Porcelain Doll ‘Relic’ Necklace

by Sandy Kane.
(Watertown, Massachusetts USA)

I found this tiny broken porcelain doll when I lived in a very old (pre-colonial) house in Massachusetts as a child.

Porcelain doll 'relic' necklace by Sandy Kane

Porcelain doll ‘relic’ necklace by Sandy Kane

I recently decided to make her into a necklace. I used size 15 bronze metallic seed beads stitched in herringbone pattern for her wee dress, added a dark bronze chain to her wired arms and can now wear my ‘relic’ close to my heart!

Sandy Kane
Chouette Studio at Etsy
Chouette Studio

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  • Necel Ogsoc says:

    .. how nice design good for the children….

  • Kathryn says:

    Very nice! Simple, unique and meaningful.

  • Alla says:

    This very nice! Great way to display that little treasure doll.

  • Sylvia King says:

    This looks like a Frozen Charlotte Doll which were dolls sold very cheap back in Victorian times here is an article I found on them, and this is really unique I love it.

    Frozen Charlotte is a name used to describe a specific form of china doll made from c. 1850 to c. 1920. The dolls had substantial popularity during the Victorian era. The name of the doll originates from the American folk ballad Fair Charlotte, based on the poem “A Corpse Going to a Ball” by Seba Smith, which tells of a young girl called Charlotte who refused to wrap up warmly to go on a sleigh ride because she did not want to cover up her pretty dress; she froze to death during the journey.[1]


    The Frozen Charlotte doll is made in the form of a standing, naked figure moulded as a solid piece. The dolls are also sometimes described as pillar dolls, solid chinas or bathing babies.[2] The dolls ranged in size from under an inch to 18 inches plus. The smallest dolls were sometimes used as charms in Christmas puddings.[2] Smaller sizes were very popular for putting in doll’s houses. Occasionally versions are seen with a glazed china front and an unglazed stoneware back. This enabled the doll to float on its back when placed in a bath.[3]

    Frozen Charlotte dolls were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Smaller versions of the dolls were also known as penny dolls, because they were often sold for a cent.[4] Most were made in Germany.[5]

    They are also made in bisque, and can come in white, pink-tinted, or, more rarely, painted black.[2] Some rare examples have moulded chemises. Male dolls (identified by their boyish hairstyles) are called Frozen Charlies.

  • Sylvia, thanks so much for this fascinating history of Frozen Charlottes! 🙂

  • Sandy Kane says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sylvia, fascinating. I love learning the history of jewelry, collectibles, toys, etc, especially if they are ‘oddball artifacts’…the fable of the girl freezing to death is wonderfully creepy! (Or was it a real story?…Hmmm…)

  • Colette says:

    Thank You Sylvia, for sharing this story. I just reasently learned about these dolls and fell in love with them, but I knew nothing about the history.

    So again thank you for the history lesson. I really appreciate it ????

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