Female carved and painted ventriloquist doll, comprised of a painted wooden head, hands and body, applied natural fiber hair, cloth and stuffed-stocking arms, legs, torso and chest; glass eyes and leather shoes. Limbs are secured with nailed leather straps. Two dresses accompany the doll, one work dress with head covering and one church dress (neither is original). 33 1/2" L. Late 19th century. Oral family history: This doll was owned and used by John O. Chamberlain (called "J.O.") in his Minstrel / Vaudeville acts during the late 19th century. After retiring from perfoming, he married and became a farmer in Powell, Tennessee. At his farm he would occasionally sell tickets for shows and dinner which would attract the African American members of the community. J.O. Chamberlain passed away in the early 1960s. He was the consignor's grandfather. Condition: Wear and some staining to cloth body. General minor wear and losses to wood and hair. Condition: Wear and some staining to cloth body. General minor wear and losses to wood and hair.
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