Frieda's Half-Dolls and Dresser Dolls

lacey pink pin cushion with half doll of fashionable lady fanning herself
Half-doll pin cushion: lady in pink lace with hand fan

A dresser doll collection takes on an alure of its own with ladies in regal fashions and daring décolletage. Some are quite fashionable with details that vary from simple to complex: flower nosegays, bonnets with ribbons and plumes, a hand mirror or fan, or even a puppy. Some make fashion statements with their costuming, while others are bald, nude, or scantily clad.

half doll on cushion with crossed legs peaking out from skirt
Pin cushion doll, probably made in Japan, with legs crossed and forward from skirt

The finest of these porcelain beauties were made in Germany at the latter part of the 19th century and into the first of the 20th century. They were relatively inexpensive at the time, but they have appreciated in price. Collectors seek out the garish pieces with outstretched arms and unique forms.

These china beauties began as hard-paste porcelain castings, fired and painted. The creators were quite imaginative.

half doll on lid for a powder box or trinket box
Half-doll lid for a trinket or powder box

Originally, the half dolls were form and function. They topped pin cushions, boxes, whisk brooms, powder puffs, bottle stoppers, lamps and more. A century later we collect them as shelf pieces that become friends and conversation pieces.

These charming ladies came from the lovely collection of Frieda Pattinson. Frieda was a dedicated collector of antique dolls of all sorts, large and small.

Porcelain doll for perfume bottle

A perfect theme for a half doll on a lady's dressing table, a lady looking into a mirror.

This lovely perfume bottle with the half-doll stopper was probably part of a set that may have included other items, like a trinket box and a pin tray even. It's marked "Germany," which denotes the quality of the porcelain.

The construction is typical with the cork inset and the glass dauber.