X Files #25 (posted by
Deborah Young on 25/03/2005 from Illinois, USA)
I found your post on the Dashper genforum. I am not related to the
Dashpers in any way. However, I am researching the family of Charles
Grey Dashper for a friend. This friend collects antique dolls and
recently purchased a beautiful doll that had information written on a
piece of paper that was pinned to the dress.
I believe this Lillian to be the daughter of Charles Grey Dashper. The
doll dates to much earlier than Lillian who was born in 1873, and may
have first belonged to either her mother or grandmother. Would you be
willing to share any information you might have about this family? My
friend is very interested in learning the history of the family who
once owned this wonderful doll.
Xfiles #25 UPDATE (posted by Kathy
Turner 26/03/2005 from Virginia, USA).
Deborah Young was kind enough to share you email response to her query
about your family history, and the link to your family history website.
I have recently acquired the early English wax over papier mache
(Dashper) doll. The doll is in very good condition for a doll of
its kind and of its age. This type of doll usually dates circa
the early 1800s. It appears to have been very well cared for and
is in largely original condition. The only alteration I have made to
the doll is to give it some hair, as it's original hair had long ago
pulled out of its wig base. I purchased it from an English doll dealer
who probably bought it at auction in England. Upon examining the
doll more closely, I discovered a cloth tag sewn up under its dress,
attached to its undergarments. This tag appears to read:
Lillian M. Dashper
Doll - about 1800
Any additional family history would be wonderful to add to this doll's
Xfiles #25 UPDATE (posted by
Kathy Turner 26/03/2005 from Virginia, USA).
would be wonderful to have any additional family history that might be
tied to this very old doll. I appreciate the research that you
are doing. Here is a very brief and rough description of
the most common kinds of dolls available in the 1800s, with the
assumption that you are unfamiliar with the history of dolls.
During the first quarter of the 19th century there were home made dolls
of cloth and wood. Commercially made dolls were made from wood,
papier mache, wax over papier mache.
In the 2nd quarter of the 19th century, circa 1840s, the first glazed
china dolls were made. These continued to be produced up until
the early 1900s though the quality had declined by that time.
In the 3rd quarter of the 19th century bisque dolls and became
popular. The creme de la creme were the expensive French fashion
dolls. Bisque dolls are still being made in the present day.
English solid poured wax dolls were also produced during this time.
The doll that I have dates from the first quarter of the 19th
century. It is a wax over papier mache doll. It has a
shoulder head composed of a papier mache type material that was painted
and coated in wax. Over time the wax has developed a crazing of
fine lines that fill with dust, thus showing as dark lines. This
is typical of this type of doll. It has inset blue glass eyes.
The body is cloth stuffed with sawdust. The arms are pink kid
leather. The doll has a cloth cap affixed to the head, covered in
thick thread stitching through which the original hair was woven.
The doll is wearing period clothing consisting of pantaloons,
under shift, petticoat, and dress all in aged white, but also red
leather shoes. The style of dress is that of a girl's from no
later than the 1820s I would guess. The doll is about 16.5 inches
tall. I took photos of her as soon as I got her, which I will
attach to this email. Since then I have given her some
hair. I am also including a photo of the cloth tag with the
names, date and locations written on it, that is stitched to the doll's
Dashper Doll minus hair
Label stitched to undergarments
As a further aside, this particular type of wax
over papier mache doll, with their round moon shaped faces, are
sometimes referred to as "Mad Alice" dolls, after Alice Smith who lived
in Lunds Court (linking Swinegate and Low Petergate) and formerly known
as Mad Alice Lane. In 1825 she was hanged at York Castle for the
perceived crime of insanity. The doll has born the ravages of the
years remarkably well for a wax doll.
Restored Dashper doll with specially added
hair to replace hair lost over the ages.
#25 INFORMATION UPDATE (posted by Liz Dashper 20/05/2005, our Dashper family expert and Commercial
Director of ELR Auctions Ltd, Sheffield, UK,)
have looked into the doll for you a bit at work, after we talked about
it at the reunion.
Most dolls have lost their
manufacturers labels so it is very difficult these days to attribute
them to a manufacturer. A local auctioneers should be able to give them
a sale estimate. I hope this is useful."
believe that this is an English dipped wax doll made between 1800 and
1860. Dipped wax dolls were made by coating an already painted
The crazing seen on the face
is caused when the papier-mache expands more quickly than the wax
coating and will detract from the value. Do not re-dip them
however. At 25" high the estimate value would be about $250 - 400
(dollars). In good condition and elaborately dressed in original
clothes they can make $1000 - 1500.
head in a layer of molten wax,
which was a much less expensive alternative to the poured wax method
(which are extremely rare because very few were made and were only
available to the very rich). The dipped wax dolls are more simply
modelled and may be of inferior quality but because of their
affordability they are popular with collectors today. The method of
dipping a papier-mache head into liquid wax began very early in the
19th Century in
London it wasn't taken up in
Europe until the 1860's by which time English manufacturers had moved
on to other methods.
Commercial Director of ELR Auctions Ltd, Sheffield, UK
#25 INFORMATION UPDATE : From the Ancestor Search Database and Dashper
Lillian Mary Dashper
- Born: 7/5/1873 St Nicholas, Guildford, Surry (only child)
- Died: 1963
- Parents: Charles Grey Dashper and Mary Ann
- Address: 1881 Hampshire
- Most of the family settled in Southampton
Dashper and Mary Ann
- Born: 13/11/1833 Dartmouth St Savior
- Died: Southampton March 1918
- Occupation: Railway Supervisor
- Retired Station master (in 1897) who worked for the South Western
- Married: Mary Ann (B: 1837, D: 1919)
- Parents: John Jacob Dashper and Anna Pike Downing
- Address: Charles in Surrey, Mary in Hampshire 1881
Anna Pike Downing
- Born: 8/7/1794 (Saint Savior, Dartmouth, Devon)
- Died: Dec 1862 South Stoneham (2C 35)
- Married: 16/10/1820 to Anna Pike Downing
- Parents: Robert Cranford Dashper and Jane Holloway
Cranford Dashper and Jane Holloway
- Born: 19th July 1764 Dittersham
- Died: Southampton March 1844
- Married to Jane Holloway 25th December, 1789 Dartmouth, Saint
- Parents William Dashper and Ann Cranford
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