Photographs courtesy of B. W. Flowers
Name: “Maggie Pearl”
Made by and When: Leo Moss, 1800s
Material: Papier-mâché head, hard plastic body
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.
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View a 23-minute video about Leo Moss dolls that sold at auction in 2018.
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