Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Art of Play: The Eleanor Lloyd Doll, “Amelia Ann”, 1955-65

Composition Doll (left) in hand-sewn uniform, 1955-65
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here we see two dolls which once belonged to one Eleanor Lloyd and her sister. Let’s take a look at the blonde.

She has been dressed in the image of her owner.  Eleanor Lloyd, along with her sister were active in the Brownies and Guides respectively.  The girls hand-sewed outfits for their dolls to look like them in their uniforms.

In making the outfit for her doll,  young Eleanor demonstrated great attention to detail, recreating her uniform exactly and even hand-embroidered skill badges including “the hostess badge”, “the pony rider badge” and the “first aid badge”—all badges which Eleanor herself had attained.

Eleanor called the doll “Amelia-Ann” and pretended that her little stiff friend belonged to the same pack that Eleanor attended—“The Gnomes.”  This is identifiable from the badge on Amelia Anne’s left arm.

Amelia Ann is a doll of composition. Her hair has been cut in to a stubby fringe with shoulder-length waves. She has red-painted finger nails and lips, a jointed neck, upper-arm and leg sockets.

To make matters more exciting for Eleanor, the doll is a “walking/talking” model and the head moves from side to side as the leg joints are moved to mimic walking. Sadly, “Amelia Ann’s” voice box has been broken and covered over with a “plaster” as if she were really suffering from some illness.

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