Monday, October 7, 2013
Halloween and Dolls and antique Wax Models for Anatomy
One of the things I enjoy is posting on Pinterest. I have a Holidays Board and a Doll Collection Board; both contain images of Halloween and goth dolls. There are more on my Erzebet and the Lady Vampires Board. Wants this year include Catty Noir of Monster High, Frozen Charlotte of Living Dead Dolls, Goth Girl from Spirit of Halloween, and of course, the Haunted Mechanical Rag Dolls from Spirit of Halloween. I've discovered 17th c. wax models done for anatamy study, and also some 18th c. models for studying anatomy. We the plastic Invisible Woman and some other skeleton models in the museum, but these are breathtaking, though a little too graphic to post here. Here is a link from the U of Chicago Magazine about a "Lady Anatomist" who did this work in wax. https://tableau/uchicago.edu/articles/2013/04/excerpts-ladyanatomist. Her name was Anna Morandi. The Journal of Anatomy also had a good article at http://ncbi.nlm.nigh.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815944. There is a blog devoted to these figures, very similar to Santos, called "morbid anatomy" at http://The Year of Halloween.com. Wax dolls are a good choice to write about for Halloween. I still have my tiny figural Halloween Candles, shaped like witches and ghosts; several reside in our doll house attics, and others on our display shelves. Wax is associated with voodoo dolls, and with long, ghostly tapers held by phantoms. The atmosphere of Harry Potter carries out the motif to perfection. I loved using candles and caryons to make my own wax dolls, and would also use soap and candles. I wish I had my old Mattel jewelry maker; I used to improvise quite nicely with it. I used cats eye shells, beans, stuffed animal eyes, and later dolls eyes in my creations. I dressed them and made clothese for them, and read about Vargas, Montanari, March, Periotti, and other great doll makers in wax. I read about Lewis Sorensen, Gladys McDowell, met Bobbi Langkau and bought some of her dolls. I read about metal dolls dipped in wax, and Pumpkin Heads, or molded haired dolls dipped in papier mache. One of ours has a molded bonnet, with a place to attach a real hair pony tail. She is old, from the 1840s or so. We have a 200 year old wax creche figure, and some other figures including one equally old devotional child that was part of the Mary Merritt museum. We also have a wax Bru, but that is all we know of her provenance, and a couple of mystery poured wax dolls. I would love a figure from Mme. Tussaud's, or one sculpted by Sorensen for The Ripley's Museums. Tussaud had dolls made of her and her royal princess friend, made during the course of their liftimes. She, of course, had the hideous task of modelling the severed heads of the victim's of Mlle Guillotine, including, one day, the head of her playmate, a sister of the King. Wax dates to the time of the Egyptians, probably earlier; as soon as we learned to raise bees, there was beeswax, and candles have been made from all sorts of variations. Wax dolls are lovely, but hard to find. I have posted a photos of one of mine for your enjoyment.