Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Clutch of Frozen Charlottes

My friend F brought me a little porcelain figure from an antique store in California a few months ago.  I researched to find out what I could about this intriguing object.  It reminded me of the old- fashioned 50s-style king cake Baby Jesus dolls that we used to break our teeth on in New Orleans when we ate king cake around Mardi Gras time.  (whoever found a Baby Jesus in her piece of king cake had to give the party the next week).  It turns out that these aren't king cake dolls but are, rather, Frozen Charlotte dolls, which you should look up if this kind of thing interests you as much as it does me.   Anyway, yesterday F gave me FIVE MORE Frozen Charlottes, and now I have a collection.  I love that they are not just ordinary painted and dressed up Charlottes, but that they are damaged and rejected ones.  The man who sold them to F had them in a bucket behind the counter.  Apparently they were made between 1860 and 1920 or so, mostly in Germany.  Imperfect dolls were thrown out behind the factories in midden heaps of dolls.  Today some people excavate the broken rejects.

I much prefer these rejects.  I'm still playing with mine, drawing them in different settings, wondering what they're going to lead me to.  I love the way it feels to hold all six of them at once and jiggle them around.  They make a nice soft clinking sound.  Mine are all handless, and many are missing feet, which only adds to their appeal.  Here, above, are some first attempts at drawing them.  They're not easy to draw since they're so featureless and lumpy.  They are definitely relatives of the Rusty Child Forms.  Thank you, F, for knowing how much I would love this gift!

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