19 Grove St. ~ PO Box 58 ~ Peterborough, NH 03458 ~ 603-924-3235 

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By July 14, 2014 Read More →

All Dolled Up

Historic DollsSisters Maryann and Susannah Whiting played with these dolls at their home on Vine Street in Peterborough in the 1840s. Maryann and Susannah’s dolls are part of the Monadnock Center’s collection of antique dolls and toys.  Known as milliner’s dolls, these papier mache ladies were made in Europe and exported to the United States to show the latest clothing designs.

We think of milliner as referring to a hat maker but in the early 19th century a milliner was a supplier of women’s clothing.  Produced from the 1830s to the 1860s, these dolls were sent to the United States in the days before inexpensive photography and printing techniques.  From these models, American dressmakers could copy the style and cut of the latest fashions.  Both dolls are dressed in silk. Their faces, hair, and shoes are hand -painted.