Popular from 1850 to 1920, these china dolls were particularly so during the Victorian era. The dolls, originally manufactured in Germany as a floating bath-time toy, were innocent. However its arrival in the United States in the mid 1800s, coincided with the somewhat morbid poem of the day “Young Charlotte” by humorist Seba Smith. The poem was a hit, as it touched on the dangers of vanity and not listening to your parents. Set to music as “Fair Charlotte”, it became a popular folk ballad.
Dolls ranged in size from under an inch to 18 inches plus. The smallest dolls were sometimes used as charms in Christmas puddings and smaller sizes were very popular for doll’s houses.