Julia Beecher Doll

Name:  Julia Beecher Doll

Made by and When: Julia Beecher, 1893-1910

Material:  Stockinette, cloth, stuffing, yarn, embroidery thread, oilcloth

Marks: Unmarked

Height: 20-1/2 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Black stockinette molded face with lamb’s wool hair, black button eyes, embroidered eyebrows, stitched mouth

Clothes: All original red and white floral-print dress and white apron, black oilcloth shoes

Other: Julia Beecher, wife of the pastor of Park Congregational Church in Elmira, NY, made her first doll for her niece, and later, upon request from family, other dolls were made. Beecher soon sought the help of the church’s sewing circle where the group engaged in making dolls to support the congregation’s missionary work. The sewing circle made the Missionary Ragbabies from 1893 to 1910 using needle sculpting and hand painting to detail the dolls’ facial features, fingers, or clenched fists and made the distinctive wigs for the dolls of strands of yarn or lamb’s wool. Source: The Strong National Museum of Play

Gallery (Images and description courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and New England Auctions – Fred Giampietro).


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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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