Wonderful American Cloth Doll by Izannah Walker with Original Paper Patent Label

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18" (46 cm.) Cloth doll with pressed and oil-painted complexion and facial features, center-parted hair with painted wispy curls around the sides of her forehead, stitch-shaped ears and neck nape, outlined eye sockets, brown eyes with thin black outlines, lightly stroked brows, rounded nose, closed mouth with accent line between the lips, firmly stuffed body with stitch-jointing at shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, defined applied thumbs, original sateen torso and upper limb cover, oil-painted hands and lower legs, bare feet, with two antique costumes (one of which is original) and with an early wooden ladder back arm chair. Condition: generally excellent, very light typical craquelure. Marks: Patented Nov. 4th 1873 (original paper label). Comments: circa 1875, Izannah Walker, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, her 1873 patent declared her purpose was to create a doll that is "easily kept clean and not apt to injure a young child which may fall upon it. It will preserve its appearance for a long time." An inventive and hardy New Englander, she "made dolls and doll furniture, tinkered with household gadgets, designed a parlor heater Ôthat beat Ben Franklins', raised canaries, dabbled in real estate and was looked upon with admiration by male contemporaries because of her skill with carpenters' tools..." according to an 1870s write-up in the Providence Bulletin. Value Points: deservedly the most sought-after American folk doll with fine artistry of painting especially of hair and eyes. The Izannah Walker doll has rightfully been compared to the celebrated American folk art canvas paintings of William Matthew Prior (1806-1873).
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