I’m forever hunting down unique antiques and I was lucky enough to find a tiny 1″ porcelain doll called a Frozen Charlotte… another “must have” since I’ve loved tiny dolls and things for as long as I can remember!
I took my little Frozen Charlotte doll, made a mold of it, and cast her in sterling silver and in brass to create another a wonderful necklace… once again, inspired by history and making it wearable!
The original Frozen Charlotte dolls were little one piece, un-jointed (thus frozen), porcelain dolls made during the 19th and early 20th centuries and most were made in Germany. Their sizes ranged from 1” to 18” and the standing dolls were naked and children would make clothes for them to wear. The tiniest dolls were often used in doll houses and some were even hidden as charms in the Christmas puddings. Some dolls were made by glazing the front but not glazing the back so that they would float on their backs in the tub… bathing babies.
The 1 ”sized dolls were commonly known as “penny dolls” or “penny babies” because they generally sold for one cent. 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.
Other names for the dolls were pillar dolls, solid chinas or bathing babies but the name “Frozen Charlotte” came from the poem “Frozen Charlotte” written by Seba Smith (1792 – 1868) from Maine, which was later popularized as a ballad “Fair Charlotte” by William Lorenzo Carter. The poem is about a young girl, Charlotte, who was to attend a party on New Years Eve, with her boyfriend Charles, in a village 15 miles away. It was a very cold night and Charlotte refused to wrap in a blanket for the long sleigh ride, for fear of wrinkling her beautiful dress. Five miles into the journey she complained of being cold so they rode faster, five more miles she said she was getting warmer, and when they arrived Charles was horrified to see she had frozen to death.