Learn about Wax Dolls
Wax was used by doll makers from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It enabled facial expressions to be skillfully captured, and Victorian wax dolls often represented children in the sentimental manner typical of those times.
Wax dolls are made in one of three ways: poured (into a mold); wax over papier mache or other material and reinforced wax.
Wax dolls did not shatter when dropped like ceramic dolls, but they are easily scratched, or nicked and rapid changes in temperature cause them to crack or distort. Due to the fragile nature of the material, wax dolls have not survived in large numbers.
The best known British wax doll makers of the 19th century are Charles Marsh (1865 - 1914), Lucy Peck (1891 - 1930), Pierotti (1770 - 1942) and Madame Augusta Montanari (1851-1884). Pierotti also supplied heads to other manufacturers. Due to the difficulty of including a permanent marking within the wax, where a manufacturer identified their products, it was usually by a paper label, many of which have come loose and been lost over the years.
Damaged wax dolls cannot be easily repaired, so damage to a wax doll will have a serious effect on its value. more...