~ worn tattered & cracked in the head – vintage composition dolls & more (1) ~



This is my little old attic doll, a vintage composition doll exhibiting all the charm &character of age, wear & tear & what looks like years of being loved.

Look at those little rosebud type lips.  She looks like the Shirley Temlpe doll in fact.

Given that I have a few images to share on this topic, I’ve divided it into three posts this being (1).




These three pre-loved dolls have bodies, or parts thereof, made of composition.   What then is a composition doll?


A composition doll is a doll made partially or wholly out of composition a composite material composed of sawdust, glue, and other materials such as cornstarch, resin and wood flour. The first composition dolls were made in the 19th century. They were marketed as unbreakable, compared to earlier more fragile dolls.


The one on the right, with non original black head, has a ball-jointed body.   Yes, the joints are in need of some re-stringing and, yes, he’s missing a hand.

But I love him just as he is, as I found him, minus the head.   I have no intention of admitting him to the doll hospital here. None.

There is something alluring about these old dolls just as they are. I love the composition doll faces – cracks, crazing, chips and all.


Most times I have no idea of the history behind a doll, who owned it and how it ended up in the condition it was when I found it.


I can’t bring myself to fix these tattered dollies, or change them in any way, as it kind of means turning back the hands of time and history and stripping these little ones of their life story, at least the story I imagine for them. Keeping them as I find them, ‘as is’, simply amounts to the next chapter in their life, a story they tell me through their faces mainly.

I know, I know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.








Worn and grubby little hands with stubby, fat fingers. One finger broken on her right hand.






Her belly button (navel) is also cracked and chipped.  Somebody really, really loved this little gal me thinks.


To be continued . . . .



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