For our February meeting, the refreshment able was decked out in a festive Mardi Gras theme.
Member Sharon Weintraub did a program on frozen Charlottes and Charlies. These unjointed bisque and china children are typically frozen into a standing position. Early doll collectors dubbed these dolls "Frozen Charlottes" after the the old American folk ballad called “Fair (or sometimes Young) Charlotte,” which tells the sad tale of a beautiful young woman who foolishly refuses her mother's advice to dress warmly and subsequently freezes to death on a sleigh ride to a Christmas Eve ball. However, these figurines are actually German in origin, where they were called badekinder (bathing children). Produced in Germany beginning in the 1860s, they were offered as children’s playthings and bath toys (some, like the little boy at the top left in yellow and white striped bathing trunks will actually float when placed in water).
The little girl on the left is a bank with a slot on her back for coins. Not too many seem to have survived, because the only way to reclaim your savings is the literally break the bank!
Although many badekinder are nude, they also can be found in molded clothing.
Some frozen Charlottes wore wigs.
Frozen Charlottes also appear in novelty items, such as this the badekinder in a bottle.
This early china Charlotte is beautifully dressed an antique bridal gown of silk and net. Sometimes a doll would be dressed a scraps left over from making the bridal gown to commemorate the happy occasion.
Other members brought Frozen Charlottes to share. This diminutive doll belongs to Beverly Evans.
This tiny child is a family heirloom belonging to Elaine Jackson.
Sylvia McDonald brought this bisque-headed baby character by the Japanese firm of Morimura for show and tell.