Dating paperweights

Noreen Marshall is the curator of the Dress, Doll, and Childhood collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood in London.Recently, we spoke with her about the history of dolls, the various materials used and types of dolls that were made, and how dolls have evolved over time.I can’t remember precisely when Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote , but the little girl in that classic childrens book had a wax doll.

I can’t bear dolls, and I certainly can’t bear wax dolls.” Oh, dear. When I was a child, I collected dolls with costumes from different countries. If you knew somebody who was going to Spain, they’d bring you back a Spanish doll in a Spanish costume.Dolls were often the main plaything for children, but there were also dolls that were kept as family relics.There’s a doll in this museum called the Old Pretender Doll.I enjoyed doing it, but I’m getting towards the last part of my museum career, so I have to get some of my younger colleagues involved again.I’ve worked for the Victoria and Albert Museum since 1974.

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