in their family of painted cloth children. So Zanna, Isabeau, Ismay, Izzybelle, Hannah, Eliza Jane, Tilly J. Lamb, Charlcie, and Sarah Alice have promised to help their sisters find the perfect new home!
As we have already related, the cloth sisters are quite steadfast penpals, they have a great many friends with whom they correspond so they have promised to write to each and every one, asking if they are in need of a somewhat elderly, but still quite lovely and adventurous antique little painted cloth doll lovingly created many, many years ago by their mother Izannah Walker herself….
Zanna, Isabeau, Ismay, Izzybelle, Hannah, Eliza Jane, Tilly J. Lamb, Charlcie, and Sarah Alice are very much hoping that once Eliza and Lucy have found their new homes and families, that they will still continue to write many letters back here to the very tall house, and come to visit from time to time.
If you have room in your heart and home for one of Izannah Walker’s original antique dolls, my family of Izzys and I would be very happy to put you in touch with the current caretakers of Eliza and Lucy. Please email me at email@example.com with your name and complete contact information (Name, Email Address and Phone Number). I will pass your information on to the owner of the dolls who will send you detailed information about them. Their current owner is a very dear friend of mine and of my doll family, who we have known and loved for a great many years. While I personally cannot give you any information about purchasing the dolls, I would be happy to answer any general questions you might have about the dolls though of course their current family would be the best source for most information.
Should you be wondering about the cost of Lucy coming here to visit for a spa day, my rough estimate of the cost to remove her current over painting, uncover what remains of her original painted finish, and do minimal, very sympathetic in-painting as necessary is $1000 – $1800.
Special Announcement! There are only two days left during my annual celebration of Izannah Walker’s birthday and you do not want to miss either of these exciting events!!! Please join us here on http://www.izannahwalker.com at 8:00 PM Eastern time tomorrow Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 for an extremely wonderful evening that all of you who love Izannah Walker’s dolls need to see ❤ I will be sharing information about two antique Izannah Walker dolls that are going to be for sale. (No, they aren’t mine and I will not be releasing the information before tomorrow nights post. Their photographs and descriptions are still a work in progress. ) On Thursday evening at 8 PM Eastern time I will introduce you all to my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls and offer them for sale.
Did you know that dolls are ever so much happier when they have a kind and loving child to play with? That is especially true for our heroines, the little painted cloth sisters, who live in the very tall wooden house.
One of their most favorite things in the whole world is when their current child, the granddaughter of the dollmaker who they live with, comes to play. Out of all of the play days in the entire year, the Family Birthday Party is the most special, and the one they look forward to with great anticipation every September.
Due to “school days” their own dear little girl can not always attend the birthday party that the sisters give every year in honor of their “mother”. The cloth sisters know all about school, as tucked away in their very long memories are days filled with playing “school” with all the other children that have been important parts of their lives. Their young friends have often pretended to be the “teacher” and the doll sisters have made believe that they are the “pupils”. At other times one of the sisters has been chosen to be the “teacher”, which unfortunately has led to some hurt feelings among the others. However we will not dwell on that in our present story, for it is a happy one that each and every sister loves…
The doll sisters are not quite clear on exactly why their child must go to school on certain days, for in their world one day flows into the next like a sweet lovely daydream, and if you do not do something today, surely it can wait until tomorrow. For there is always a tomorrow in their lives because little cloth girls never have to grow up. Growing up is something else that they don’t quite understand, though it does sound quite awful, and Izzybelle is convinced that it must hurt dreadfully!
But enough of such serious thoughts! Today is the Family Birthday Party, when their own dear girl will come to call. She will help the sisters decorate their very tall wooden house and fill it with flowers and paper dolls! She will undoubtedly bring them all a wonderful present to share, and she will help them blow out the candles on the Birthday Cake at their tea party! It will be almost as good as Christmas Day itself!
The dolls and their girl did indeed have a wonderful party, where there were a great deal of flowers, paper dolls hung up on bright red string, sweet treats galore, stories read, and yes ~ a special present for them all to play with! A Hitty doll and her book!!! All the little girls, both cloth and real, are looking forward to playing with their present. ❤
As you may suspect, all of the little Izannahs and I are excessively fond of bedtime stories! They positively insist on at least one story every night before they will quiet down and go to sleep. You are invited to come join us for a selection of nightly bedtime stories in celebration of Izannah Walker’s 204th birthday! Our celebration will begin Saturday, September 25th, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, and it will continue at 8:00 p.m. every evening through the end of the month, culminating in the unveiling and sale of my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls on Thursday, September 30th. You especially WILL NOT WANT TO MISS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHTS STORIES! We do so hope you will be able to join us each evening for a story that is sure to bring you sweet dreams!
It is a clear crisp Sunday here at the little cloth sister’s very tall house. They have had such a busy day, playing and running outside in the gardens, that they are all quite ready to gather in the kitchen, make toast in front of their hearth, warm pans of milk for cocoa, then settle down for tonight’s bedtime story.
As they were working in the kitchen I heard Charlcie say “I know the perfect story for tonight! We should read The Birthday Cookery Book!!!” There was an immediate protest from Izzybell, who exclaimed “That is not a story!” Ismay concurred “I’m not quite sure that a Cookery Book can be a bedtime story…”, but sweet faithful Isabeau staunchly defended Charlcie by saying “I don’t see why not, reading it will certainly give me sweet dreams!” Hannah and Eliza Jane agreed, and so it was decided that tonight story would be:
The Birthday Cookery Book
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
This is the little cloth sisters favorite birthday cake! Some years it is flavored with vanilla, but they are also very fond of using coconut, eggnog, lavender, rose, or violet flavoring instead.
I like this best with ground vanilla beans.
1 1/2 cups butter
1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
pinch of salt
3 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter & cream cheese. Add sugar and cream well. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Stir in flour and salt. Add vanilla. Bake in a 10 inch tube or bundt pan. Start with a cold oven and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.
Rose Geranium Pound Cake (a slightly different version of Cream Cheese Pound Cake)
1 1/2 cups butter
1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
pinch of salt
3 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. rose water
organic rose geranium leaves
Butter and flour, or spray a 10 inch tube pan with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange washed and dried rose geranium leaves, top side down, in the bottom of the pan. Cream butter & cream cheese. Add sugar and cream well. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Stir in flour and salt. Add vanilla.
Carefully spoon batter into a 10 inch tube or bundt pan. Start with a cold oven and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.
Stir powdered sugar, vanilla and a bit of milk together, to make a glaze, and pour over warm cake.
Beat one Cup of Butter to a Cream, slowly beat in one and one third Cups of Sugar. Add one Teaspoonful of Mace and beat in five whole Eggs, adding them one at a time. Sift in two Cups of Flour, turn at once into a greased and floured Pan or Mould and bake slowly for one Hour.*
*I baked my cakes in a 300 degree oven, 30 minutes for the doll size cakes and two hours for the larger version.
from Shirley Shaker Village
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup currants or raisins
Cream butter and gradually add 1/2 of the sugar, beating well. Beat egg with remaining sugar, add to first mixture. Sift in flour, salt and baking powder alternately with the m ilk. Flavor with vanilla. Add apples and currants or raisins. Beat well to mix and turn into a well-buttered 9 inch cake tin, square or round.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon, and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 30 minutes. Makes 1 cake.
Beat together 1-1/2 pounds of sugar, and three quarters of a pound of butter; add 4 eggs well beaten, half pint of sour milk, and 1 teaspoon of saleratus*, dissolved in a little hot water. Stir in gradually 1- 3/4 pounds of flour, 1 wine glassful of wine or brandy, and 1 nutmeg, grated. Beat all well together. This will make two round cakes. It should be baked in a quick oven, and will take from 15 to 30 minutes, according to the thickness of the cakes.
*use baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2- 1/2 cups flour
1- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup molasses
3/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup rum
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Combine butter, sugar and egg. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with the molasses, water and rum. Pour into a buttered 9 x 12- inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. You may substitute buttermilk for the water and rum.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
12 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lard
1 cup hot water
Stir the dry ingredients together. Mix the lard, butter and hot water together and when melted,pour into the flour mixture. Stir well, then add the eggs and molasses and stir again. Spoon the batter into a buttered and floured baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
This marmalade is a delicious treat spread on freshly made toast, and eaten as a bedtime treat like the cloth sisters like to do!
Boil the quinces in water until soft, let them cool, and rub all the pulp through a sieve: put two pounds of it to one of sugar, pound a little cochineal, sift it through fine muslin, and mix with the quince to give a colour; pick out the seeds, tie them in a muslin bag, and boil them with the marmalade; when it is a thick jelly, take out the seeds , and put in pots.
I usually pick the fruits from my quince bushes and make them into juice, by slowly simmering them with just enough water to cover, mashing them, then straining the juice. Then I use the juice, along with thinly sliced quince from my trees to make the marmalade. This year I read a recipe that called for grating the quince, instead of slicing it. It worked very well and went much faster, as you do not need to peel the quince before grating.
Slowly cooked quince usually turns a lovely pinkish, red color on it’s own. If it doesn’t you can add a drop of food coloring, rather than the cochineal.
Quinces are very high in pectin, so you usually do not need to add any, other than your quince seeds in a muslin bag :), but if you are worried about your marmalade setting up, the new Ball brand powdered pectin is very easy, flexible and forgiving to use. It also lets you easily adjust for varying size batches of marmalade, jam and jelly.
Chocolate Yeast Bread
This dark dense chocolate bread makes a wonderfully indulgent breakfast. Loaves keep well at room temperature for several weeks during the winter, or may be frozen. If by some miracle you have any left long enough for it to get a bit dried out, it makes an amazing bread pudding!
6 cups flour
2 cups warm brewed coffee
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa
1 cup Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup melted butter
Measure all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add warm (110-115 degrees) coffee and cooled melted butter. Mix by hand with a large wooden spoon or use an electric mixer with a dough hook. When your dough is completely mixed, shiny and smooth, stir in chocolate chips. Turn out into an oiled bowl, lightly oil top of dough. Cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled.
Punch down, and shape into heart shaped loaves on parchment or silpat covered baking sheets.
Alternately shape into smooth loaves and put in heart shaped terra cotta bread pans. Cover loaves and keep warm to rise. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or build a brisk fire and ready reflector oven or dutch oven.
Slash tops of loaves in an X using a sharp knife. Bake for 20- 40 minutes depending on the size of your loaves, being careful not to burn.
Measure all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add warm (110-115 degrees) tea and cooled melted butter, molasses, orange oil and rum. Mix by hand with a large wooden spoon or use an electric mixer with a dough hook. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
Turn out into an oiled bowl, lightly oil top of dough. Cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled.
Punch down, and shape into heart shaped loaves on parchment or silpat covered baking sheets. Or shape into rounded balls and put in a heart shaped cast iron muffin pan. Cover loaves and keep warm to rise. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or build a brisk fire and ready reflector oven or dutch oven.
Slash tops of loaves in an X using a sharp knife. Bake rolls for 15 – 20 minutes. Bake bread for 20- 40 minutes depending on the size of your loaves, being careful not to burn.
This is a somewhat different receipt for Shrewsbury Cakes, as it has the addition of sweet dried Zante currants, which are not normally found in other receipts. You may also make these cookies as drop cookies, or form them into a log, chill and slice them, rather than making them as cutout cookies as other receipts direct.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ground mace
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ to ½ cup of Zante currants soaked in hot water to plump them, then thoroughly drained
In a small bowl, beat the butter until light. Gradually add in the sugar and nutmeg or mace and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then add the flour and beat just until blended.
On a sheet of wax paper, roll the dough into a long, 2-inch diameter log. Wrap in the wax paper and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. (It is important to use wax paper as this dough is very sticky.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter four baking sheets (or two sheets twice).
Cut the dough log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the slices about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are light golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. The dough will spread — be careful not to crowd the cookies
3 cups flour
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups butter
1/2 tsp. yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp. mace
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
*Proof yeast in warm water for 5 minutes. Measure flour, powdered sugar, mace and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. Add slightly softened butter and mix until all of the butter is worked into the dry ingredients. Pour proofed yeast/water into bowl and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Cover bowl with a clean dry cloth and set in a warm place for 1 hour, then chill for 30 minutes.
Roll dough out on a well floured surface to a scant 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with heart shaped cookie cutters. Emboss the cookies by stamping them with new, washed rubber stamps that have been dusted with flour. If desired, lightly brush ground nutmeg into the stamped designs before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes, until just starting to very lightly brown at the edges. Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets.
* 18th century shortbread receipts call for the addition of barm (yeast). I followed this tradition when I developed this recipe. I love mace and decided to add it, along with nutmeg to the cookies (both spices are part of the seeds of the nutmeg tree).
1 pound butter
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar. Add flour a little at a time until it makes a stiff dough. Pat into a large cookie sheet or 9 x 13 pan, or roll and cut out with tin cookie cutters. Bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) for 30 minutes or till golden. If you baked one large sheet, cut it into squares as soon as you remove it from the oven and cool in the pan.
(Fanny Pierson Crane, Her Receipts, 1796, adaptation)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1- 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cracked chocolate (pieces)
Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla and stir well. Mix dry ingredients together and stir into creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate. Drop from a heaping tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet 3 inches apart. Bake in a medium hot oven for 12-15 minutes.
Eli Whitney’s Grandmother’s Chewy Ginger Cookies
Eli Whitney (1765-1825) dearly loved these cookies that his grandmother made.
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon & ginger
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1/4 cup sour milk
4 cups flour
Blend butter, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add the egg, molasses and sour milk. Gradually stir in the flour. Drop from the tip of a teaspoon on to greased baking sheets. Let stand for 10 minutes, then flatten cookies with a glass covered with a damp cloth. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 12 to 15 minutes.
Butter a deep dish, and lay in slices of bread and butter, wet with milk, and upon these sliced tart apples, sweetened and spiced. Then lay on another layer of bread and butter and apples, and continue thus till the dish is filled. Let the top layer be bread and butter, and dip it in milk, turning the buttered side down. Any other kind of fruit will answer as well. Put a plate on the top, and bake two hours, then take it off and bake another hour.
This receipt (aka recipe) is from Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book by Catherine E. Beecher. Catherine Esther Beecher was born in 1800 in East Hampton, Long Island. She founded the Hartford Female Seminary in 1823 as well as other schools for young women in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. She wrote A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841) and Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book (1846).
Snow Ice Cream
fresh clean snow
vanilla or other flavoring
Put in as much milk as you would like to achieve the consistency that you prefer. The sugar and vanilla are added to suit your taste. Stir well and eat immediately.
On the next snowy day take a few moments to try this recipe and make a lasting memory of your own.
Mrs. Wolter’s No-fail Pie Crust
1 cup Crisco
3 cups flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vinegar
4 -5 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl, cut Crisco into four with a pastry blender until small size peas form. Add eggs, vinegar, water and slat & mix with a fork until blended and dough forms a large ball, or use floured hands to mix dough. Makes three crusts.
Maids of Honor
This receipt for these sweet, chewy little tarts, adapted by several centuries of American cooks, probably came from England originally.
1 c. flour
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ c. butter
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Sprinkle the milk into the mixture, tossing with a fork and form into a ball.
2 eggs lightly beaten
2TB. Dry sherry
¼ c. sugar
4 tsp. Flour
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ c. almonds, finely chopped
Mix the eggs and sherry. Combine the flour, sugar, & nutmeg, stir in egg mixture. Add the almonds. Roll the pastry about ⅛ inch thick and cut into circles that will fit a 1-¾ inch muffin pan, or into the size needed for your tart pans. Spoon a dot of jam into each shell and pour the egg mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Makes about 24 small tarts.
Van Cortlandt Manor
George and Martha’s Favorite Mince Meat Pie
5 pounds beef, ground
1 pound beef suet, ground
2 pounds raisins
2 pounds currants
1 tablespoon cloves
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
4 cups sugar
1 lemon, juice and rind
1/2 poud citron peel
8 cups apples, chopped fine
Cook the ground beef and after it cools, add all of the other ingredients. Blend thoroughly and set aside.
Boil in a large saucepan:
1 quart apple cider
1 quart brandy
2 tablespoons butter
Pour over the other ingredients. When cool, pack in jars, or cover the bowl well and store in a cool dry place. Allow to stand for at least 24 hours before using to make pies. Will keep up to 6 months if canned in sealed canning jars.
Makes 8 – 12 pies.
George Washington had a definite weakness for mince meat pies. Martha found it well worthwhile to make up a large batch, for if planned wisely, it only had to be undertaken once each winter. She recommended not eating these pies at night before going to bed, if the eater valued his slumber.
Receipt from The Early American Cookbook Authentic Favorites for the Modern Kitchen by Dr. Kristie Lynn & Robert W. Pelton.
As you may suspect, all of the little Izannahs and I are excessively fond of bedtime stories! They positively insist on at least one story every night before they will quiet down and go to sleep. You are invited to come join us for a selection of nightly bedtime stories in celebration of Izannah Walker’s 204th birthday! Our celebration began on Saturday evening, September 25th, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, and it will continue at 8:00 p.m. every evening through the end of the month, culminating in the unveiling and sale of my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls on Thursday, September 30th. We do so hope you will be able to join us each evening for a story that is sure to bring you sweet dreams!
One of the most time consuming, but fun, parts of taking the photos I post here on my Izannah Walker Journal is creating all the items to use as props and doing the staging. This often starts months in advance.
For example, I know that I always want to have tiny fresh flowers available for my annual Izannah Walker birthday celebrations, so in early summer I choose the flowers I would like to use in my arrangements, then plant the seeds in growers trays. I hold the tiny plants in the flats all summer long, watering and nurturing them every day! I leave them in such tight quarters because I want the flowers to stay very tiny as they mature and bloom. This year I featured amaranths, including love lies bleeding and coral fountains. The plants in the growers trays are only a few inches high, but their counterparts that are gowing unfettered in my gardens are taller than I am! All of them planted from the very same seeds ❤
I’m sure will will have noticed by now that many of my posts about the doll’s and their kitchen feature food. One of the questions I am often asked is whether or not it is real food. The answer is Yes! It is always real food on a small doll size scale. This year you will have seen that even the freshly picked vegetables are tiny! I do this by harvesting the baby produce and in the case of the pumpkins and eggplants, growing miniature varieties. Not surprisingly baking and cooking take up a significant amount of my pre-photo prep time.
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of my back stage preparations!
The final part of my Izannah Walker 203rd Birthday Celbration is this evening at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time right here on http://www.izannahwalker.com when I reveal my very newly made first reproductions of sweet Sarah Alice! There will be four dolls available for sale and they will be sold on a “first come” basis. ❤
Welcome to my New Year’s Day 2020 Pop-Up Shop featuring my newly completed Izannah Walker dolls, plus a handful of antique dolls for sale ❤ ❤ ❤
All dolls are sold on a first come basis. Please email paula@asweetremembrance to purchase or ask questions about any doll. I will go by the time your email is received if more than one person is interested in buying the same doll.
For all of my reproduction Izannah Walker dolls – prices include free shipping to any address in the continental U.S. Dolls are mailed via USPS Priority Mail and are insured for their full value. International Orders will be charged exact postage + a $10.00 handling fee for all international locations, except Canada, to help off-set the time it takes me to deal with customs forms – and in many cases the requirement that I actually take the package to the post office rather than scheduling it for pick-up.
Payment may be made via PayPal, credit card, layaway or personal check. Sales tax is 6.35% if I am shipping to a Connecticut address.
For all of the antique dolls – prices do not include shipping. Exact shipping and insurance will be charged. All sales final on the antique dolls because I don’t want to chance shipping them more than once, so PLEASE ask any questions you may have before you commit to purchase – thank you 🙂
International Orders will be charged exact postage + a $10.00 handling fee for all international locations, except Canada, to help off-set the time it takes me to deal with customs forms – and in many cases the requirement that I actually take the package to the post office rather than scheduling it for pick-up.
Payment may be made via PayPal, credit card, up 6 month layaway on items over $500, or personal check. Sales tax is 6.35% if I am shipping to a Connecticut address.
Reproduction Izannah Walker Dolls – ISABEAU NOW SOLD / ANDREW NOW SOLD
This is such a sweet group of dolls. The twins are the first dolls for sale from a brand new mold and Isabeau and Andrew are made from two of my all time favorite molds. All of these dolls have very colorful second skins. Isabeau’s in a deep raspberry pink and the boys all have a deep garnet red. Both fabrics are antique glazed cottons ❤
I don’t make all that many boy dolls, so these are a rarity. There is something just so sweet about little boys… though I may be prejudiced, as I am the mother of three boys… Every doll family needs a brother or two in amongst all the girls ❤
Andrew – $1250. SOLD
SOLD Andrew is a 17 inch tall boy doll made from my mold of Anna. He is dressed in antique red plaid with black cotton tape trim and has black painted boots with red tops in the iconic Izannah Walker boy style. Under his plaid dress he is wearing a chemise, short pantalettes, and a petticoat.
Twin Boys – $2500
The twins are made from a new mold and are the first dolls from this mold that I am offering for sale ❤ They are 18.5 inchs tall and are also dressed in red plaid dresses with black cotton tape trim. They have dark green painted boots, which is very rare and the original color of the boots on the antique doll they modeled after. They have chemises and also come with matching plaid pantaloons. I was contemplating making them a pair of winter dresses and matching pantaloons from an off-white antique fabric printed with black and red riding crops and horse shoes. If their new mom is interested in a 2nd set of clothing for them, the additional cost would be $500, and bring their total price up to $3000.
Isabeau – $1250 SOLD
SOLD Isabeau is 18 inches tall and has the worn, aged paint surface of the original antique Izannah Walker doll that her mold was made from. She has black painted boots with red stripes around the tops, and is wearing a chemise, pantalettes, a petticoat and a long sleeved dress made from antique brown fabric.
Large 40 inch Martha Chase Hospital Mannequin in original condition, wearing a wonderful early 20th century romper suit. $250 plus shipping.
20 inch Blonde Parian doll with outstanding pink body!!! The only clothing she has are pantalettes and a petticoat that someone made for her about 30 years ago, so what she truly needs is a nice set of antique clothing $595. plus shipping.
SOLD 19.5 inch Columbian Doll in original condition and original clothing! The ruffle on the back of one sleeve needs repair. This is an amazing doll $1750 plus shipping SOLD
Truly outstanding one of a kind, hand made folk art doll, 25 inches tall $775plus shipping. This is a wonderful doll, dressed in her original clothing. There is slight sun fading to parts of her dress and she does not have shoes.
A small Pop~Up Shop to celebrate the New Year! Tomorrow, January 1st, here on http://www.izannahwalker.com at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. I will be posting some of my newly completed reproduction Izannah Walker dolls and a handful of antique dolls too!
For day 6 of my Izannah Walker Birthday Celebration I thought it would be fitting to talk a bit about the way the dolls are made and share with you my article about Izannah Walker and her dolls, which originally appeared in the September, 2017 issue of Antique Doll Collector Magazine.
If you have any questions, you may comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Izannah Walker and Her Dolls by Paula Walton
For more than 80 years, doll lovers and historians have been writing about Izannah Walker’s dolls. What is it about these handmade painted cloth dolls that have made them so beloved by generations and cause them to command such high prices today, 200 years after the birth of their maker?
The reason for their great appeal varies from person to person, but the prices the dolls fetch when sold indicate how dearly they are loved. In the 1860’s, the dolls were reported to have sold for up to $10, the equivalent of $264 today, which made them a very expensive plaything. Recently a 17” Izannah Walker boy doll sold for $41,250 at a McMaster Harris auction, proving that they continue to be quite costly and greatly desired.
I am particularly drawn to Izannah’s pre-patent dolls, meaning those made before she applied for and received her 1873 United States patent. Izannah Walker had a very lengthy doll making career, from age 28 until her death at age 70. It is very interesting to examine her dolls and see how they developed and changed during those 42 years, while still maintaining their essential look and design.
It is quite difficult to accurately date an Izannah Walker doll, as the pre-patent dolls were not signed or labeled. In the best instances, it is possible to trace the date a doll was made by researching the doll’s original owner. Fortunately, several dolls have survived along with records of their young playmates. A few examples of such dolls are the c. 1861 Izannah Walker doll originally owned by Mary Estelle Newell, and accompanying photograph of the child and doll now in the collection of The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures; the c.1857 doll given to Helen Marshall by her aunt, Elizabeth Pinkham Crosby, currently in the collection of the Nantucket Historical Society; a doll named Ella, given to Elizabeth Coggeshall Pope of New Bedford, MA when she was born on October 26, 1857, sold by Withington Auction In October, 2008; a c.1865 doll originally owned by Mary Whitney Carter of Pawtucket, R.I., auctioned by Theriault’s on April 9, 2011.
Another method of attempting to date Izannah’s dolls is by searching for them in period photographs. Finding only a photographic image, without an accompanying doll and family history, is problematic. Often the photographs do not have a date or the name of the child pictured in them. Izannah Walker dolls can be found in rare daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes de visite (cdv), and even in at least one stereograph. Without a date on the image, it is necessary to try and find a birth record for the child in the portrait, if the child is identified.
Failing this option, the next possibility is trying to date the image by the method used to capture it. Daguerreotypes were made from 1839-1860, although most daguerreotypes we see today were made after 1845. Ambrotypes were developed in 1851; they became more popular than the daguerreotype and virtually displaced it by 1860. Ambrotypes waned between 1861-1866 as they were steadily replaced by tintypes. The tintype, developed in 1853, was most widely used during the 1860s and 1870s, though lesser use persisted into the early 1900s. Cartes de visite were introduced in New York in late summer of 1859. The Civil War gave them enormous momentum as soldiers and their families posed for cartes before they were separated by war. Lastly, by 1860, both amateur photographers and publishing firms were making stereographs, which are still being made today.
So you have all of these different methods of photography with over lapping time frames, which means that you can broadly calculate when the photograph of the doll would have been taken by identifying the method, but can’t really pinpoint an exact year. The final hope for dating a daguerreotype, ambrotype, and some tintypes is studying the components of their cases and trying to narrow the time range based on when the separate parts of the case were made.
To make the quest of dating even more of a challenge, throw in the possibility that the Izannah Walker doll, in the photograph you are trying to date, may have been a studio prop owned by the photographer! Nick Vaccaro, a noted collector and dealer of early photography, had a portion of his collection displayed in the exhibition, Forever Young: Victorian Photographs of Children and Their Toys at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Mr. Vaccaro related that it was common for photographers to have a box of toys in their studios to help keep children still while being photographed.
For daguerreotypes in particular, the exposure time took anywhere from a few minutes to as long as 20-30 minutes for very large images. Sometimes the photographer would place iron stands or armrests behind the sitters to help keep them still. In the case of young children, you will sometimes see a mother, completely covered by a length of fabric, holding her child. You will also find blurred images when the children moved. So it is no surprise that a photographer would want toys to keep a child interested and entertained while they had to sit in one position.
From all accounts Izannah Walker was a very enterprising woman. I can picture her approaching photographers and offering her dolls for sale. After all they were very attractive and most importantly unbreakable! The difficulty here lies in the fact that there is no way to tell just how many years a doll may been in the prop box when the photograph was taken. The same issue exists with portraits of children holding family dolls, as without additional information, it is impossible to know if the doll previously belonged to an older family member.
All of the Walker pre-patent dolls have molded cloth heads, with an outer layer of stockinette. The heads were made in two halves and joined by a seam that runs behind the ears. The mold for these dolls stops at the neck. The neck edge was sewn onto a woven cloth shoulder covering that usually has a seam down the center back. The bottom edge of the shoulder covering is sewn to the doll’s body; the second skin comes up and covers this stitching line. The “second skin” was most often made from cambric, a closely woven plain weave cloth of linen or cotton, with a smooth, lustrous, heavily sized finish that was commonly used as lining fabric in the 19th century. The dolls’ arms and hands are cut as one piece, with a seam line running down the inner arm; thumbs were applied separately. They have a stitched upper arm joint, much higher than normal for an elbow. Their legs are also cut as one piece, with the seam line almost always running down the inner leg. The legs have stitched knee joints and a seam line at the ankles where the pieces for either bare feet or boots are attached.
Izannah stated “These parts (arms and legs), if thought desirable, may be made with advantage in a similar manner to that above set forth for making the head, neck and body.” in her patent information, however I have never seen a pre-patent doll, or the few patent label dolls that I have examined, with arms or legs that were pressed in molds.
Izannah Walker clearly used many different styles and sizes of molds to make heads. Finished dolls ranged in size from 14 to 29 inches. Because pressed cloth heads are more yielding and malleable than molded heads made from china, bisque or papier-mache, that means even heads made from the same mold can have a slightly different appearance. Izannah and Jane Walker, along with their aunt, Jane Hintz, experimented with new ideas and techniques. You can find a few dolls with eyelashes, one or two with the slight remains of a wig/rooted hair, etc. As a doll maker, that is exactly what I expect to see in any handmade item being produced by a single person or small group of people over a long period of time. These differences are one of the things that make the Walker dolls fascinating to study.
All of the dolls were intended to be children. Their original clothing would have had short, not full length, skirts. People often find 19th century children’s hair styles confusing, since both young boys and girls wore dresses. Boys had side parted hair, and girls’ hair was parted in the middle. This is true for children in paintings, photographs and for Walker dolls. When you see a pre- patent Izannah Walker doll with tall painted black boots that have a red top in the front, it is a boy. Her girl dolls with painted footwear have boots that lace up the front or have scallops around the top edge and painted “buttons” on the sides. A few rare dolls have low topped painted shoes. Bare feet are less common. I have yet to find an example of a barefooted boy.
For more than twenty-five years, I have researched, examined, owned, restored, and reproduced Izannah Walker dolls. During that time I have been able to put together a very loose timeline of when certain construction methods and stylistic changes took place. These are the markers that I look for if I am trying to estimate the age of a doll. They are not cut and dried changes. There are certainly exceptions to this timeline, but it is a good starting point when examining a Walker doll.
Izannah’s earliest dolls, beginning in 1845 and ending sometime before 1855, have faces that are a bit longer and slightly square in appearance. The dark brown painted lines surrounding their eyes and eyelids are very thin and fine, without a lower lid line. Highlights in their irises are fainter to non-existent. Their ringlet curls are painted in a more primitive folk art manner. They have slightly broader, flatter noses, and much longer arms with slightly larger hands. Their bodies have wider waists and hips, with a body covering that is generally made from white or pale pink linen cambric.
The dolls have a distinctly different look from approximately 1855 until a point prior to 1861. In this middle period the doll’s faces become more round, with a slightly narrower nose that has a more pronounced, rounded tip. The modeling of their lips is also more rounded. Their eyes have a curved, more deeply set appearance, with very thinly painted outlines, more often painted black than brown. Lines for lower lids appear. Lighter highlights are painted on the irises, mainly underneath the pupil. The painting of their curls is improving. Many have very thin necks. Their arms are getting slightly shorter, with marginally narrower hands. Waists and hips are more slender. Second skins are cotton or linen cambric, and usually white.
From 1861, until the patent label dolls appear in 1873, the faces of the dolls continue to be rounded, although many have a flatter lip area and less deeply set eye molding, with wider foreheads. The lines around the eyes thicken and are mostly painted black. Eyes still have lighter highlights, but now the highlights travel higher up the right side of the pupil. Ringlet curls are better shaded and more delicately painted. Arms and fingers shorten slightly again. More cotton is being used for second skins, both in cambric and other fabrics, which often dip down to a V at the center of the chest. Most of the examples of rare blue body covering that I have seen fall in this time frame. Shoulders are often wider.
1873 – 1888. Izannah Walker makes dolls with molds that include the shoulders and upper body.
Izannah Walker’s dolls have had long and eventful lives. Numerous things have happened to them since they were first made by the Walker sisters and their aunt. Many of the dolls have been either partially or completely repainted, some have replaced limbs and second skin body coverings. Along the way, they have lost and acquired pieces of clothing. All of these occurrences sometimes make it difficult for collectors to determine exactly what parts of the doll are original, or are later additions and repairs.
Some collectors have speculated that Izannah Walker may have made portrait dolls. It is my personal opinion that she might have painted a certain hairstyle and/or coloring to reflect that of a particular child, but that she would not have created commissioned “portrait” molds. Altering the way the doll was painted is a relatively minor matter. Making a new mold would have been a costly, time consuming process, which would have resulted in an incredibly high price for a toy doll.
At this point, no one knows exactly how and by whom the positive images for the doll molds were made. Izannah’s patent information states, “In the construction of my doll I usually employ a press, A, of ordinary construction, provided with upper and lower dies, of suitable shape, to form the front and back of the face, neck and chest, and sometimes the body of the doll”. In order to create a sand cast mold for the metal (probably cast iron) dies, it would have been necessary to compact sand around a model, or “pattern”. A pattern is a replica of the object to be cast. It can be made of wood, metal, or other materials.
Reuben Harlow Neal Bates, born in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1802, is known to have made dolls similar to those of Izannah Walker. It is believed that his dolls were never offered for sale, but at least one example of his doll, along with the cast iron molds for its head and the sewing pattern for the doll’s body were passed down through his family. He was a pattern maker all of his working life. Bates appears in the Providence, Rhode Island censuses for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. A photograph of the Bates doll and accompanying molds appear on page 39 of Janet Johl’s 1952 book, Your Dolls and Mine. The body of the doll was described as being well made and covered with blue cloth. Two Reuben Bates doll head molds, one female and one male, have been in the collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society since 1987. The accession information for the two molds states: “ca. 1850, Bates, Reuben Harlow Neal, 1802-1891 (Metalworker), Iron doll head mold, front of head (face) only. Originally thought to be made by Izannah Walker, mold was made by Reuben Bates of Providence, a longtime friend of Izannah Walker’s and a patternmaker for the Barstow Stove Company. Dimensions for the female mold are 1.5 x 4.25 x 3.125 inches, and 1 5/8 x 4 1/8 x 3 inches for the male”. Theoretically, it is possible that Reuben Bates may have made the patterns (three dimensional models) and molds’ for Izannah Walker’s dolls, according to her sketches and specifications. If Izannah Walker met Reuben Bates after she moved to Rhode Island 1850 – 1853, and he began making the patterns for her dolls, that would explain the rather dramatic change in their heads and faces.
In the 19th century, New England and New York had many innovative and enterprising cloth doll makers. It is interesting to note that dolls similar to those made by Izannah Walker and her family were being made in Rhode Island during the same period. I own a mid-19th century cloth doll with a painted stockinette face that descended through a family from Providence, RI. Her maker is a mystery and she is needle-modeled, so not constructed in the same manner as an Izannah Walker doll, but she does have a very similar appearance. I also have a second needle-modeled doll that shares a remarkable number of features with my “mystery doll”; unfortunately I do not have a provenance for her. This second mystery doll was previously owned by Estelle Patino and is shown on pages 21 and 73 of her 1988 book, American Rag Dolls Straight From The Heart. She identifies it as a “20” 1870’s Oil Painted Rag? Izannah Walker” and as a “20” Possible Early Izannah Walker”.
No one has yet been able to find a way of identifying exactly which dolls may have been made by Izannah Walker, Jane Walker or Jane Hintz. Naturally there would be some differences between their works. Did they each make dolls from start to finish, or did they divide their doll making chores among the three of them? I am confident that additional research of Izannah Walker, her family, and her dolls will unravel this mystery and will continue to add to the story of these amazing women doll makers.
Izannah Walker Timeline
1817- Izannah Walker was born September 25, 1817. She was the third and youngest surviving child of Gilbert Walker and his third wife Sarah (Sally) Swasey. Izannah had six older half-siblings from Gilbert Walker’s marriage to his second wife (who died in 1808).
1824 – Izannah and her older sisters, Ann Richmond Walker and Jane Hintz Walker, go to stay with their mother’s family at the family homestead in Somerset, MA.
1825 – After their mother and infant brother died, followed shortly by their father’s death, the three orphaned girls continued to stay with their maternal relatives. The Swasey family included their aunt Jane and her husband, Captain Anthony Hintz, who were childless. The Hintz’s had purchased the Swasey family home and property from Jane Swasey Hintz’s parents. The elder Swasays, Capt. and Mrs. Hintz and the three Walker sisters lived together in Somerset, MA on the Swasey homestead, which had been in the family for nearly a century.
1839 – Capt. Hintz writes his will, leaving the original Swasey homestead and adjoining orchard to his wife, Jane Hintz. He stipulated that after Jane’s death, the estate should go to their nieces, Jane and Isannah Walker. (Izannah’s name was often misspelled throughout her life.)
1845 – Izannah’s neice, Mary Helen Smith Holbrook, was born in New London, CT in 1843. In later years, Mary’s daughter, Helen Holbrook Robertson, stated that her great-aunt Izannah began making dolls as early as 1845 when Helen’s mother, Mary Helen Smith Holbrook, was a child.
1850 – 1853 – Sometime during this period, Izannah leaves Somerset Village, MA and moves to Central Falls, RI.
1855 – A doll is purchased from Izannah Walker for young Martha Jenks Wheaton Chase, who was born in 1851. A photograph of a letter, written by Martha Chase’s daughter, Anna M. Chase Sheldon, stating that her mother’s doll was purchased from Izannah Walker in 1855 is included in “A Treasure Indeed” by Grace Dyar, published in the UFDC Region 14 1981 souvenir booklet “Memory Lane”.
1865 – The Rhode Island State Census lists Izannah Walker’s occupation as “Doll Maker”.
The Massachusetts State Census shows Jane Walker and Jane Hintz (Izannah & Jane’s aunt) as “Doll Manufacturers”.
1860’s – At the March 18, 1957 meeting of the Somerset (MA) Historical Society, Flora B. Wood presented a paper about her mother, Augusta Louise Marble, who was born in Somerset in 1861. Excerpts from Flora B. Wood’s paper were reprinted in The Spectator newspaper on October 26, 1994. “When my mother was a little girl in the 1860’s many of the little girls of Somerset had a Jane Walker doll. I have a picture of my mother holding one. They were handsome and lifelike and made by Miss Jane Walker, who lived on Main Street in the Village. They were made in several sizes and sold for up to 10 dollars.” The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.12% per year between 1861 and 2017. $10 in the year 1861 is worth $264.18 in 2017.
1873 – On June 12, 1873, Izannah Walker applies for a United States patent for an invention related “to the manufacture of dolls; and it consists, mainly, in the secondary or double stuffing next the external or painted layer, whereby, with a sufficiently soft surface, the tendency of the paint to crack or scale off is obviated.” Her patent is granted on November 4, 1873.
1845 – 1886 Izannah’s great- niece, Helen Holbrook Robertson, was quoted in the In the 1952 book Your Dolls and Mine by Janet Johl, as saying “From 1845, when the first doll is said to have been made, until she died in 1886 (her actual date of death was 1888) , Izannah Walker carried on the business, not securing a patent until persuaded to do so by friends in 1873.” Additional information that Helen Holbrook Robertson related to mid-20th century doll collector, Lila Singsen, whose conversation was reported in Your Dolls and Mine, was that the earliest dolls were made for friends, and that as the business grew, Izannah put her three sisters to work painting the dolls’ faces.
1888 – On February 15, 1888 Izannah Walker dies of consumption, now known as pulmonary tuberculosis. She is buried, alongside her best friend Emeline Whipple, in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, RI, which is not far from her final home in Central Falls, RI.
1899 – On October 6, 1899, Jane Hintz Walker dies and is buried in the Palmer Street Cemetery in Somerset, MA. According to cemetery records, Jane purchased her own burial plot. There is a four-sided monument on Jane’s grave that includes the birth and death dates of her grandparents, Jerathmel Bowers Swasey and Sarah Hellon Swasey, her aunts Parthenia Palmer Swasey and Jane Hellon Swasey Hintz, her uncle by marriage Anthony Hintz, her parents Gilbert Walker and Sarah Swasey Walker, and two of her siblings Anthony Hintz Walker (age 11 days) and Izannah Frankford Walker.
Copyright 2017 Paula Walton All Rights Reserved
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Antique Doll Collector Magazine. The magazine sold out almost immediately upon publication. Print copies are occasionally available on eBay and a digital copy, which includes all of the original photographs, may be purchased from https://www.antiquedollcollector.com/
Paula Walton is a former museum director and curator who has been recognized 40 times as one of the top traditional craftpersons in America. Her specialties include doll making, reproduction clothing, 18th & 19th century women’s decorative arts, and the restoration of painted cloth dolls and textiles. Contact her at email@example.com, 860-355-5709. For information about the Jenny Lind Doll show and exhibit featuring an Izannah Walker doll in original clothing see http://www.jennylinddollshow.wordpress.com/. A bibliography for the sources used in this article is posted on http://www.izannahwalker.com.