Friday, 4 March 2011


One lady from the Artsycrafts forum received this from an American friend. It is the 'history' behind the
Fractured Charlotte Dolls
which Tim has introduced through his CHA 2011 collection.

Frozen Charlottes are a type of unjointed china doll popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The name came from Fair Charlotte, a well-known American folk ballard attributed to 1860. The ballard tells the tale of a beautiful young woman who set out in a sleigh with her lover, Charles, on a bitterly cold night to attend a ball fifteen miles away. Her mother warned her to wrap herself in a blanket to keep warm, but:
"No, no, no," fair Charlotte said
And she laughed like a gypsy queen
"To ride in  blankets muffled up,
I never can be seen."

The couple rode off into the cold and, after travelling a mere 5 miles, Charles remarked:

"Such a night as this I never knew,
the reins I scarce can hold."
Fair Charlotte said in a feeble voice
"I am exceeding cold."
Away they rode through frozen air
In the glittering starry night
Until at length the village inn
and the ballroom were in sight.
They reached the door, Young Charles stepped out
And held his hand to her
"Why sit you there like a monument
that hath no power to stir?"
He called her once, he called her twice
She uttered not a word
He held his hand to her again
And still she never stirred
Then swiftly through the lighted room
Her lifeless form he bore
Fair Charlotte was a stiffened corpse
And word spoke nevermore.

Of course there was a lesson to be learned from this tragic tale, and many young girls who later played with Frozen Charlottes probably were warned:

Now, ladies, when you hear of this
Think of that dreadful sight,
And never venture so thinly clad,
On such a winter's night.

Most Frozen Charlottes ranged in height from 1 to 4 inches. the 1" sized dolls were commonly known as 'penny dolls' because they generally sold for 1ct. the popularity of Frozen Charlottes can be attributed, in part, to the fact that their relatively low price allowed children to accumulate a collection of dolls with which to play.

Sorry about the photo quality, I am having problems with my camera and must read the manual!

This is the larger of the dolls that Tim has produced.

Quite a story eh?


ME said...

Thanks for the interesting and 'fun' story about the dolls.

Gez said...

Wow! What a story.. thanks for sharing Joanne.xx