Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dollye's Diary~

Thurfsday~ Pet opened my bed early this am. Went riding in the sedan and lost my dear slipper to the back of the seat. I know not what I shall do, so very improper to be without such. Pet is heartbroken over it, but will not listen when I tell her where last it slipped from my foot~

Friday~ napped entirely in my bed today. Was quiet and raining, so no walk or play in the garden.

Saturday~ Bright and sunny today. Wash Day. Spent the day on the bleaching green with Pet.... I hate the smell of
lye soap. At least there are no other ladies to notice my slipper still mifsing.

Sundaye~ !!! Pet has a new kitten...what sorrow! I fear my lost slipper may be the least of my worry. The wretched beast has absconded with my hair. I dare not venture close to the looking glass, for the hideous reflection to see looking back at me.

Wednesday's past~ it has been well over a fortnight since my last entry. After what has seemed like an absolute eternity, Pet has called on me earlie this Am. We have had a wonderful tea on her bed, and I spent the entirety on the heated soapstone. Kitty no where to be seen, thank Goodnefs. The days have become chilly, it will snow soon Pet tells me

Thurfsday~ How could I have forgotten to note, Pet hath fashioned me new wig from a bit of rabbit hide, at least I think it rabbit~ it suits me well, I like it very much. It is not at all tall like my old hair, and is very soft and white as the snow she says is coming....

Christmas Day~ What Joy, the most perfect of gifts, Pet has found and made me gift of my lost slipper. 'tis wonderful to be completely drefsed once more~ but the most precious gift ever, she hath given to me a silver key, and as she fastened it at my hip,

~whispered to my ear, that 'I' will forever be the keeper of the Key to Her Hearte

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Knit Pin Balls on eBay~

Aren't these just wonderful? I have listed some on eBay today just, you can find them by clicking on the link to my eBay specials on the sidebar over there~

I love early 18th century pin balls~ they are so wonderful, and so hard to find! Most are collected as art today, but they really are a handy tool if you sew, and are even more important to adding to your period representation of you are a reenactor. No 18th c ladye would have been without one hanging from her belt or in her hidden pocket~ in a time when ones clothing was pinned together to fasten, instead of hooks or buttons, a pin ball provided the perfect little space needed to keep your extras all tidy. I have knit these from cotton, and stuffed them hard with Cotswold wool so they will keep your pins conditioned too. I have also listed a larger pin drum or ball, with a center hanging cord, and the 6" long narrow one . There are dollye specials too, so hope you'll go take a peek!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Last Day of Summer Vacation.....

Its hard to believe the children go back to school tomorrow. Our summer has been jam packed and C-R-A-Z-Y! I am looking foreword to my favorite fall days ahead, and sharing some really great early everyday clothing and such with you all, perhaps a smathering of dollys in there too :) I just went out and snapped a picture of proud Mamma Hen and her TEN babies scratching around~ she has them out in the junk heap picking little wee beasties to eat... the perfect end to a busy summer!

On my way in, I caught my GG kitty peeking at me~ he has always liked to hide in the bush. It was just over 10 years ago this time of year, when school had just started, that I found his wee little self hiding in a bush down by the river. Haven't a clue where he could have ever came from, but we have loved him so ever since~

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simple Times....

One of the things I love and respect so much about times before the Industrial Revolution is the sheer simplicity of things. Well, simple I suppose, compared to today's standards and practices. As ones learns more about history, and the level of work involved and efforts put into everything, you can appreciate simple things, for their complexity. Take for example, a purchase wrapped in plain brown paper, and tied neatly with string. Simple right? Dare Ye say...primitive? Not at all! Just having paper was a privilege and extravagance in Early America. Newsprint and the like, was hand printed on hand made paper, that was made from ground rags and flax linen~ paper was recycled then, like glass and metals are today. A person never threw paper away or into the was just too expensive to a purchase wrapped in paper, was a precious purchase indeed.

So much early work and craftsmanship is is hard to think of a time when such fine handwork was most often anonymous...because it was common. Everything was handmade. There were no machines to do ones work on. So why bother to affix a label or sign ones name....alot of time, especially on shoes, we see names written in the linings~ these are not the names of the maker, but of the purchaser for whom the shoe is being hand I am always thrilled to find early hand printed labels in things~ the labels themselves are works of art to me...I think of and appreciate the hand made paper they are made from, the ink and printing press they were printed on....the animal glue or starches they were affixed with, and the lives of the people behind the words that we read on them. Here are a few of my favorites~ above, pictured "Smith & Leech" London shoe label from dated 1786 pair of women's wedding shoes This delicate survivor , same decade 1780s lady's shoe, but with a rare American label "Eben & Bree" in Philadelphia. Many labels became supper for little weevils and such, as the wee beasties are attracted to the starch glues they were affixed with.

This label is on the top center of a c1820 mache box containing a beautiful early tortoise haircomb~ from Malaga Spain.

A second decade 19th century poke bonnet "Lydia B Hayhurst" Ohio

One of my all time favorites~block printed~ "J Walker" Philadelphia~ this one in a child's c1830 plush winter poke bonnet

a c1840 Hazletons Millinery label, printed on silk, not paper

And not only do I love this little button box for its wonderful diamond shape and ornately engraved label,

But the little treasured wooden Tuck Comb doll inside is precious too!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Friday, August 05, 2011

One of my evening enjoyments....

I took this picture yesterday of one of my dollye cabinets, I can see it from my computer here, and I really do totally enjoy peeking in on the dollys, especially in the dim light. They look sort of dreamy and mysterious to me :) You can see olde Abby sitting in the foreground holding her little mache, also a M & S Superior. I love dollys!

Speaking of loving dollys~ if you liked Emma Porter, she is on eBay at a special reduced price right now~ I also have been weeding out and have a pre Civil War era pair of boys boots~ really great, with the brass toe caps and wooden pegged soles....and a girls drawn silk bonnet of same era drawn over whalebone canes up for sale~ just click on the link to my eBay specials on the sidebar to go see them~ hope you all are having a WONDERFUL SUMMER!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

18th c Dollye Delight~

Who ever said bigger is better obviously has never taken the time to realize what absolute delights can be hiding in the smallest of places. Sometimes the smallest things have the biggest burdens...carrying on their shoulders the titles of 'most important' and 'rarest of objects'. I love early clothing, and I love early dolls, so just imagine my utter delight, to have found a little treasure that blends the two most happily!

Tho just a single, this little wonder is an early 18th century wooden patten, perfect in shape and form, and made entirely for Mifses best friend, her dollye. I have pictured it next to two pair of children's pattens, which in turn, are pictures by 2 18th c adult size shoes, so its diminutive size of just 2&3/4" can be fully appreciated

If you would like to learn more about the children's pattens shown, may I refer you to look up my February 2009 post about them in the Museum section. Pattens were an absolute essential part of the early wardrobe~ for both ladies and gentleman from the 15th centuries up to the early 19th. These are made of alder wood, which resists rotting quite nicely, and are hand carved to the fashionable shoe shape of the period. The childs size toe is very pointy, to mimic the very pointy toes of the late 1780s to 1790s. The wooden sole is raised up off the ground by a hand forged iron stand, usually in the shape of an oval ring, but I have other shapes, such as the lantern shape of the c1720 patten in the first photo, and have seen a wonderful heart shape 'ring' on an adult patten. They were worn over the normal shoes, by means of fastening a simple leather strap over the instep of the foot...and kept ones very nice shoes up out of the mud and waste of city streets and country roads

The iron ring is nailed to the wooden sole at the back heel, with a tab that runs to the toe, and wraps up over the top of it~ I assume to protect the tip from chipping off or wearing down, a very fine and labor intensive feature~ in this respect, both the childs size and dollye size are exactly the same.

You can see the hand made nails that attach the remains of the original leather straps at the sides, and how the iron is wrapped up around the toe....this would have been done at the forge while the iron was indeed hot

Another wonderful detail of this piece is the heel. Like its full size cousins, the sole has been carved to fit a Louis Heel'd shoe~ by the shape, c1740-50

There is always a possibility this could be a salesman's sample, but I highly doubt it. This is such a utilitarian thing, peddlers and markets everywhere would be flooded with them. In the 18th c, not knowing what a patten was, would be like, not knowing what a pair of sneakers are today~ you wouldn't order a sample, you would simply order 100 pair all at once. I am thinking these were made for a very special, and privileged 18th c doll.

The beautifully formed iron ring keeps dollys foot up off the ground when walking...she would take them off the second she returned indoors, as to not mark the floor, or track in the yuk trapped within on the bottom of it

The little spike protruding from the center of the sole is the tip of one of the nails in the side, affixing the leather strap

beautiful! Of coarse I wish I had the mate, but I am 150% thrilled just to have the one. What fabulous shoes they could have held