Recently I wrote several items on dolls and their trunks, What was not mentioned was that in my collection are several dolls and trunks. Several of the dolls and trunks are just for making a display, but one however is a work in progress, Meaning I am occasionally adding a piece of clothing or an accessory or even a toy. The old dolls and their trunks of beautifully handmade clothing have always appealed and fascinated me. The doll I use with my trunk has an interesting history.
Several years ago, almost three years to be exact, I slipped on the icy steps while taking my dog outside and broke my ankle. My daughter came to me one day while I was still laid up and gave me several boxes of doll parts. She said she was not interested in putting them together and making clothing. In each box was a head, hands and feet, body pattern, and fabric for a body. They would make small china head dolls 12 to 13 inches tall. As I began to feel better and my ankle was healing I got bored as I always like to have a project to do. I remembered the boxes of the dolls and I got them out and began to look closely at them to see what was needed to complete them. On the back of the shoulder plate of the dolls was a date and the name Tudor. That name rang a bell with me since I am a big fan of Tasha Tudor. I began to wonder if she had anything to do with these dolls. As I began to research, my daughter became interested and also began to research. As the research continued my daughter decided she wanted to make one of the dolls and to have Catie, my Granddaughter make one. The decision was made to make some of the clothing completely by hand. While I was recuperating this was a great project. Hence my trunk doll. The cedar box, I located in an antique store in Madisonville, Ky last year. It is perfect for her. Being cedar it also protects the fabric.
We are still researching the dolls connection to Tasha Tudor. We spoke with several Tasha Tudor dealers and they do not know of a connection. Other information says that Tasha Tudor did not make the dolls, but gave permission for the dolls to be made based on the characters in one of her books, but I don't know which one has characters with the names of these dolls. Other information is that Tasha Tudor made them. I know she did make dolls, but don't know about these. There is a Tudor daughter in law that makes dolls, but these were not made by her. Most knowledgeable people we have contacted agree Tasha Tudor does have a connection to the dolls, but as to who made them, we still have no proof. As a doll artist myself I usually sign my dolls as do all the doll makers I know and by the dolls all having "Tudor" on them leads me to believe Tasha Tudor is the maker.
My dolls name is Nell and she is about 12 inches tall. Her quilt and the red check dress are completely hand made. The other outfits have some machine stitching as I got impatient with the slow pace of hand stitching. It has been a fun project and I still occasionally work on another item for the trunk. I have several trunks, but this one is the only one I use with a specific doll. I did at one time have a trunk for my Bleuettes, but I no longer have it. A doll and her trunk is fun to put together and is an on going project. Below are more pictures of my doll Nell and her trunk and other trunks I have in my collection.