The first doll I would like to introduce to you is Delphine. She is about 27" tall, and is made of cloth with a paper clay sculpted head and shoulder plate. She has been painted in oils. She represents a segment of the Black population that were "free people of color". Mostly concentrated in New Orleans, there were many free Blacks in many parts of the country. Delphine represents a "quadroon", who was 1/4 Black. She is from New Orleans, is well educated, and perhaps is a "placee" , or the mistress of a wealthy white man. The system of "placage" was very common in New Orleans and in some other Southern cities before the Civil War, and involved these young, beautiful, free mixed-race girls becoming the mistresses of wealthy white men. As they were legally prohibited from marrying a white man, they entered into these relationships after their protective mothers "bartered" for their future. They would be provided for financially by their "protector" and if any children were born of the union they would be well provided for and even educated in Europe in some cases. Many of these unions lasted only until the man married officially, but some of them lasted for life.
The second doll is "Miss Sarah Matilda". She is a reproduction of an antique paper mache German doll known as "Greiner" dolls after their original producer. She is cloth, with a paper clay sculpted head and shoulder plate, and is painted in oils. She is dressed in a typical off- the- shoulder type dress of the 1850's and 1860's.
I'm working hard getting ready for another big doll show at the end of July! Hope you enjoyed seeing my latest creations, and I'll post more later.