“Maggie Pearl” by Leo Moss

Photographs courtesy of B. W. Flowers

Name: “Maggie Pearl”

Made by and When: Leo Moss, 1800s

Material: Papier-mâché head, hard plastic body

Marks: Unmarked

Height: 11 inches

Hair/Eyes/Mouth: Tightly curled sculpted hair/inset black glass eyes/closed mouth with muted red painted lips

Clothes: Redressed in a red and white gingham dress, white pantaloons and socks, and black shoes

Other: Leo Moss, a Black man and native of Macon, GA was a handyman by trade. Moss sculpted his doll heads of papier-mâché without the use of molds during the late 1800s through early 1900s.  He purchased manufactured dolls, doll parts, and doll bodies from a New York toy supplier over which he applied his papier-mâché material. Many of his dolls are unmarked while others will bear a cloth label on the body with Moss’s initials (L.M.), the doll’s name, and the year made. Some Moss dolls’ names were incised on the bodies. Maggie Pearl” was named by the owner, B. W. Flowers. This doll has an authentic Leo Moss head on a replaced body.

Slideshow (use the right or left arrows to advance).

View a 23-minute video about Leo Moss dolls that sold at auction in 2018.

Articles to Read

Read more about Leo Moss in detailed articles here, here, and here.


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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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