Sunday, April 25, 2010

(Another) Victorian Doll Trunk Full of Toys

Last December, I posted about a Victorian doll trunk full of antique toys that I purchased for Christmas. Well, incredibly, another one has come my way, and the neat thing is, its the very same pattern, just a smaller size, measuring 12 inches wide by 6  1/2 tall. The trunk and the toys within, left by the original owner, date from the 1890s - early 1900s, just as with the previous one.

The contents included a 14 inch china head doll wearing her old, handmade dress; a 5 inch dollhouse doll with a mohair wig, in her original clothing; a tiny jointed all bisque doll, only 2 inches tall; a tin toy horse, 3 3/4 inches long; two 5  1/4 inch J. & P. Coats Company advertising paper dolls, complete with extra outfits and hats; a child-made patchwork doll quilt; and a handcrafted needle case made from birch bark, probably an arts and crafts project done at a Victorian children's summer camp.

Inside the trunk.

The big china doll, wearing her simply smashing hat.
She is ready for her tea.

All the other goodies. The child-made
doll quilt and needle case are on the far right.

Here are some close ups of the paper dolls, which are incredibly beautiful. They were actually advertising premiums for the J.& P. Coats Company, later known as Coats & Clark, which made cotton thread. Several series of dolls were printed, and girls were encouraged to "collect them all!" The company's advertising information was printed on the back of each piece. Click on the picture to enlarge, and you'll see that one doll features kittens, while the other has several different toys, including a rather frightening jack in the box, a ball, and dollies of her own.

Here are a few close ups of the small dolls: the dollhouse doll, who is wearing her original, sewn-on dress with a cotton lace overlay and a big, bustly ribbon, and the itty bitty baby doll.

A snazzy polka dotted underskirt!

The itty bitty 2 inch all bisque baby.

Lastly, here's the tin horse, who just fascinates me. I'm not sure if he was originally flat like this, or if he was left outside and run over by something, perhaps one of those new-fangled "horseless carriages"...either way, he was obviously special to his young owner, who carefully tucked him away in the trunk when his playing days were over.

As always with these trunk lot finds, its remarkable to me that everything stayed together for so long and in such fine shape (horsie excepted), and it's very touching to handle the items and wonder about the child, or children, who played with them so long ago...


  1. Terrific find, Tracy. Wow! The trunk is gorgeous, the dolls are wonderful, the tin horse fascinating, and of course the paper dolls...

  2. Thanks! I feel so fortunate to have found these trunks, and its been a lot of fun "sharing" them online.

  3. Your trunks and the the tiny things in it are lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    Hugs and greetings from Bavaria, Germany

  4. Hi, I am a freelance writer for Doll Collector Magazine, Scott Publications and am working on a project about doll trunks. This photo is really great and I would like to submit it for publication along with my article. Can I have your permission to reprint the photograph. You would be given credit in the caption. If you have any questions or need info about my credentials, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks so much, Lynn Nalven.

  5. Hi Lynn,

    Sure, feel free to use it. There is another post of another doll trunk full of things somewhere on here, too.